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Organizational commitment within a contemporary career context

Mihaela Enache (Industrial Engineering, Escola Universitària Salesiana de Sarrià (EUSS), Barcelona, Spain)
José M. Sallán (Department of Management, Universitat Politècnica de Catalunya, Barcelona, Spain)
Pep Simo (BarcelonaTech-Management, Universitat Politècnica de Catalunya, Barcelona, Spain)
Vicenç Fernandez (Department of Management, Universitat Politècnica de Catalunya, Barcelona, Spain)

International Journal of Manpower

ISSN: 0143-7720

Article publication date: 11 November 2013




The purpose of this paper is to analyze the relation between the underlying dimensions of protean (self-direction and values driven) and boundaryless (boundaryless mindset and organizational mobility preference (OMP)) career attitudes (Briscoe et al., 2006) and organizational commitment, within today's unstable and uncertain business scenario.


Data were collected from 167 professionals attending graduate and postgraduate distance learning courses. The hypotheses were tested using hierarchical regression analysis.


Research results suggest that protean career attitudes contribute significantly to individuals’ emotional attachment to their employing organization. Furthermore, OMP was found to be significant in predicting both affective and continuance commitment.

Research limitations/implications

First, cross-sectional correlational designs impede conclusive inferences regarding causal relationships among the variables. Second, the use of a sample of professionals attending distance learning business courses could limit the generalizability of the study findings, because the majority of the respondents were homogenous in terms of age and educational background.

Practical implications

Fostering individuals’ self-direction results in enhanced affective commitment to their employing organizations. Workshops oriented at clarifying and communicating organizational values, philosophy and principles can be all beneficial for strengthening employees’ commitment to the organization.


This is the first paper to test the relationship between boundaryless and protean career attitudes and organizational commitment on a European sample.



This paper was presented at the IJM track at the Second International Conference of The International Network of Business and Management journals (INBAM), Valencia, March 2012. The authors would like to thank INBAM and the reviewers for their insights and comments.


Enache, M., M. Sallán, J., Simo, P. and Fernandez, V. (2013), "Organizational commitment within a contemporary career context", International Journal of Manpower, Vol. 34 No. 8, pp. 880-898.



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Copyright © 2013, Emerald Group Publishing Limited

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