Assessing cross-national invariance of the three-component model of organizational commitment: A cross-country study of university faculty

Document Type



higher education; organizational commitment; human resources; three-component model of organizational commitment; university faculty

Identifier Data



Emerald Insight

Publication Source

EuroMed Journal of Business



The purpose of this paper is to examine affective commitment, normative commitment, and continuance commitment in a cross-national context to identify if the effect of country-specific cultural orientation on organizational commitment of faculty in higher education functions invariably in different countries.


The work expands on Meyer and Allen’s (1991) three-component model of organizational commitment. It includes relevant literature review on ten countries and the results of a survey of university faculty members, assessing their institutions’ human resources practices and their effect on organizational commitment. Basic descriptive statistics were performed on nominal and interval data, means, medians, and standard deviations were computed, and tests of mean equivalence, including ANOVA tests, were performed. In certain instances, Pearson and Spearman correlations were computed to ascertain correlation, and χ2 tests for randomized response were used, while Cronbach’s α test helped to establish survey instrument validity.


Though certain differences may exist between different countries and cultures with respect to the three-component model of organizational commitment, there is strong evidence of the existence of invariance and, thus, generalizability of the model across cultures.

Research limitations/implications

Cultural studies have focused on differences in organizational commitment at national levels. Further attempts to identify the universality of factors leading to organizational commitment should account for culture in the study of employee-related globalization issues in higher education institutes. Knowledge of cultural impact is also useful from a managerial perspective, and for the design of relevant strategies.

Practical implications

National context plays a major role in shaping the nature of educational institutions. This study brings out the need for a deeper understanding of invariance in organizational commitment (inter-alia, through the three-component model).


This study contributes to a better understanding of the relationship between organizational commitment and its various antecedents, including human resources management practices, for faculty in higher education institutes.