Direct and indirect effects of supervisor communication on organizational commitment

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    Purpose: In an attempt to gain insight in the contribution of organizational communication to work perceptions, this paper investigates both direct and indirect relationships between supervisor communication and employees' affective organizational commitment. Regarding the indirect relationships, individual perceptions of person‐organization fit and organizational efficacy were included in the model as mediators.

    Design/methodology/approach: A survey from a Dutch provider of telecommunication services (n=456) is analyzed on the relationships between communication, commitment and the proposed mediators, using regression analysis and a confirmatory structural equation model.

    Findings: Both person‐organization fit and organizational efficacy were found to partly mediate the main effects of communication and affective commitment. Following the test of mediation of fit and efficacy one by one, a test of the two mediators simultaneously in a confirmatory structural equation model led to a fitting model without any modifications. Further, the most important aspects of communication between manager and employee turns out to be the feedback from the manager, followed by the notion of the manager listening to the employee.

    Research implications/limitations: Given that the analyses are based on self‐report in one organization, these results have to be handled cautiously.

    Practical implications: Supervisor communication strengthens commitment via a clear view of which values are important, which goals are to be achieved, and how efficacious the organization has been in the past.

    Originality/value: The results show how communication – through the managers who are seen to represent the organization – can influence employees' perception of an organization's values and capabilities.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)116-128
    JournalCorporate communications
    Issue number2
    Publication statusPublished - 2007


    • Line managers
    • Communication
    • Job satisfaction
    • Employee attitudes
    • Telecommunication services
    • The Netherlands


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