Twelve-month organizational study examining the associations among behavioral healthcare worker’s perceptions of autonomy, decision-making power, organizational commitment, and burnout: Reconceptualizing the role of commitment in shaping staff member experiences of the work environment

J Community Psychol. 2021 Sep 20. doi: 10.1002/jcop.22711. Online ahead of print.


Previous research has demonstrated that behavioral healthcare workers’ experiences of autonomy and decision-making power in the workplace are positively associated with their commitment to the organization and negatively associated with occupational burnout. Models examining the relationships between workplace climate and staff member well-being generally conceptualize workplace climates as predictors of individual commitment and burnout. However, the relationships among these constructs have primarily been explored in cross-sectional study designs. The current study adds to the existing literature by examining the relationships among perceived autonomy and decision-making power in the organizational climate, and individual levels of organizational commitment and burnout over a 12-month period (N = 43). The study was done in a public hospital’s behavioral healthcare department in the Western New York region. Cross-lagged panel analyses were conducted to assess if time-one scores on perceived autonomy and decision-making power predicted time-two scores of organizational commitment and burnout. Findings indicate that, contrary to popular conceptualization, individual staff member’s commitment to the organization predicted future states of perceived autonomy and decision-making power. Individual commitment to the organization may be a driving factor in how staff members experience and perceive the service environment.

PMID:34545577 | DOI:10.1002/jcop.22711

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