Side-bets and reciprocity as determinants of organizational commitment among correctional officers

Marie L. Griffin, John Hepburn

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

57 Scopus citations

Abstract

Organizational commitment is a particularly salient characteristic of the prison work climate due to the stressful working conditions and high rate of turnover among correctional officers nationwide, yet little is known about the factors that predict the level of organizational commitment among officers. Becker's (1960) side-bets hypothesis predicts greater commitment among those who develop additional investments in the job that would be lost with a change of jobs, and the reciprocity hypothesis predicts greater commitment among those who feel they are well treated, supported, and respected by the organization. This study used a sample of 546 correctional officers to examine the relative effects of side bets and reciprocity on two components of organizational commitment - affective commitment and continuance commitment. The results of a multivariate OLS regression analysis indicated that reciprocity had a greater effect than side bets on affective commitment but that side bets had a greater effect than reciprocity on continuance commitment. These findings, which provide partial support for the side-bet hypothesis and strong support for the reciprocity hypothesis, are discussed in terms of the link between organizational commitment and other work-related behaviors.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)611-625
Number of pages15
JournalJournal of Criminal Justice
Volume33
Issue number6
DOIs
StatePublished - Nov 1 2005

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Social Psychology
  • Applied Psychology
  • Sociology and Political Science
  • Law

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