An Examination of the Relationship Between Organizational Communication Climate and Organizational Attitudinal Commitment

Date of Submission


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Science in Management Systems (Sc.D.)




Judith A. Neal

Committee Member

Jerry Allen

Committee Member

Donald C. Smith

LC Subject Headings

Communication in organizations

Call No. at the Univ. of New Haven Library

AS 36 N290 Mgmt. Syst. 1995 no.3


This study examined a theorized relationship between Organizational Communication Climate (OCC) and Organizational Attitudinal Commitment (OAC), and the relationships between OAC and several demographic and situational variables.

Both OCC and OAC have been defined and operationalized as separate organizational variables, but little attempt had been made to test whether they were significantly related. This study was the first attempt to link OCC with a multiple-component operationalization of OAC.

A survey containing the Pace and Peterson OCC and Allen and Meyer OAC instruments and the demographic questions was administered to all employees of four different organizations in the New York metropolitan area of the United States to obtain the data. A 74 percent response rate provided 829 returns and yielded 819 usable returns.

Despite the fact that factor analysis found discrepancies in the dimensions of the variables derived from these concepts, significant positive relationships were confirmed between OCC and OAC, as well as between OCC and the empathic conviction component of the OAC variable. Significant differences in OAC were revealed with regard to different organizational levels, educational levels, organizational tenure and age, but not with regard to sex, fractional organizational ownership and performance recognition.

This research advances understanding of these variables and the significance they have in organizational research. It provides empirical evidence that supports the theoretical relationship of OCC and OAC, and provides findings that contradict several OAC - demographic variable relationships predicted in the literature. In general, confirmation of an OCC - OAC positive relationship should encourage managers to expend resources for improvement of the communication climate in their organizations, as doing so will most probably be associated with increased organizational commitment on the part of organizational members.