How do callings relate to job performance? The role of organizational commitment and ideological contract fulfillment

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Authors: Sung Soo Kim, Donghoon Shin, Heather C Vough, Patricia Faison Hewlin and Christian Vandenberghe

Publication: Human Relations, Vol. 71, Issue 10, February 2018

Abstract:

Do individuals with callings perform better than those without? Why or why not? There are not clear answers to these questions in the literature. Using a social exchange framework, we posit an intervening process between callings and job performance,focusing on the role of organizational commitment and ideological contract fulfillment – the degree to which organizations live up to their ideological promises. Specifically, individuals with callings will be more committed to their organization, and this commitment, in turn, leads to job performance. Further, this relationship of calling to job performance through commitment will be attenuated when employees perceive under-fulfillment of ideological contract. We found support for these hypotheses across three studies that utilized self- or supervisor-rated performance data from a non-profit organization and multiple for-profit organizations. Interestingly, while the relationship between commitment and performance did depend on fulfillment of the ideological psychological contract, contrary to our prediction, the calling-commitment relationship was not attenuated by under-fulfillment of ideological contract. Our findings deepen our understanding of the organizational implications of callings from a social exchange-based perspective. This study further informs practitioners as to hiring and motivating individuals with a calling.