The call of duty: A duty development model of organizational commitment

Charn P. McAllister, Gerald R. Ferris

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

5 Scopus citations


Although the concept of duty has a historic and philosophical foundations dating back to Aristotle, there is very little theory and research in this area of scientific inquiry. In an effort to address this lack of scholarship, a theoretical foundation and a model are presented that clearly delineate the construct of duty, and the nature of its development within an individual-organization relationship. Using social exchange theory and the three-component model of organizational commitment as the conceptual foundations, the proposed duty development model explains the individual-level antecedents and the phases of commitment that individuals may progress through during their tenure in an organization. The various types of exchanges and transactions inherent in the social exchange theory provide the basis for each phase of commitment individuals experience. It is proposed that certain antecedents make individuals more likely to form a sense of duty toward an organization, but the development of this type of relationship requires an organization to focus on commitment building efforts, such as perceived organizational support and organizational culture. Contributions to theory and research, organizational implications, and directions for future research are discussed.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)209-244
Number of pages36
JournalResearch in Personnel and Human Resources Management
StatePublished - 2016


  • Commitment
  • Loyalty
  • Moral duty
  • Performance

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Organizational Behavior and Human Resource Management


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