Psychology Ph.D. Dissertations


Work Relationships as Investments: The Unexplored Component of Continuance Commitment

Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.)



First Advisor

Steve Jex


Continuance commitment, a form of organizational commitment, has typically been characterized by tangible, financial investments made in a job. This study conceptualized work relationships as investments that may explain additional variance beyond the typical work investments in two outcomes, the personal sacrifice dimension of continuance commitment and intentions to quit. Four work relationship constructs, network relationship quality, network size, relative network status, and network interaction, were measured by asking participants to name and describe individuals from their work social network in five categories: primary supervisor, coworkers, subordinates, friends, and work associates. Results indicate that network size predicts incremental variance in personal sacrifice and network relationship quality predicts incremental variance in intentions to quit. Extraversion, agreeableness, and work locus of control also predicted several work relationship constructs. Future research should attempt to establish causality, replicate these findings, explore new relationship constructs, and identify other outcomes that can be further understood by examining their association with work relationship constructs.