The dimensionality and the temporal stability of Cook and Wall''s (1980) measure of organizational commitment, referred to here as the British Organizational Commitment Scale (BOCS), were examined using two-wave longitudinal data collected from a sample of 218 employees in British Rail. Alternative one-, two-, and three-factor models of the BOCS were evaluated using both the standard nine-item version of the scale and a shorter (positive) six-item version. Confirmatory factor analyses revealed that (a) the BOCS is a multi-dimensional scale made up of three empirically distinct but related components corresponding to the Identification, Involvement and Loyalty subscales, (b) the positive six-item version of the scale was psychometrically superior to the nine-item version, and ® the measurement properties of the six-item BOCS were stable over time. Based on these results the casual (time-lagged) relations between the three empirically derived sub-components of attitudinal commitment were then examined by applying structural-relations analyses to the longitudinal data. No clear causal ordering was found among the three sub-components, which were also found to exhibit differential stability over time. The implications of the findings for use of the BOCS and for future research are discussed
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