Due to their potential to positively influence sales quality and performance and reduce employee turnover in service organizations, HR practices targeting employee commitment have received considerable attention in the HRM literature in recent years. Parallel to this, there has been increasing focus on the nature of commitment, and in particular the existence of multiple commitment foci. In this paper, we examine how HR practices influence professionals’ commitment to their organization, to their profession or to both organization and profession, in a qualitative study of three Danish financial investment firms. Our findings suggest that in professional service firms, HR practices encourage high levels of organizational commitment primarily and most often through their influence on professional commitment and that HR practices related to flexible work design are essential in creating balance between an employee’s commitment to organization and commitment to their profession. Further, the findings suggest that these same HR practices may foster such high levels of professional commitment that labor turnover will increase when opportunities for pursuing professional goals afforded by work design are restricted.
International Journal of Human Resource Management, 2015, Vol 26, Issue 1, p. 23-41
Case study; High Commitment Management; High Commitment Work Practices; Professional Commitment; Professional Service Firms