Evaluation of Union Commitment as an Outcome of Negative Workplace Events, Using the Lens of Affective Events Theory; A Six Times Lags Study


This study examines union commitment as an outcome of negative workplace events. An integrated framework consisting cronyism as an event at workplace was developed using theoretical underpinning of AET. AET describes how events happening at workplace can elicit affect. The basic postulation of AET lies in characteristics of the work environment which contributes in the occurrence of the event. For that purpose the unique context of public sector organizations in Pakistan was used to study the dynamics of union commitment. The model explains the linkage between internal influences and reactions to incidents. The internal influences are the cognitions and emotions involved. The purpose of study was to understand the psychological mechanism of union commitment through discrete cycle of event and emotions. It explores the causes that affect the formation of union among employees. The data were collected from employees working in public sector organizations throughout Pakistan. These organizations have recognized active employee unions. Data were collected in 6 time lags. The final analyses show results of 415 respondents. Results indicate that existence of cronyism triggers employees interest in unionization. The moderating role of narcissism between organizational cronyism and hatred could not be established. Hatred also proved to be a predictor of breach of psychological contract. The role of breach of psychological contract as mediator between hatred and pro-union commitment was also established. Moreover, contrary to the belief union commitment did not prove to be a predictor of union participation.

This study developed a deeper understanding of union commitment in relation to discrete negative emotions. It has given an insight into how political intolerance in the form of cronyism in a unionized context of public sector organizations can lead to formation of attitudes and behaviors.The multiple manifestation of cronyistic relationships can alert managers and employees equally, managers should be discouraged to minimize on such foundations.Over all, the development and testing of incorporation of AET into the union commitment framework helped to explain how, and under what circumstances, employees cognitions about cronyism may lead to union commitment through the emotional reaction of negative affectivity

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