The importance of organizational factors in affecting attitudes or behaviors of employees has been widely advocated (Blau & Boal, 1989; Cohen, 1993; Mathieu & Zajac, 1990; Meyer & Allen, 1984, 1990; O'Reilly & Chatman, 1986; Taylor, Audia & Gupta, 1996). Two propositions have been suggested to explain why this is the case. The first is the proposition of met expectation suggested by Porter and his colleagues (Porter et al., 1974). Individuals bring sets of expectations to their employment situation, and attitudes and behaviors are outcomes of a process in which individuals compare their level of expectations with their perceived realities. Employees become attached to their companies when their prior expectations have been satisfied.
The second proposition explaining why individuals' behaviors and attitudes are affected by organizational factors is that of psychological contracts. Psychological contracts indicate employees' beliefs about the reciprocal obligations between their organization and themselves (Morrison & Robinson, 1997). The psychological contract is a perceptual belief about what employees believe they are entitled to receive or should receive (Robinson, 1996). After entering the company, members feel whether the company has fulfilled the contract, which affects their behaviors or attitudes toward the company. That is, when employees feel that their employers failed to fulfill their obligations, the employees tend to reduce their obligations by showing absenteeism and a decreased level of commitment (Robinson, Kraatz, & Rousseau, 1994).
This stream of discussion might be enriched by considering individual attitudes toward careers. Individuals enter a company with their own career plans and would be attracted to the current company if the company's practices satisfy their career needs. Furthermore, individuals will become more attracted to the company if they possess stronger career desire. This implies that the attitudes of individuals toward their career may affect their attitudes toward their company because individuals are pursuing their career in their current organization, and because the current company does not have to be the only one that they will be working for in the future.
An individual's attitude toward career is described as career commitment. Career commitment is recognized as a form of work commitment that individuals have on a career facet (Morrow, 1993). Individuals with a strong degree of career commitment may show higher levels of expectations and requirements from the organization with which they have forged relationships. It also implies that highly career-committed individuals may be more motivated when their expectations are satisfied by the organization than those who are less committed.
Commitment phenomena have been widely investigated for the reason that they affect individual attitudes and behaviors at the workplace. Among the behaviors, the focus has been on turnover and how it is strongly affected by commitment (Bartol, 1979; Bedian et al., 1987; Blau & Boal, 1987; Decottis & Summers, 1987; Huselid & Day, 1991). Unlike other behaviors at workplaces, turnover indicates a breach in the relationship between individuals and the organization. This separation incurs a significant amount of costs to the organization, and may to the individuals. Costs of turnover may include opportunity costs, costs required for reselection and retraining, and decreased level of morale of the remaining workers. These costs would become even more serious when the company loses valuable employees such as highly committed ones. Therefore, a better understanding of turnover in relation to commitment is required.
Based on this research agenda, the present study attempts to investigate the impact of career commitment on organizational commitment and turnover intention. It basically assumes that the effect of career commitment as a moderator may be found at more than one stage in the process of an individual's attitudes or behaviors, which has been recognized as a complex moderator (Igbaria, Parasuraman, & Badawy, 1994). The research frame of this study, investigating the role of career commitment as a complex moderator, is shown in Fig. 1.
CONCEPTUALIZATION AND HYPOTHESES DEVELOPMENT
Specific conceptualizations of an individual's attitude toward his/her career have been diverse. Several terms have been used, with differences in measurements and operationalization; career motivation (London, 1983), professional commitment (Wallace, 1993), professionalism (Bartol, 1979), and career commitment (Blau, 1985). Among these terms, career commitment is defined as "one's attitude towards one's vocation, including a profession" (Blau, 1989), and has been recommended for further research mainly because it has greater generalizability as well as a conceptual distinctiveness (Morrow, 1993). This measure has been widely used by other researchers to examine individuals' attitudes toward their careers including a wide variety of jobs (Aryee & Tan, 1992; Bedian, Kemery, & Pizzolatto, 1991; Blau, 1989; Cherniss, 1991).
Career commitment has proven to be distinguishable from other commitment measures such as job involvement and organizational commitment, with minimal redundancy (Blau, 1989). Even though career commitment was known to lag developmentally (Morrow, 1993), it has gained a growing importance since a career provides a significant source of occupational meaning and continuity when organizations have become unable to provide employment security (Aryee, Chay, & Chew, 1994).
Several factors have been found to affect career commitment. Expected utility of a present job was identified as a predictor of career commitment, which demonstrated stronger effects than that of job characteristics (Aryee et al., 1994). Career changes also affected career commitment such that career changers were less committed to their present careers, compared to those who had not changed (Cherniss, 1991).
Commitment to career affects individuals' behaviors. Individuals who are highly committed to their careers have been shown to spend more time in developing skills, and show less intention to withdraw from their careers and jobs (Aryee & Tan, 1992; Blau, 1989). Employees with high career commitment, however, consider leaving the organization when career growth opportunities in the organization are low (Bedian et al., 1991).
Regarding organizational commitment, the three-dimensional definition acknowledges affective, continuance, and normative commitment as distinct concepts (Meyer & Allen, 1990; Dunham, Grube, & Castaneda, 1994; Hackett et al., 1994). The most widely investigated dimension of organizational commitment is affective commitment. Affective commitment, defined as "the degree to which an individual is psychologically attached to an employing organization through feelings such as loyalty, affection, belongingness, etc." (Jaros et al., 1993), describes the employees' emotional bond or attachment to an organization. …