Quondam Commitments: An Examination of Commitments Employees No Longer Have
AMD-2015-0073, Volume 3, Issue 4
by Howard J. Klein; Chad T. Brinsfield; Joseph T. Cooper; Janice C. Molloy
This paper introduces the concept of quondam commitments – commitments employees used to, but no longer have. A review of the literature reveals that this prevalent phenomenon has been overlooked and cannot be sufficiently understood from existing scholarship. We present an inductive study to begin exploring the nature of quondam commitments and the importance of addressing this oversight. Specifically, 420 employees from three organizations responded to open-ended survey questions asking them to describe a quondam commitment and explain why they no longer have that commitment. A variety of reasons for quondam commitment emerged from our content analysis, most of which are unique from established commitment antecedents. The reasons for quondam commitment are applicable across various prior commitment targets, but vary by target in noteworthy ways. We then discuss the implications of quondam commitment for management practice and scholarship. To facilitate future theory development and empirical research we present a systematic roadmap and an initial process model proposing several antecedents and moderators of quondam commitment and its outcomes for individuals, teams, and organizations. The roadmap highlights numerous gaps in our understanding pertaining to construct development, testing the initial model, extending our current findings, opportunities for bridging micro-macro divides, and addressing study limitations.