Continuance Commitment: A Review of Recent Research

Commitment is an essential element of human behavior; it is the glue that binds relationships together. The concept of commitment has been studied extensively, with a variety of theories and models emerging. One area of particular interest is continuance commitment, which refers to the commitment to remain in a relationship despite the presence of a cost. This article provides an overview of recent research on continuance commitment, highlighting key contributions and identifying areas for future research.

The concept of commitment has been studied extensively, and a number of models have been proposed to explain its emergence and development. One of the most prominent models is the Investment Model (IM; Rusbult, 1980), which proposes that when individuals perceive their relationships to be rewarding, they will invest more resources in them, leading to higher levels of commitment. An important aspect of the IM is that individuals may remain in relationships even when the costs outweigh the rewards, a phenomenon known as continuance commitment (Rusbult, 1980).

Continuance commitment refers to the notion that individuals remain in a relationship because of the costs associated with leaving it (Rusbult, 1980). For example, a person may stay in a job despite the fact that the salary is low, or remain in a relationship even though the partner is not very supportive. Thus, continuance commitment is not a positive form of commitment, but rather a commitment based on obligation or necessity.

In recent years, researchers have conducted a number of studies on continuance commitment. For example, Heavey and Christensen (2006) examined the role of job satisfaction in continuance commitment and found that satisfaction was a key factor in determining an individual’s commitment to a job. Similarly, Finch and Cropanzano (2006) found that perceived organizational support and instrumental support from supervisors were important factors in predicting continuance commitment in the workplace.

In addition to understanding the factors that influence continuance commitment, researchers have also investigated the consequences of such commitment. For example, Reichers (1985) found that individuals with high levels of continuance commitment experienced lower levels of job satisfaction and higher levels of psychological distress. Similarly, Kuenzi and Schminke (2009) found that continuance commitment was associated with lower levels of job performance.

Overall, the research on continuance commitment highlights the importance of this phenomenon in the study of commitment. It is clear that continuance commitment is a key factor in determining an individual’s commitment to a relationship, and that it has important implications for job satisfaction, psychological distress, and job performance. Future research should focus on identifying additional factors that influence continuance commitment, as well as exploring the consequences of such commitment.


Finch, J.F., & Cropanzano, R. (2006). Psychological sense of work community, procedural justice, and social exchange: Impact on continuance and normative commitment. Journal of Organizational Behavior, 27(3), 349-366.

Heavey, C., & Christensen, C. (2006). Job satisfaction and continuance commitment: A comparison of two models. Human Relations, 59(3), 331-348.

Kuenzi, M., & Schminke, M. (2009). The joint effects of organizational identification and continuance commitment on job performance. Journal of Organizational Behavior, 30(2), 137-157.

Reichers, A.E. (1985). A review and reconceptualization of organizational commitment. Academy of Management Review, 10(3), 465-476.

Rusbult, C.E. (1980). Commitment and satisfaction in romantic associations: A test of the investment model. Journal of Experimental Social Psychology, 16(2), 172-186.

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