Work commitment systems and gender identity THE EXPERIENCE OF TRANSGENDER AND NON-BINARY EMPLOYEES

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Research on work commitment occupies an important portion of management literature but still lacks depth in many aspects, including how commitment systems work and are experienced by employees. Additionally, there is little knowledge on the perspectives of minority groups such as employees with diverse gender identities, especially those beyond cis male and female. Finally, there is little to no knowledge about the role of identity in commitment systems. In the frame of an exploratory, constructivist/ interpretivist study, semi-structured interviews were conducted with eight TGNC (transgender non-conforming) employees to unpack their unique experiences to reveal how commitment systems are experienced in such a group. Results show insight into how participants place their gender identity at the centre of their commitment systems, or at the very least assigned it high importance within their systems. For many participants, acceptance of others of their gender identity, including the correct use of pronouns and names, is a prerequisite to feeling valued and included, and consequently, being committed to their workplace, with the supervisor playing a vital role in this, also communicating this to colleagues. Management is advised to be aware of their impact and the importance of gender identity and expression thereof to TGNC employees, offering learning opportunities for the company. This study contributes, (1) to the small body of research concerning commitment systems theory (CST) by examining the complexity of commitment systems in an exploratory manner, (2) introduces the concept of gender identity to commitment studies by examining a specific group with unique gender identities and how commitment systems can potentially differ, and (3) what role gender identity plays within a commitment system.1
Faculteit der Managementwetenschappen