The Desire to Stay
Affective commitment is the employee’s emotional attachment to the organization. An employee with strong affective commitment identifies with the purpose of the business and has a desire to remain a part of the firm because they believe in the products or services it delivers. Commitment in this light is characterized as wanting to stay and be part of this mission. The desire to stay is based on a belief in what the business is setting out to achieve. This cause, for example, could be a not-for-profit organization that feeds the homeless. There is a desire to commit to what the organization does and a willingness to assist in helping the organization fulfill its mission.
The Cost of Leaving
Continuance commitment is defined as the employee’s attachment to the organization because of the costs of leaving to work somewhere else. The individual commits to the organization on the basis that they perceive a high personal cost in leaving to work elsewhere. This loss could be financial, such as losing superannuation accruals. It could also be a social cost in moving away from friends and work colleagues. So the employee stays put and commits because they feel they have to, in the belief they would be worse off leaving to work somewhere else.