A Re-examination of the Side-Bet Theory as Applied to Organizational Commitment: A Meta-Analysis

Aaron Cohen, Geula Lowenberg

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Contradictory research findings make it almost impossible to arrive at generalized conclusions about the side-bet theory despite the amount of attention this theory has received. In an attempt to resolve the argument about the ability of the theory to explain the formation of organizational commitment, this study examines previous findings of relevant correlational data from 50 published studies, using the Hunter, Schmidt, and Jackson (1982) metaanalysis procedure. Results show that 11 side-bet variables have estimates of low population correlations with organizational commitment. For most of the side-bet variables, no meaningful or generalizable relationships with organizational commitment were found. The results indicate that there is very little empirical support for the side-bet theory. Three possible conclusions are proposed. Discussion of the implications of each conclusion and how they relate to future investigation of the side-bet theory concludes the paper.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1015-1050
Number of pages36
JournalHuman Relations
Issue number10
StatePublished - Oct 1990
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Arts and Humanities (miscellaneous)
  • General Social Sciences
  • Strategy and Management
  • Management of Technology and Innovation


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