Abstract This paper proposes a new perspective on the development of commitment. We propose that organizational events are evaluated relative to a person's values to determine whether the person fits or misfits the organization. The fit information is then organized into commitment elements, which reflect the extent to which workplace events fit (relative to misfit) a particular value across events over time. We propose that elements are organized around values, not events, such that values are the main effect and events are the moderators of said effect on elements. Elements are, in turn, formative indicators of the latent commitment construct. They are the proximal causes of commitment. Multiple elements contribute to a single commitment and they are weighted via the value hierarchy. Our perspective contributes to the literature by: (a) being developmental; (b) focusing on events; and, (c) having implications for both within-person and between-person questions about commitment development.