It has been well established in the software process improvement (SPI) literature and practice that without management commitment to SPI the initiative will most likely fail or the results are not far reaching. Three forms of commitment are introduced: affective, continuance and normative. Analysis shows that current models of management commitment development lack scientific validity and are based on three misconceptions: (1) the linearity of human cognitive process in the development of commitment, (2) the controllability of this process, and (3) the sole utility aspect of commitment phenomenon. Five focused interviews are reported together with research project experiences from industry as a basis for the new model of managerial commitment process. Finally, the new model is proposed, which addresses the misconceptions identified and incorporates the conceptual basis of commitment into the model.