The role of justice on perceptions of affirmative action, affective commitment and intention to quit
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Due to the high costs associated with turnover it has become paramount for organisations within the private sector to retain their human capital. In so doing, organisations are more likely to maintain a competitive advantage. Intention to quit, an employee’s intention to leave the organisation, has been identified as a key factor affecting voluntary employee turnover. Therefore, organisational leaders are confronted with the challenge of creating an environment that will retain their most valued employees. Previous research studies indicate that affective commitment is one of the strongest predictors of intention to quit. Findings show that high levels of affective commitment are associated with low levels of intention to quit. In addition, perceptions based on organisational justice has been identified as a contributor to an employee’s intention to quit and levels of organisational commitment. Specifically, research has shown organisational justice to be linked to an increase in affective commitment within the workplace. Due to apartheid, the post-democratic labour market is governed by strict legislation that aims to address some of the inequalities of the past. Organisations within South Africa need to abide by the basic conditions of employment legislation regarding affirmative action. Since fairness is seen as a crucial construct linked to organisational commitment, the perception of affirmative action and whether or not it is linked to fairness needs to be considered. The objective of this research study was to understand the role of justice and perceptions of affirmative action in shaping affective commitment and intention to quit among the management of an organisation within the financial services industry. In order to achieve this aim, a theoretical model to describe the relationships between affirmative action, organisational justice, affective commitment and intention to quit was created and tested. Input from the management across the nine provinces in South Africa was gathered. In total 286 respondents participated in the study resulting in a final sample of 201 complete responses. Data was collected by means of an integrated questionnaire measuring the constructs of turnover intentions, organisational commitment attitudes towards affirmative action and cultural diversity.