The impact of job satisfaction and organisational commitment on intention to leave amongst non-academic staff at a tertiary institution in the Western Cape
A critical feature of globalisation is to attract and retain intellectual capital to ensure that a cadre of highly skilled, independent, internationally marketable and mobile employees is achieved (Sutherland & Jordaan, 2004). Bagraim and Sader (2007) concur by stating that South African organisations in an increasingly dynamic globalised economy, strive to increase the organisation's competitiveness by ensuring they need to retain and motivate skilled employees. The plethora of literature available on organisational commitment and job satisfaction is testament to achieving the above (Aamodt, 1999; Mowday, Porter & Steers, 1982; Robbins; 2001; Robbins & Judge; 2007). Withdrawal behaviours such as tardiness, absenteeism and turnover have been found to be inversely related to both job satisfaction and organisational commitment (Bergh, 2011; Mowday et al., 1982; Robbins, 2001). It is therefore believed that satisfied and committed employees are more likely to remain with an organisation and to perform at higher levels. The relationship between job satisfaction and organisational commitment has particularly important implications for service organisations. In a recent study, conducted in a service environment, it was demonstrated that highly committed employees exerted more effort towards satisfying the needs of customers. The effort was found, in turn, to raise the level of customer satisfaction (Malherbe & Pearse, 2003). Moreover, the latter study lent strong support to the notion that increased job satisfaction is likely to stimulate greater commitment. Since 1994 South Africa has undergone numerous changes not only in the country but also in the Higher Education sector, to rectify and redress the social injustices caused by apartheid in a move towards a democratic society (Cross, Mungadi & Rouhini cited in Rothman, 2005). In a hyper turbulent environment characterised by constant change, it has become important for Higher Education to change as well to ensure that tertiary institutions become internationally competitive. The importance of the current study therefore comes to the fore in terms of determining why individuals are leaving the institution. This is important because to remain competitive the institution needs highly competent, committed and experienced employees. The present study aspires to identify the variables which influence turnover intentions. The mediating effects of job satisfaction and organisational commitment were investigated in this particular study to explore the concept of turnover intentions amongst a sample of 118 non-academic (administrative) staff members at a tertiary institution in the Western Cape. A biographical questionnaire, the Job Descriptive Index (JDI), the Organisational Commitment Questionnaire (OCQ) and the Turnover Intentions Questionnaire were administered to elicit responses from respondents to determine the impact of the variables job satisfaction and organisational commitment on turnover intentions. Both descriptive and inferential statistical methods (the Pearson Product-Moment Correlation Co-efficient and Multiple Regression Analysis) were utilised during the statistical analysis phase. Results indicate that a statistically significant inverse relationship exists between the independent variables job satisfaction and organisational commitment, respectively, and turnover intention. These findings are consistent with previous research findings (Appollis, 2010; Ben-Bakr, Al-Shammari, Jefri & Prasad, 1994; Pienaar, Sieberhagen & Mostert, 2007). Further to this a statistically significant relationship also exists between job satisfaction and organisational commitment which corroborates previous findings (Lok & Crawford, 1999; Mathieu & Zajac; 1999; McNeese-Smith, 2001; Price & Mueller, 1981; Williams & Hazer, 1986). The study concludes with recommendations and implications for future research endeavours in the area of job satisfaction, organisational commitment and turnover intentions amongst non-academic employees from institutions of Higher Education.