The relationship between organisational commitment, stress and turnover intentions amongst teachers in the Eastern Cape
Generally high employee commitment is a major characteristic of world class organisations (Lesabe & Nkosi, 2007). There is empirical evidence that the strength of organisational commitment helps predict employees' turnover intentions (Arnolds & Boshoff, 2004; Boshoff & Arnolds, 1995; Boshoff, Van Wyk, Hoole & Owen, 2002). There are a plethora of factors that may influence organisational commitment (Broadfield & Edwards, 1998) and stress has been postulated to be one such factor which is purported to be associated with organisational commitment and withdrawal behaviour (Nieumann, 1993). Job stress has become a concern to stakeholders of education including critics of education as well as teachers, the provincial administration, parents and governing bodies. Every year fewer tertiary students enroll for training in education, which exacerbates an already crippled teaching staff component within the Eastern Cape. Adding to the shortage of teachers is the rapid exodus of teachers, which is starts to happen from the time that they graduate, as they are often made lucrative offers by international recruitment agencies (Samodien, 2008). Samodien (2008) reports that the actions of international recruitment agencies, in an attempt to draw away new teaching graduates include lucrative financial offers, recruitment campaigns at university campuses, posted letters and e-mail, presentations on campus, guaranteed work, long term teaching contracts, tax-free salaries, a 13th cheque, fully-furnished rent-free accommodation, assistance in processing visa's, opening foreign bank accounts in host countries, and return tickets to South Africa Swartz (2008), the Head of Education in the Eastern Cape responded to the above report on the exodus by stating that teachers have always left the profession for "greener pastures", describing the exodus of teachers as "normal", that the international trend of open employment facilitates the poaching of teachers and that the problem is not unique to South Africa. However, of concern to him was the exodus of teachers trained in the fields of Mathematics, Science, and the Languages, and the smaller number of young people enrolling for teaching. He maintains that the Eastern Cape province has sufficient teachers to fill the existing vacant positions and that with projected growth levels, the province should be able to meet the need for teachers in the future.