The influence of leader behaviour, psychological empowerment, job satisfaction, and organizational commitment on turnover intention

Dhladhla, Thamsanqa John (2011-03)

Thesis (MComm)--University of Stellenbosch, 2011.


ENGLISH ABSTRACT: In recent decades, organisations have continued to lose their skilled and experienced employees due to voluntary turnover. As a result, managers, researchers and practitioners have taken interest in understanding the factors that affect employees’ turnover decisions. However, although several existing studies have identified numerous factors related to turnover behaviours among employees, most of the empirical research studies utilise explanatory models that do not sufficiently address the mediating processes that lead to turnover intention. This study examined the collective effects of perceived leader behaviour, psychological empowerment, satisfaction and commitment on turnover intention. In doing so, the present study tested an explanatory structural model that suggests how these variables jointly influence turnover intention. Therefore, an ex post facto correlation study was conducted using a sample of military personnel (n = 318) in which study participants completed five questionnaires that measured the endogenous latent variables (i.e., psychological empowerment, job satisfaction and organisational commitment) and the single exogenous latent variable (i.e., leader behaviour) in the structural model. Item analysis and Confirmatory Factor Analysis (CFA) were used to assess the measurement properties of the respective measures. The results showed adequate evidence that the manifest indicators used in the study were indeed valid and reliable measures of the latent variables they were linked to. The proposed structural model was tested using structural equation modelling (SEM) and the goodness-of-fit statistics showed that both the hypothesised measurement model ( = 182.97; df = 67; p-value = 0.0000; RMSEA = 0.074) and the structural model ( = 182.91; df = 68; p-value = 0.00000; RMSEA = 0.073 ) were found to fit the data reasonably well. The results supported a model where turnover intention was explained to result from a combination of organisation-related and job-related attitudes. In turn, these attitudes were affected by leadership behaviours. The results showed that turnover intention resulted more strongly and directly from low levels of organisational commitment than from job satisfaction per se. The results also suggested that turnover intention was the result of high levels of psychological empowerment. Leader behaviour had a strong direct effect on both psychological empowerment and organisational commitment, but not a unique effect on job satisfaction, while psychological empowerment had a strong direct effect on both job satisfaction and turnover intention than on organisational commitment. The results also indicated that job satisfaction had an insignificant effect on organisational commitment. In addition, psychological empowerment mediated the effect of leader behaviour on turnover intention, while job satisfaction did not mediate the relationship between leader behaviour and turnover intention. Finally, the results suggested that psychological empowerment played mediated the effect of leader behaviour on job satisfaction and organisational commitment. The study adds to the existing literature in two ways. First, the findings indicated that turnover intention results strongly from the combination of leader behaviour, psychological empowerment and organisational commitment, with psychological empowerment and organisational commitment playing a dominant role, with their direct- as well as mediating effects on turnover intention. Second, the present study partially replicated earlier studies of turnover intention in a new setting, i.e., within a military sample and within a non-Western context. In this way, the study confirmed the generalisability of earlier findings that relate to the development of turnover intention. A unique finding of the present research was the positive relationship found between psychological empowerment and turnover intention, suggesting that turnover process models may be more organisation-specific than previously thought (e.g., Alexander, 1998). The study limitations and recommendations provide avenues to be explored for possible future studies and recommendations for human resource management practice are discussed.

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