Turnover intention and employee engagement : exploring eliciting factors in South African audit firms

Van der Westhuizen, Nicola (2014-04)

Thesis (MComm)--Stellenbosch University, 2014.

Thesis

ENGLISH ABSTRACT: In response to globalisation and competition, today’s organisations are changing at an accelerating and radical pace. A review of the literature revealed that the demanding and often repetitive nature of work increases employees’ turnover intention. This is generally attributed to a lack of employee engagement. This trend is especially evident within the South African financial services industry. Without a functional workforce, no organisation can survive. Therefore organisations within this sector need to establish a balance between the provision of meaningful work, and profitability. The primary objective of this research study was to develop and empirically test a structural model that elucidates the antecedents of variance in turnover intention and employee engagement among employees employed by audit firms operating in the South African financial services industry. In addition, this research study investigated whether employees employed by these audit firms engage in job crafting to modify their work environment (i.e. job resources, personal resources and job demands, as illustrated in the Job Demands-Resources model) (Demerouti, Bakker, Nachreiner & Schaufeli, 2001) to cultivate meaningful work that decreases turnover intentions while increasing employee engagement. In this research study, an ex post facto correlational design was used to test the formulated hypotheses. Quantitative data was collected from 391 employees employed by audit firms operating in the South African financial services industry. Data was collected specifically for the purpose of this research study. Participation was voluntary. A self-administered web-based survey was distributed electronically to the participants. The data collected was strictly confidential and anonymous. The survey comprised seven sections. The first two sections measured the participants’ biographical and employment information. Subsequent sections measured specific latent variables using valid and reliable measuring instruments. These instruments include the Utrecht Work Engagement Scale (UWES-9) (Schaufeli, Bakker & Salanova, 2006), the Turnover Intention Scale (Moore, 2000), the Psychological Meaningfulness Scale (May, Gilson & Harter, 2004), the Job Crafting Scale (Tims, Bakker & Derks, 2012), and the six-item Proactive Personality Scale (Claes, Beheydt & Lemmens, 2005). Data was subjected to a range of statistical analyses. The findings shed light on the seriousness of turnover intention and the lack of employee engagement among employees employed by audit firms operating in the South African financial services industry. It provides South African industrial psychologists with much needed insight into the presenting problem. With reference to the highlighted managerial implications of the research findings and the recommended interventions, industrial psychologists can ensure the retention and engagement of employees.

AFRIKAANSE OPSOMMING: Globalisering en mededinging veroorsaak dat hedendaagse organisasies al hoe vinniger en ook ingrypend verander. ’n Oorsig van die literatuur het getoon dat werknemers se voorneme om van werkplek te verander al hoe meer toeneem weens die veeleisende en dikwels herhalende aard van die werk wat hulle doen. Hierdie voorneme is veral in die Suid-Afrikaanse finansiële diensbedryf sigbaar en kan toegeskryf word aan ’n gebrek aan werknemerbegeestering. Geen organisasie kan egter sonder ’n funksionele werksmag oorleef nie. Gevolglik moet organisasies in hierdie bedryf sorg dat hulle ’n balans tussen betekenisvolle werk en winsgewendheid skep. Die hoofdoel van hierdie studie was om ’n strukturele model te ontwikkel en empiries te toets wat lig werp op die voorkoms van verskille in die voorneme om van werkplek te verander en werknemerbegeestering onder werknemers in diens van ouditeursfirmas in die Suid-Afrikaanse finansiële diensbedryf. Daarbenewens het hierdie studie ook ondersoek of werknemers in hierdie ouditeursfirmas betrokke is by werksfatsoenering om hulle werkomgewing aan te pas (m.a.w. werkshulpbronne, persoonlike hulpbronne en taakeise, soos in die Job Demands-Resources model aangedui) (Demerouti, Bakker, Nachreiner & Schaufeli, 2001) om betekenisvolle werk te skep wat hulle voorneme om van werk te verander, kan verminder en terselfdertyd werknemerbegeestering kan aanvul. ‘n Ex post facto korrelasie-ontwerp is gebruik om die geformuleerde hipoteses te toets. Kwantitatiewe data is by 391 werknemers in diens van ouditeursfirmas in die Suid-Afrikaanse finansiële diensbedryf ingesamel. Die data is spesifiek vir hierdie studie ingesamel. Deelname was vrywillig. ’n Selftoegepaste webgebaseerde opname is elektronies onder die deelnemers versprei. Die dataversameling was streng vertroulik en anoniem. Die opname het uit sewe afdelings bestaan. Die eerste twee afdelings het die biografiese en werksinligtiging van die deelnemers ingesamel. Die daaropvolgende afdelings het spesifieke latente veranderlikes met behulp van geldige en betroubare instrumente gemeet. Hierdie instrumente was die Utrecht Work Engagement Scale, UWES-9 (Schaufeli, Bakker & Salanova, 2006), die Turnover Intention Scale (Moore, 2000), die Psychological Meaningfulness Scale (May, Gilson & Harter, 2004), die Job Crafting Scale (Tims, Bakker & Derks, 2012), en die ses-item Proactive Personality Scale (Claes, Beheydt & Lemmens, 2005). Die data is aan ’n reeks statistiese analises onderwerp. Die bevindinge werp lig op die erns van voorneme om van werkplek te verander en die gebrek aan werkenemerbetrokkenheid onder werknemers in diens van ouditeursfirmas in die Suid-Afrikaanse finansiële diensbedryf. Dit bied aan Suid-Afrikaanse bedryfsielkundiges belangrike insae in die tersaaklike probleem. Bedryfsielkundiges kan, met verwysing na die aangeduide bestuursimplikasies van die bevindinge en aanbevelings van hierdie studie, die behoud en begeestering van werknemers verseker.

Please refer to this item in SUNScholar by using the following persistent URL: http://hdl.handle.net/10019.1/86297
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