The moderating role of workplace ostracism between employee training, employee participation and organizational commitment among bank employees

Paul Kojo Ametepe (Business Administration, University of Lagos, Lagos, Nigeria)
Emetomo Uchefiho Otuaga (Business Administration, University of Lagos, Lagos, Nigeria)
Chinwe Felicia Nnaji (Business Administration, University of Lagos, Lagos, Nigeria)
Mustapha Sina Arilesere (Management Science, Igbinedion University Okada, Benin City, Nigeria)

Arab Gulf Journal of Scientific Research

ISSN: 1985-9899

Article publication date: 14 March 2023

1754

Abstract

Purpose

This study aimed at investigating employee training, employee participation and organizational commitment (OC) and the moderating effect of workplace ostracism among bank employees.

Design/methodology/approach

The study used a descriptive and cross-sectional design with the aid of a standard scale constructed into a questionnaire. Cluster, convenience and simple random sampling techniques were used to select 1,067 respondents, of which 870 were deemed fit for the study. The theories underpinning the study were the social exchange theory (SET) and social identity theory (SIT). Four hypotheses were developed and tested using hierarchical multiple regression analysis, and moderation using PROCESS macro.

Findings

The study found that employee training and employee participation had a significant positive relationship with organizational commitment, while organizational ostracism had a significant but negative relationship with organizational commitment among bank employees. The study also found that workplace ostracism moderated the relationship between organizational climate and organizational commitment The study recommended that organizational commitment requires management training their workforce, allowing employee participation in decisions, and minimizing or outrightly eradicating the practice of organizational ostracism. It is, therefore, concluded that workers place great value on training and participation in decision-making and frown at organizational ostracism.

Originality/value

This paper fills in the gaps left by the paucity of empirical investigation of the moderating role that workplace ostracism plays between employee training, employee participation and organizational commitment – a feat that is lacking in developing countries. It serves as a reminder to management to prevent or entirely eliminate workplace ostracism to allay an employee's impression of being a threat to an organization when commitment is low.

Keywords

Citation

Ametepe, P.K., Otuaga, E.U., Nnaji, C.F. and Arilesere, M.S. (2023), "The moderating role of workplace ostracism between employee training, employee participation and organizational commitment among bank employees", Arab Gulf Journal of Scientific Research, Vol. ahead-of-print No. ahead-of-print. https://doi.org/10.1108/AGJSR-11-2022-0249

Publisher

:

Emerald Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2023, Paul Kojo Ametepe, Emetomo Uchefiho Otuaga, Chinwe Felicia Nnaji and Mustapha Sina Arilesere

License

Published in Arab Gulf Journal of Scientific Research. Published by Emerald Publishing Limited. This article is published under the Creative Commons Attribution (CC BY 4.0) licence. Anyone may reproduce, distribute, translate and create derivative works of this article (for both commercial and non-commercial purposes), subject to full attribution to the original publication and authors. The full terms of this licence may be seen at http://creativecommons.org/licences/by/4.0/legalcode


1. Background of the study

According to Pardo and Alfonso (2017), an organization's success or failure is mostly determined by the people. Some people stay on to their jobs because they appreciate what they do or because their goals align with those of the organization (Chanana, 2020). Employees that are committed to their organization are seen to be willing to form and maintain long-term relationships with their employers. The latter was what forms the focus of this study. As a result, organizational commitment (OC), according to Mowday, Porter, and Steers (1982), is “a behavior in which individuals are attached to an organization and how this difficulty is dealt with.” It is the degree of an employee’s attachment and identification with the organization and his/her active participation in it (Newstrom & Davies, 2007). This suggests that OC improves performance and minimizes turnover; hence, organizational commitment is based on fulfilling employees’ wants and desires.

Investigation from the researchers revealed that employees who are not committed to their organization, according to the social exchange theory (SET), are more likely to reciprocate by exhibiting unfavorable behaviors toward the organization (Deeprose, 2018; Siwela & van der Bank, 2021). This suggests that many factors affect OC (Chanana, 2020). One such factor is employees' antiquated and outdated skills and knowledge (Matsuo, 2019). This means that to eliminate redundancies and encourage organizational commitment, training and development programs are critical and should be incorporated into the employees’ career programs to foster employee skills, knowledge and abilities (Siwela & van der Bank, 2021). In another vein, favorable employee attitudes are frequently critical to establishing organizational success (Armstrong, 2009). Employees who believe they have the power to be involved in contributing to organizational decisions have a favorable impact on the workplace (Lawler, 2008). This implies that employees that are involved are also more likely to believe that they can influence or initiate change in the organization and that the organization is change-adaptive (Gilstrap & Hart, 2020). Therefore, competent and informed workers are now more than ever acknowledged as being vital to the success of any organization because they are the lifeblood of organizations and the engine for growth and productivity (Nwaeke & Obiekwe, 2017). However, causal observation suggests that the attitude of being missed, ignored or rejected directed toward the employees can lead to a variety of counterproductive behaviors toward the business according to O'Reilly, Robinson, Berdahl, and Banki (2015). In line with the social identity theory (SIT), such behavior makes the worker feel uninvited, unselected, rejected and a loss of identity (Jose & Mampilly, 2015). Therefore, it has been shown that workplace ostracism reduces discretionary behavior and increases unproductive work behavior, and reduces organizational commitment (Zhao & Xia, 2017). The onus is on the manager to inculcate an attitude of high commitment in employees by discouraging the aforementioned attitudes to foster the manifestation of low absenteeism, more punctuality at work, being goal-oriented and relatively good productivity (Siwela & van der Bank, 2021).

In addition, research established that employee demographic qualities of employment status, gender, education level, age, marriage status, income level, religion, average marriage age, birth rate, mortality rate and average family size all affect an employee’s commitment to the organization (Lau, Lam, & Salamon, 2008). This study, therefore, controlled for demographic characteristics of age, education, marital status, gender and work experience.

Consequently, the study’s main objective is to investigate employee training, employee participation, workplace ostracism and organizational ostracism determine OC. However, the study seeks to accomplish the following specific objectives:

  1. To probe if age, education, marital status, gender and work experience affect OC among bank employees.

  2. To investigate how age, education, marital status, gender, work experience and employee training influence OC among bank employees.

  3. To examine the influence of age, education, marital status, gender, work experience employee training and employee participation on OC among bank employees.

  4. To analyze the moderating effect of workplace ostracism on the relationship between workplace climate and OC among bank employees.

This study fills the gaps left by the dearth of empirical investigation of the moderating impact that workplace ostracism has between employee participation, training and organizational commitment, which is underrepresented in developing nations.

2. Literature review

2.1 Theoretical framework

This investigation is based on two theories. These two theories are SET and SIT.

2.1.1 Social exchange theory

According to the social exchange theory (SET) developed by Emerson (1987), human resources management (HRM) practices establish a good exchange connection whereby employees repay with positive attitudes toward the company and/or employment (Marescaux, De Winne, & Sels, 2013). The primary tenet of SET, according to Homans (1958), is that good practices from the organization are seen by employees as the organization's commitment to them. Employees respond by exhibiting positive behaviors by trading their loyalty for resources and benefits from their employer. For instance, employee participation, provision of training and development, performance appraisal, rewards and promotion (Carolyne, Robert, & Ayub, 2020), job security (Hur & Perry, 2020) and grievances handling were the HRM practices identified (Zulkiflee, Faizal, Shakizah, & Durrishah, 2010) which are organizational good practices which foster employee commitment. Additionally, when workers realize that they have a voice in decision-making, their motivation level is increased, and they express their gratitude by acting in ways that advance organizational citizenship and show their commitment to the company (Behravesh, Abubakar, & Tanova, 2020). This suggests that OC is increased when employees are involved in training because they feel their professional goals and objectives are being realized. However, an ostracized employee may reciprocate by showing less commitment toward the organization because the organization fails to include, invite or acknowledge them at the workplace.

2.1.2 Social identity theory (SIT)

SIT, developed by Turner, Brown, and Tajfel (1979), explains that people do not belong to a specific group, but that they are distinct from every member of another group. This increases our sense of who we are. Individuals categorize themselves and others into distinct groups, and their social roles and interactions are determined by their membership in those groups (Jose & Mampilly, 2015). Individuals categorize themselves based on personal characteristics, which provides them with identification and leads to positive outcomes such as commitment. Personal characteristics highlighted include organizational membership, gender, marital status, age, educational level, job experience, employment position and self-efficacy (Suman & Srivastava, 2012). Accordingly, most people frequently categorize themselves and others as belonging to in-groups and out-groups, according to some prominent social categories (Cruwys, Stevens, & Greenaway, 2020; Turner et al., 1979). Several scholars explained that SIT is concerned with a person's sense of self in relation to the group or organization to which they belong (Jose & Mampilly, 2015). Applying this theory to this study implies that bankers may experience a sense of belonging among their peers as a result of their affiliation with that group. Employees may find an association in their ethnicity, gender, education, work experience, religion, sports and so forth that helps them form their identity. However, when employees are ostracized, they reciprocate by dissociating themselves from being members of such organizations where they experience such ostracism (Breidenthal, Liu, Bai, & Mao, 2020). Hence, a committed employee identifies with the organization by showing loyalty to the same.

2.2 Conceptual framework

2.2.1 Organizational commitment (OC)

OC has been explored and theorized in various ways (Kim & Beehr, 2020). According to Kanter (1968), OC is the social actors' readiness to be dedicated and to invest allegiance in the organization. OC was classified into attitudinal commitment and behavioral commitment (Mowday et al., 1982; Rawashdeh, Elayan, Shamout, & Hamouche, 2022). Attitudinal commitment suggests a person's identification with the goals of the organization and his/her readiness to work toward achieving those goals. However, for behavioral commitment, employees are perceived to be more loyal to certain organizational practices than the whole organization (Hayes, Oltman, Kaylor, & Belgudri, 2020). Compliance, identification and internalization are the three types of commitment identified by O'Reilly and Chatman (1986). Morrow (1983) found more than 25 different approaches to thinking about and measuring commitment to the organization. Moreover, the OC scale’s factor structure was regarded as the industry standard for organizational commitment (Liu, Wang, & Liang, 2020; Sahoo & Sia, 2015). For instance, Meyer and Allen (1997) discovered three common characteristics in various approaches to understanding OC: affective attachment, continuance commitment and normative commitment. These three types of commitment are intertwined, and employees may be exposed to all three at varying degrees. The association between continuance commitment and performance measures, on the other hand, has been either negative or nonexistent. The normative commitment was moderately associated with outcome variables in the majority of research (Meyer & Allen, 1997). However, several investigators discovered contradictions over this three-factor model of organizational commitment (Meyer, Stanley, Herscovitch, & Topolnytsky, 2002; McGee & Ford, 1987). According to Mete, Sökmen, and Biyik (2016), OC dimensions were not clearly identifiable because there was no agreement among researchers as to what constitutes the dimensions of OC. Hence, several research studies (Angle & Perry, 1983; Galanter, 1980; Staw & Ross, 1978; Steers, 1977) have looked into how people become committed or how organizational and personal factors affect this process. Other research studies have looked into how OC affects attitudes, behaviors, motivation and involvement, as well as loyalty and positive affect (Loan, 2020; O'Reilly & Chatman, 1986) and abiding by organizational rules (Angle & Perry, 1981; Horn, Katerberg, & Hulin, 1979). In view of the foregoing facts, the current research focuses on the conceptualization of commitment as explained by Mowday et al. (1982), which has a significant impact on desired organizational results.

2.2.2 Demographic characteristics and organizational commitment

Many scholars have investigated the concept of OC and showed that numerous demographic factors have a substantial impact on OC (Mannheim, Baruch, & Tal, 1997; Mathieu & Zajac, 1990). Previous academics have frequently looked at a variety of demographic characteristics, including age, gender, educational attainment and experience, to examine how these factors affect OC. In line with this, Mathieu and Zajac (1990) revealed that highly educated workers exhibit lower levels of commitment. Likewise, Azeem (2010) confirmed that OC is significantly correlated with age and job experience. In the opinions of Mathieu and Zajac (1990), women had higher levels of OC than men. Other research has shown that OC is significantly predicted by experience and age (Azeem, 2010). Significant relationships existed between organizational commitment and age, education and marital status (Kwon & Banks, 2004; Mathieu & Zajac, 1990). These demographic qualities affect the commitment of employees toward the organization, and as a result, age, education, marital status, gender and work experience were controlled for. Hence, the study hypothesized that:

H1.

Age, education, marital status, gender and work experience have a significant effect on organizational commitment among bank employees.

2.2.3 Employee training and organizational commitment

Buckley and Caple (2009) stated that training is a systematic process intended at supporting employees in enhancing their knowledge and abilities, as well as fostering constructive behavior, through a learning experience aimed at assisting employees in achieving improved performance. Employees benefit from training (Jun, Cai, & Shin, 2006), by increasing their knowledge, abilities, and talents, becoming better team members and advancing their careers. In the Coimbatore district, Anitha and Kumar (2016) conducted a study on how training influences OC in the insurance industry, concluding that employee training encouraged OC. Similarly, Nthiga's (2016) study at the Kenyan Ministry of Energy and Petroleum on the relationship between employee training and OC showed a positive correlation between the two constructs. In addition, Obenge et al. (2014) probed how staff training affects OC in relation to strategic plan implementation in Kisii County public secondary schools and found that training has enhanced participants’ dedication to work and, as a result, the implementation of strategic plans. In another study involving a discount house in Nigeria, Ajibade and Ayinla (2014) found that training is positively linked with OC. In their study of the relationship between training and OC, Owoyemi, Oyelere, Elegbede, and Gbajumo-Sheriff (2011) discovered that training is favorably and highly correlated with OC. These data demonstrated that employee training may be a major determinant of OC in a variety of settings. It has been established that employees reciprocate by engaging in desirable work-related behaviors when firms invest in individual training programs (Haas & Deseran, 1981; Moorman, Blakely, & Niehoff, 1998). Hence, the study hypothesized that:

H2.

Age, education, marital status, gender, work experience and employee training have a significant effect on OC among bank employees.

2.2.4 Employee participation and organizational commitment

Employee engagement was revolutionized by the works of McGregor (1957) and Herzberg and Howe (1959) who posited that effective participation of employees, embracing employee engagement as a philosophical requirement, as well as establishing that additional adjustment to other systems in the organization can serve and support the participation process (Gross, 2021). Employee participation is an important feature of HRM (Ozkeser, 2019). More participation, according to Siwela and van der Bank (2021) and Goodijk and Sorge (2009), diminishes employee disengagement with the company, and hence amplifies commitment. Employee participation in decision-making has long been advocated by management researchers to improve high-performance management practices and organizational success (Ozkeser, 2019). Furthermore, Etzion (1979) claims that employee participation is a long-standing concept that is continually being revived in organizations, as well as a phenomenon that has gained significance among new generations of practitioners around the world. Likewise, Marchington, Goodman, Wilkinson, and Ackers (1992) stated that employees' participation in decision-making enhances communication with them, fosters OC and increases contributions to the companies. In addition, Nwachukwu (2006) opined that employee participation promotes workers' commitment and indirectly ensures the survival of any intended change. According to Yu, Yen, Barnes, and Huang (2019), employees who are actively involved in creating options tend to be happier, motivated and committed to their organization. Consequently, the study hypothesized that:

H3.

Age, education, marital status, gender, work experience, employee training and employee participation significantly affect OC among bank employees.

2.2.5 The role of workplace ostracism

One of the most important aspects of the corporate environment that directly influences employee behavior is the organizational climate (Berberoglu, 2018). The definition of organizational climate, according to Mullins (2010), is “how it feels to work here.” The organizational climate for this study includes how the staff members perceive their training as well as their ability to participate in decision-making. Guinot, Monfort, and Chiva (2021) argued that employees' perceptions of the climate in their workplace may facilitate or hinder employee commitment. Moreover, Leung, Wu, Chen, and Young (2011) opined that ostracized employees demonstrate fewer civic behaviors, which reduces overall OC.

It is worthy of note that workplace ostracism denotes passive interpersonal maltreatment that involves the exclusion of target employees from work both in the short-term and long-term (Sharma & Dhar, 2021; Williams & Sommer, 1997). For instance, ignoring one’s greetings, emails or being ruled out to attend meetings for projects to which one is entitled discourages OC (Harvey, Moeller, Kiessling, & Dabić, 2018). Ostracism, according to Choi (2020), refers to when employees feel ignored by their colleagues at work. Robinson, Meyer, and Kimeldorf (2013) posited that there has been little research on employees witnessing ostracism and that there is no clear definition of the construct in the literature. Therefore, social context is a critical component of being ignored or avoided, because an exclusionary occurrence is seen as dependent on the social environment where it occurs (Robinson et al., 2013). As a result, understanding the conceptual bounds of ostracism, as well as its distinction from comparable conceptions, is critical.

The study by O’Reilly et al. (2015) found a negative link between workplace ostracism and extra-role behavior, with commitment playing a somewhat moderating function. Employees who score low on the workplace ostracism scale may assert that they are treated as insiders and remain unfaithful to their organizations, according to O'Reilly et al. (2015). This aligns with research by Sahoo, Sia, Mishra, and Wilson (2022) and Mao, Liu, Jiang, and Zhang (2018), which explained that ostracism can lead to unfavorable work attitudes and poorer levels of psychological capital, low levels of job satisfaction, psychological well-being and workplace engagement. However, Kwan, Zhang, Liu, and Lee (2018) concluded with evidence from their studies that ostracized workers are less likely to suffer from low levels of commitment. This suggests that others are less attentive to their wants and feelings, and they feel that their existence is unimportant to the organization. As a result, they are more likely to put forth less effort at work. Hence, it was hypothesized that (see Figure 1).

H4.

Workplace ostracism moderates the relationship between workplace climate and OC among bank employees.

2.3 Conceptual model for the study

3. Methods

3.1 Research design

The study employed the use of descriptive survey design combined with the use of cross-sectional survey method. Descriptive design was deemed acceptable because the major goal was to determine whether or not there was a viable contribution after introducing the independent variables one after the other and to illustrate how the elements aided the inquiry (Asika, 1999; Quinlan, 2011). It is also deemed appropriate because it shows at a point in time how a specific phenomenon affects the population as well as how to get the sample appropriate for the study. Another reason for using a descriptive design by employing a cross-sectional survey is to have a glimpse of certain features of the sample and to know whether such features affect the whole population (Saunders, Lewis, & Thornhill, 2016). A 5-point Likert-scale structured questionnaire was used to collect data. The use of a questionnaire is because it allows the researcher to get replies in a more uniform and objective manner (Bird, 2009).

3.2 Population

The target population consisted of all employees of the 23 banks in Lagos, Nigeria, that were listed on the Nigerian Stock Exchange and had survived the Central Bank of Nigeria's recapitalization policy in 2005. Nigeria was chosen because “it is the most populous black nation in the world” (Ametepe, Banwo, & Arilesere, 2022, ahead-of-print), and Lagos was chosen because it doubles as the former capital of Nigeria and is the commercial center of the country (Wahab, 2008). However, because bank employees in Nigeria have inter- and intra-employment mobility, the overall number of bank employees cannot be ascertained when compiling this study. Therefore, the population was considered infinite.

3.3 Sampling procedure and sample size

The study used a multistage sampling technique. Firstly, the banks were identified using cluster sampling because the banks were clustered in the same business district area. Secondly, 12 banks out of 23 banks were selected using convenience sampling as justified by Levy and Stanley (2008) who opined that convenient sampling is at the discretion of the researcher. Convenience sampling was justified because of the proximity and accessibility. Lastly, simple random sampling was used to select 1067 respondents after using Cochran's (1963) formulae to derive the sample size (Babbie, 2013). However, the researchers used their discretion to round up the figure to 1,068 to make up for 89 respondents in each of the 12 banks. This is considered appropriate because the population is large and infinite. Out of this figure, 870 questionnaires were collated, sorted and considered valid for the data analysis. This amounted to 81.5% of the total distributed questionnaires.

n=[Z*Z*p*q]/[e*e]where
Z = 1.96 at a confidence level of 95% (5% error)
  • p = 0.5, q = (1-p) = 1- 0.5 = 0.5

  • e = level of precision = 0.03.

Hence, n = 1.96*1.96*0.5*0.5/0.03*0.03 = 1067.

3.4 Instrumentation

The structured questionnaire had two sections: section A and section B. The items that measured respondents’ sociodemographic data such as age, education, marital status, gender and work experience were in section A. Section B consisted of items that measured the study variables toward achieving the study’s purpose.

Employee training and employee participation were measured by items retrieved from the organizational climate scale developed and validated by Patterson et al. (2005). Employee training was measured with a 4 item scale. A sample item is: “People are strongly encouraged to develop their skills; while employee participation was measured with 6 items scale. A sample item is: “Management involves people when decisions are made that affect them.” The instruments were both shown to be reliable given Cronbach’s alpha values of 0.83 and 0.87, respectively.

Organizational ostracism was measured with 10-item scale developed by Ferris, Brown, Berry, and Lian (2008), with a coefficient alpha reliability value of 0.945. Sample items are: “My greetings have gone unanswered at work” and “Others avoided me at work.”

Organizational commitment was measured by a 15-item scale developed by Mowday, Steers, and Porter’s (1979) and the sample items are: “I feel very little loyalty to this business” and “I am proud to tell others that I am part of this business.” The scale has a coefficient reliable alpha reliability of 0.93.

The composite reliability of the instrument was 0.877, which is acceptable considering the fact that it was above the benchmark value of 0.75 (Pallant, 2007). All measures were on a 5-point Likert scale, where 1 = strongly disagree and 5 = strongly agree.

The questionnaire was distributed at different times of the day and at various departments of the banks to eliminate common method bias.

3.5 Validity and reliability

To ensure the study instrument’s validity and reliability, a number of steps were taken. Experts’ opinions were sought for the validity of the questionnaire. After a thorough review, consideration and deleting of irrelevant items on the questionnaire, it was considered valid. The Cronbach’s alpha reliability value of the questionnaire was 0.877 which, according to Sekaran and Bougie (2016), is adequate for a survey of this magnitude. The Cronbach’s alpha value for each corresponding section of the question in the questionnaire was at all high, that is above 0.7 (Heyland, Pope, Jiang, & Day, 2021).

3.6 Data analysis

The data were analyzed using bivariate correlation and hierarchical regression with the help of Statistical Packages for Social Science (SPSS) version 26. Additionally, a four-stage hierarchical regression analysis using enter method (Darren & Paul, 2012) was used to establish the cause-and-effect relationship between the variables. The justification for using hierarchical regression is to determine the variability accounted for by the introduction of each variable by measuring the contribution in variability to OC. However, PROCESS macro was employed to determine if organizational ostracism moderates the link between employee training, employee participation and OC. Moreover, assumptions of sampling residuals from error in the predictors; autocorrelation (Durbin Watson = 0.382); linearity, confirmed by scattered plot, no multicollinearity in the data (Coakes and Clarke, 2005), and homoscedasticity (Hair, Black, Babin, & Anderson, 2014) were all met.

4. Results

Table 1 shows the demographic representation of the respondents of this study. For age, results indicated that 497 (57.1%) of the respondents of the study fall within the age range 31–40 years, 156 (17.9) fall within the age range 21–30 years, 148 (17.1%) fall within the age range 41–50 years and 69 (7.9%) were above 51 years. The mean and modal age range was 31-40 years. On the part of gender, 593 (68.2%) of the respondents were male, while 277 (31.8%) were female. On marital status, 571 (65.2%) of the respondents were married, 144 (16.6%) were single, 149 (17.2%) of the respondents were widowed and 6 (0.6%) were divorced. For educational qualification, 572 (65.7%) of the respondents were HND/B.Sc. holders, and 132 (15.2%) were diploma holders. In all, 112 (12.9%) were M. Sc./MBA/equivalent holders and 54 (6.2%) were Ph.D. holders. The work experience of respondents showed that 577 (66.3%) had work experience between 6–10 years, while 138 (15.9%) had 11–15 years of work experience.

4.1 Test of hypotheses

Table 2 shows that employee training and OC were directly related, r = 0.343, p < 0.01). Likewise, employee participation was positively related to OC (r = 0.348, p < 0.01). However, workplace ostracism showed a significant negative relationship with OC (r = −0.323, p < 0.01). Correlation analysis, however, does not connote causation. Therefore, to achieve the objectives of the study, the study further conducted regression analysis as listed below.

Table 3 shows a three-stage hierarchical multiple regression analysis conducted to explore the relationship between the independent variables (age, education, marital status, gender, work experience, employee training and employee participation) against OC (dependent variable). From model 1, the result depicted that the relationship between age, education, marital status, gender and work experience gave an R2 (0.469) that showed that 46.9% variability in OC was accounted for by the demographic characteristics. The same model 1 showed that age, education, marital status, gender and work experience contributed significantly to the fitness of the regression model. This was indicated by F (5, 864) = 39.558, p < 0.05, as shown in Table 4. The F-change value of p = 0.000 also showed that the model was significant. Moreover, in Table 5, the contributions of each of the variables revealed that the only factor significantly influencing OC was work experience, with values as β = −0.399, t = −12.035, p = 0.000. Given the foregoing, it can be inferred that work experience is an important element in the consideration of OC. Other demographic characteristics considered, however, did not contribute significantly to OC among bank employees. In conclusion, model 1 collectively and significantly contributed 46.9% to OC among bank employees, while other factors that could explain OC are not included in these five factors. This is, therefore, enough reason, to accept H1. The study, thus, concluded that age, education, marital status, gender and work experience have a significant relationship with OC among bank employees.

From Table 3, model 2 showed R2 = 0.564, which indicated the variability in OC accounted for by age, education, marital status, gender, work experience and employee training. An R2 change given as 9.5% showed the variance in OC brought about by employee training, and it was significant. The model fit shown by F (6, 863) = 36.778, p < 0.000, in Table 4, indicated that the model was a good fit. More so, the F-change value, p = 0.000, also showed that the model was significant. The contributions of each of the predictor variables in Table 5 showed that work experience, marital status and employee training all significantly contributed to OC. Thus marital status (β = 0.085, T = 2.505, p = 0.012), work experience (β = −0.304, T = −7.718, p = 0.000) and employee training (β = 0.166, T = 4.336, p = 0.000) were significant, implying that they play very important roles in determining OC. However, gender (β = −0.304, T = −7.718, p = 0.000), age (β = −0.304, T = −7.718, p = 0.000) and education (β = −0.304, T = −7.718, p = 0.000) did not significantly contribute to OC. As noted in Table 3, model 2 collectively and significantly contributed 56.4% variability to OC. This means that other factors that could explain the outcome variables are not included in these six factors, and as a result, there is, therefore, sufficient justification to accept H2 and conclude that age, education, marital status, gender, work experience and employee training have a significant impact with OC among bank employees.

Adding stage 3 to the regression model, there was an additional value of R2 = 0.64 which indicated the variability in OC accounted for by age, education, marital status, gender, work experience, employee training and employee participation. R2 change = 7.6% as shown in Table 3, meaning that out of the 7.6% variability accounted for by employee participation in OC. The same model 3 revealed that age, education, marital status, gender, work experience, employee training and employee participation significantly contributed to the model fit as indicated by F (7, 862) = 46.161, p < 0.05, in Table 4. The F-change value, p = 0.000, also showed that the model was significant. Moreover, in Table 5, the contributions of each of the variables showed that work experience, employee training and employee participation in decision-making significantly contributed to OC with (β = −0.262, t = −6.893, p = 0.000.), (β = 0.151, t = 4.119, p = 0.000), (β = 0.270, t = 9.045, p = 0.000), respectively. This showed that their training, as well as participation in decision-making, is a sine qua non to OC. Other demographic characteristics considered, however, did not contribute significantly to OC among bank employees: gender (β = 0.029, T = 0.943, p = 0.346), marital status (β = 0.058, T = 1.777, p = 0.076), age (β = −0.055, T = −1.828, p = 0.068) and education (β = −0.007, T = −0.235, p = 0.814). In conclusion, model 3 collectively and significantly contributed 64% to OC, while other factors that could explain the OC are not included in these seven factors. This is, therefore, sufficient justification to accept H3, and conclude that age, education, marital status, gender, work experience, employee training and employee participation have a significant relationship with OC.

Tables 6 and 7 showed the regression output. After centering workplace climate (employee training and employee participation) and workplace ostracism and computing the workplace climate–workplace ostracism interaction term (Aiken and West, 1991), the two predictors and the interaction were entered into the regression model using PROCESS macro. Results showed that workplace ostracism (B = −0.527, SE = 0.055, p < 0.001) and workplace climate (B = 0.601, SE = 0.051, p < 0.001) were both associated with OC. The interaction between workplace climate and workplace ostracism was also significant (B = −0.704, SE = 0.141, p < 0.001), suggesting that the effect of workplace climate on OC depended on workplace ostracism. Together, the variables accounted for 38.02% of the variability in OC, R2 = 0.380, F (3,316) = 64.619, p < 0.001. Simple slopes for the association between workplace climate and OC were tested for low (−1 SD below the mean), moderate (mean) and high (+1 SD above the mean) levels of workplace ostracism. Each of the simple slope tests revealed a significant positive association between workplace climate and OC; however, the organizational climate was more strongly associated with OC for low levels (β = 0.827, SE = 0.075, p < 0.001) than for moderate (B = 0.601, SE = 0.051, p < 0.001) or high levels (β = 0.376, SE = 0.060, p = 0.001) of workplace ostracism. The simple plots for the interaction are shown in Figure 2.

5. Discussion

The purpose of this study is to determine the influence of employee training, employee participation and workplace ostracism on OC among bank employees. The study took a toll to review and control for demographic variables which affect OC. The controlled variables were gender, marital status, age, education and work experience (Benard & Victor, 2013; Parvin, Jinrong, & Rahman, 2012). From model 1 through model 5, work experience has a consistently significant effect on OC. Moreover, the marital status of the respondents had a significant impact on OC only in model 2. This finding is consistent with the opinions of Lau et al. (2008) who averred that demographic factors had a substantial impact on employee job satisfaction and firm performance, and by extension OC. Given the above, the respondents submitted that work experience in the organization determined OC.

While the study controlled for the demographic variables in model 1, the findings established significant variability accounted for by the step-by-step introduction of employee training, employee participation and workplace ostracism when explaining OC in model 2, model 3 and model 4.

The result in model 2 implies that employee training significantly contributed to the OC of employees in the banking industry. This implies that banks invested in the development of their employees and see their training as growing in their career path; by implication, and using the SET, the bank employees reciprocate by staying committed to the organization. The findings of this study fall in line with what was obtainable in the literature. The findings about employee training support the submissions of Obenge et al. (2014), Nthiga (2016) and Ajibade and Ayinla (2014), who all discovered that employee training brought about enhanced OC in the same manner,

In model 3, the findings revealed there is a link between employee participation and OC. The result is not far-fetched as bank employees in this study revealed that they were involved in the decisions that surround the organization, hence their show of commitment toward the organization. This is in line with the conclusions of Siwela and van der Bank (2021) and Hamid, Rahid, and Ab Hamid (2020) who posited that employee engagement in workplace activities enhances organizational citizenship behaviors.

Aside from the aforementioned argument, the findings revealed a considerable negative link between workplace ostracism and OC in model 4, implying that bank employees detest being ignored, rejected, excluded and avoided. Consequently, being excluded from a group may discourage an employee from contributing their portion to uplifting their organization. This position supports the submission of Chang et al. (2021) and Li and Zhang (2019), and oppose the assertion of Le, Peng, and Gao (2013).

Lastly, this study’s findings showed that workplace ostracism moderated the link between workplace climate and OC among bank employees in Lagos metropolis. The result showed that when workplace ostracism is low, the relationship between workplace climate and OC tends to be high, while the opposite happens when workplace ostracism is high. This means that when employees are ostracized, they develop some level of distrust either toward their colleagues or toward the organization. This is not far-fetched as employees are human beings, and following the theory of human needs by Abraham Maslow, human beings need to belong, to maintain their self-esteem and have a meaningful existence (Anjum et al., 2019). So it is not out of place for employees to react by not being committed to their organization even though the organization provides training and engages them as much as possible in decision-making activities.

6. Conclusions and recommendations

The purpose of this study is to investigate workplace climate and OC and the moderating effect of workplace ostracism. Workplace climate was measured by employee training and employee participation in decision-making. The study was able to fulfill its purpose by discovering that the step-by-step introduction of the independent variables contributed a significant amount of variability in explaining OC, and thus these variables are very important determinants of OC. Furthermore, the study was able to establish that workplace ostracism moderated the relationship between workplace climate and OC. That is, as workplace ostracism reduces, organizational commitment becomes more pronounced. The study filled the gap identified by being the first to carry out a study of this nature in an emerging economy like Nigeria. Therefore, the study came up with the following recommendations:

  1. Employee training should be enhanced to increase OC among employees in different organizations as established in the literature.

  2. Employee participation should be encouraged to foster OC.

  3. Bank management should come up with a policy that will minimize or outrightly eradicate organizational ostracism to discourage it at the place of work, the reason being that high workplace ostracism reduces OC in employees.

7. Theoretical and practical implications

The study's underlying theories received validation. The study's findings were consistent with the SET, bolstering the idea that healthy social ties and exchanges lead to equitable trade between two parties. Employee involvement in decision-making, for instance, foresees changes in workers' accountability, motivation and desire to remain in their current position. Employee training makes a positive, considerable impact on the employees' incentive to stick with the company. The study also demonstrated an inverse relationship between workplace climate and OC, confirming the fact that OC in employees is compromised when they are not recognized by their coworkers or superiors. This study provided additional support for the SIT in that an ostracized employee feels a loss of identity in their organization, and as a result, reduces their commitment to their banks. Giving employees a feeling of empowerment, such as the freedom to make some of their own decisions, and employee training can boost their motivation and increase the worker’s sense of identity in their organization and make them remain more committed.

This study will guide policymakers and leaders in organizations alike to set up open channels and complaint mechanisms to encourage workers to present insightful thoughts and opinions to their superiors. It will be helpful for bank management to respond to employees’ ideas, recommendations and complaints of employees in a fair manner. It will also encourage them to actively adopt the right strategy when dealing with workplace ostracism and seek support and assistance through the appropriate channels.

8. Suggestions for further research

The research is restricted to the banking sector. Further studies should explore other sectors. This study is restricted to a sample of 870 employees, but can be expanded. In addition to this, as this study examined the use of cross-sectional design, future research might use longitudinal studies to examine behavior change over time. Additional research could also look into additional aspects of workplace climate that were not covered in this study. Finally, more research might examine the mediating impact of workplace ostracism or employ another variable as a moderator.

Figures

Flow diagram of the relationship between employee training, employee participation and organizational commitment with the mediating role of workplace ostracism

Figure 1

Flow diagram of the relationship between employee training, employee participation and organizational commitment with the mediating role of workplace ostracism

Workplace ostracism as the moderator of the association between workplace climate and organizational commitment

Figure 2

Workplace ostracism as the moderator of the association between workplace climate and organizational commitment

Demographic representation of the respondents of the study

ProfileFrequencyPercentage (%)
Ages
21–3015617.9
31–4049757.1
41–5014817.1
51 years and above697.9
Total870100.0
Gender
Male59368.2
Female27731.8
Total870100.0
Marital Status
Single14416.6
Married57165.6
Widow(er)14917.2
Divorced60.6
Total870100.0
Educational qualification
Diploma13215.2
HND/B.Sc.57265.7
MSc. /MBA / Equivalent11212.9
Ph.D.546.2
Total870100.0
Work experience
0–5 years596.8
6–10 years57766.3
11–15 years13815.9
16 years and above9611.0
Total870100.0

Source(s): Field Survey, 2022

Correlation Matrix of the study variables

FactorMeanSDCR123
EMPC3.1960.3770.877
EMTRA3.0920.5550.8300.343
EMPA2.5670.3260.8700.3480.124
WRKOSTR4.3390.3150.945−0.3230.0890.052

Note(s): **p < 0.01. SD: standard deviation; CR: composite reliability

Source(s): Field Survey, 2022

Hierarchical regression model summary

ModelRR2Adjusted R2R2 changeF ChangeSig.
10.6850.4690.4610.46939.5580.000
20.7510.5640.5560.09518.8040.000
30.8000.6400.6320.07681.8130.000

Source(s): Field Survey, 2022

ANOVA

ANOVAModelSum of squaredfMean squareFSig.
1Regression23.05454.61139.5580.000
Residual100.7078640.117
Total123.761869
2Regression25.20264.20036.7780.000
Residual98.5598630.114
Total123.761869
3Regression33.74574.82146.1610.000
Residual90.0168620.104
Total123.761869

Note(s): aDependent variable: organizational commitment (p < 0.05). bPredictors (constant), gender, marital status, age, education, work experience. cPredictors (constant), gender, marital status, age, education, work experience, employee training. dPredictors (constant), gender, marital status, age, education, work experience, employee training, employee participation

Source(s): Field study, 2022

Summary of hierarchical regression of three predicting variables on organizational commitment

VariablesBSE (Std error)BetaTSig.
Stage 1
Gender0.0280.0920.0321.0000.318
Marital status0.0360.0280.0571.6870.092
Age−0.0280.021−0.057−1.7720.077
Education0.0010.0160.0010.0400.968
Work experience−0.1990.020−0.399−12.0350.000
Stage 2
Gender0.0110.0280.0130.4010.688
Marital status0.0530.0210.0852.5050.012
Age−0.0270.016−0.054−1.7080.088
Education−0.0120.020−0.019−0.6060.545
Work experience−0.1520.020−0.304−7.7180.000
EMTRA0.1130.0260.1664.3360.000
Stage 3
Gender0.0250.0270.0290.9430.346
Marital status0.0360.0200.0581.7770.076
Age−0.0280.015−0.055−1.8280.068
Education0.0050.020−0.007−0.2350.814
Work experience−0.1310.019−0.262−6.8930.000
EMTRA0.1020.0250.1514.1190.000
EMPAR0.3120.0350.2709.0450.000

Note(s): Dependent variable: organizational commitment (p < 0.05). Also note: EMTRA: employee training; EMPAR: employee participation

Source(s): Field survey, 2022

The moderating effects of organizational ostracism using Haye's PROCESS macro

Variable/effectCoeff.SEtp95%Confidence interval
Constant3.2160.016193.290.0723.1833.249
(WRKCL)0.6010.05111.8060.0000.5010.702
WRKOSRT−0.5270.055−9.5990.000−0.635−0.419
Int_1−0.7040.1414.9950.000−0.981−0.427

Note(s): WRKCL: workplace climate (employee training and employee participation), WRKOSTR: workplace ostracism

Source(s): Field survey, 2022

Simple slopes for the association between workplace climate and organizational commitment

Centered WRKCLCoeff.SEtp95%Confidence interval
−0.3200.8270.07511.0280.0000.6790.974
0.0000.6010.05111.8060.0000.5010.702
0.3200.3710.0606.2210.0000.2570.494

Note(s): WRKCL: workplace climate (employee training and employee participation)

Source(s): Field survey, 2022

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Further reading

Asika, N. (1991). Research methodology in the behavioural sciences. Lagos: Longman Nigeria Plc.

Corresponding author

Paul Kojo Ametepe can be contacted at: aganatop@gmail.com

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