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Relevance of organisational support on academics’ affective commitment and turnover intentions

Michael Esop (Department of Psychology, University of Papua New Guinea, Port Moresby, Papua New Guinea)
Carolyn Timms (Department of Psychology, College of Healthcare Sciences, James Cook University, Cairns, Australia)

Journal of Applied Research in Higher Education

ISSN: 2050-7003

Article publication date: 25 January 2019

Issue publication date: 25 January 2019

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Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to provide an indication as to the motivation of people to remain in academic positions where substantial economic inequity is present and more favourable alternative employment is possible. This is important for the retention of qualified academic staff in Papua New Guinea (PNG) and for the supply of well-educated workers in this developing country.

Design/methodology/approach

The authors surveyed 94 national (indigenous) academic staff at a prominent PNG university for their perceptions of organisational justice and management support, with an aim determining if these variables were related to workers’ affective commitment (AC) and intentions to turnover. The surveyed staff members are all employed on an inequitable basis in that their salaries and living conditions are inferior to those of equally qualified expatriate academic staff.

Findings

The research found that staff members’ emotional connection (affective commitment (AC)) to their work was predicted by organisational support, whereas lack of organisational support predicted academic staff turnover.

Practical implications

Universities must provide supportive environments to enable staff to remain focussed and committed in order to maintain high morale and reduce turnover in academic staff.

Originality/value

Previous research on this topic has emphasised the economic inequity faced by national academic staff members in PNG’s high education institutions. The current research applies motivation theory to people experiencing this obvious inequity. It finds that an environment where workers experience management support and a sense of intrinsic reward can effectively influence their intention to remain at their place of work as well as their emotional connection to their institution and their students.

Keywords

Citation

Esop, M. and Timms, C. (2019), "Relevance of organisational support on academics’ affective commitment and turnover intentions", Journal of Applied Research in Higher Education, Vol. 11 No. 1, pp. 118-128. https://doi.org/10.1108/JARHE-07-2018-0126

Publisher

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Emerald Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2019, Emerald Publishing Limited