The relationship among job characteristics organizational commitment and employee turnover intentions: A reciprocation perspective

Arfat Ahmad (Department of Commerce and Management Studies, Govt. Degree College, Baramulla, India)

Journal of Work-Applied Management

ISSN: 2205-2062

Publication date: 4 June 2018

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to investigate the underlying reciprocity mechanism which governs the relationship between employer and employee at their workplaces in a perspective whereby intrinsic and extrinsic factors of job satisfaction are considered as proxy to organizational offerings, while multi overall job satisfaction and dimensional organizational commitment as employee’ attitudinal reaction to the organizational offerings. Under the aforementioned notion, the present study intends to examine the influence of job characteristics on employees’ attitudes, such as, job satisfaction, organizational commitment and employee’ turnover intentions as psychological response to job characteristics. In a way, the study attempts to insight into how employee’ reciprocate to the perceived obligation toward its organization. The study also aims to supplement the empirical evidence about the competing power of intrinsic and extrinsic factors of job in determining the job satisfaction. Although various studies exhibit positive relationship between job satisfaction and organizational commitment has been consistently reported. However, for the managerial implication, the identification of employee physiological and psychological needs to gauge the understanding of mechanism by which of employee’ reacts to its environment and develop attitude toward their job and organization is imperative. In this context, this study makes a humble attempt to clear the relationships in the perspective of reciprocation between organization and its employees. Thus, this study attempts to illustrate how feeling a need to reciprocate, those who experienced strong satisfaction with job characteristics appear to have had a sense of moral duty to the organization can be helpful in understanding the processes by which organizational inducements exert their influence on other employee attitudes and behaviors. Evidently, while the link between employees’ satisfaction with their job and high organizational commitment, on the one hand, and low intentions to leave on the other is fairly straightforward, yet there in need to study these variables as exogenous and endogenous to inquire about their causation. Also, the available present literature on the understudy concern genuinely lacks adequate empirical material about the competing power of intrinsic and extrinsic factors of job in determining the job satisfaction as such some author hold that intrinsic characteristic of job better predict job satisfaction while as another set of behavioral scientists found extrinsic job characteristics as prime determinant of job satisfaction compare to the intrinsic worth of their jobs. The present study was conducted in the state of depressed economy where unemployment rate is as high as 194 percent it was found interesting to investigate the about the competing power of intrinsic and extrinsic factors of job in determining the job satisfaction. The present study also attempts to supplement the empirical evidence in this direction.

Design/methodology/approach

Since the study use the tenets of situational theories of employee’ attitude which assume that employee’ attitude results from the psychological evaluation of one’s job characteristics or other aspects of the environment in the organization; therefore, the study integrates the job characteristics as the organizational offerings to its employee and employees attitude like job satisfaction, organizational commitment and employee’ turnover intentions as reciprocity reaction to the organizational offerings. The structural equation model was used to frames the intricacy job characteristics, job satisfaction and organizational commitment and employee turnover intentions. Ten job characteristics were identified with which employees experience at the workplace as organizational offerings. These include salary, recognition, co-workers, supervision, organizational policies, promotion, working condition, task requirement, job security and nature of work. Subsequently, these identified facets were divided into intrinsic and extrinsic factors of job satisfaction, and were considering as proxy to the organizational offerings to its employees. These job characteristics were identified during in-depth interviews and discussions with the respondents, while overall job satisfaction, organizational commitment and employees’ turnover intentions were considered as employee’s psychological reactions to the organizational offerings. The sample consists of 654 hospital employees, working at the different hospital across state. In order to ensure the representation of the entire human capital, employees working under different levels of occupational status and different sectors of economy were included in the for the purpose of data collection. The number of employees from each hospital has been selected through proportionate method. Employees from each hospital were selected on the basis of the chit method. Measurement tools Questionnaire method was used to collect the data for the present study. A five-point likert type scale was used for the sake of maintaining uniformity in measuring the variables. All the variables were measured with multiple-item scales, questionnaire item used to measure different constructs in this study are derived from the previously established studies. As such, multidimensional organizational commitment construct was measured using items drawn from Meyer and Allen (1991) scale. Job characteristics and employee’ turnover intentions scale was adapted from the study conducted by Ali Muhammad et al. (2008). The instrument used for the present study has universal application. Therefore the results thus produce are of universal significance. The reliability and validity of measurement tools for the study was established by the confirmatory factor analysis (CFA).

Findings

The findings from the study reveal employees’ subjective evaluation to the intrinsic and extrinsic factors of job contribute to the formation of their reciprocal perspective of psychological attitude toward its job and organization characterized as their job satisfaction and organizational commitment. As such, better evaluation of job content and job context by the employees leads to the sense of obligation and commitment toward the organization, hence reduces their intentions to discord organizational membership. The findings also reveal that employees tend to incline their job satisfaction more toward the extrinsic worth of job than the intrinsic worth. While as both, job satisfaction and organizational commitment, explains relatively equal variation in the employees’ turnover intentions. The relatively strong correlation of extrinsic characteristics of job could be attributed to the fact that professionals generally have limited control over extrinsic factors and have high degree of control over intrinsic elements. Therefore, their perceptions of the job are particularly dependent on the degree of satisfaction with the extrinsic factors (Pearson and Seiler, 1983).

Originality/value

Although there are various studies manifested the relationship between job satisfaction, organizational commitment and employee turnover intentions, for all that, the present work is an attempt to deem these relationships in a different panorama to bring more insight in the subject of organizational behavior. In this study, the relationship among the job characteristics, job satisfaction, organizational commitment and employee’ turnover intentions were considered in a perspective of reciprocity norms. The study opens new horizons to the researchers across the globe, whereby organizational and job characteristics are considered as catalyst for the employee’ attitude and can be study and analyze in a functional relationship model. A new regime of paradigm may investigate the functional relationship between employer offerings as an input and employee attitudes as an output, with more emphasis on the organizational equilibrium. Hence, study encompass the managerial implication by gauging the understanding of mechanism by which of employee’ reacts to the workplace environment and develop attitude toward their job and organization. In this way, the propositions expatiated in the present work improves the understanding for the implications of various motivational theories, different organizational theories and human resource management models. Moreover, this work substantiates and provides insight about the competing power of intrinsic and extrinsic job factors on job satisfaction and opens debate for the generalization of Herzberg’s motivation theory.

Keywords

Citation

Ahmad, A. (2018), "The relationship among job characteristics organizational commitment and employee turnover intentions", Journal of Work-Applied Management, Vol. 10 No. 1, pp. 74-92. https://doi.org/10.1108/JWAM-09-2017-0027

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Emerald Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2018, Arfat Ahmad

License

Published in the Journal of Work-Applied Management. 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


Introduction

The present prolific of research on the subject matter of organizational behavior substantiates the relationship between employees’ welfare and organizational effectiveness. Subsequently, the present regime of human resource management theories primarily focus on achieving compatibility between individual employee’ and organizational goals, to ensure organizational equilibrium. Robertson (1994) argued that the behavior of organizational members is influenced to a large extent by characteristics of their work settings. For this reason, it is imperative to gage the understanding of mechanism which governs the employee’ psychological reaction to its environment and develop attitude toward their job and organization at large. Therefore, it is arguably more important than ever to understand how organizational offerings, whether intrinsic and extrinsic contributes toward the employee behavior at workplace. Kurt Lewin scientifically explained his postulation how behavior is a function of the environment by introducing the SOBC model. The model posits that an employee at workplace encounter sensations from the workplace environment which trigger human perception. These sensations include, work environment and form employee’ perceptions to determine attitudes like employee’ commitment toward their organization. Based on this framework various studies have investigated numerous job and organizational factors as independent variable and seek to estimate their role in the formation of employee attitude (Adigun and Stephenson, 1992; McDonald and Makin, 2000; Berg et al., 2001; Guy et al., 2001; Karsh et al., 2005; Camilleri, 2006; Ali Mohammad et al., 2008; Al-Hussami et al., 2011; Goetz et al., 2012; Biwas and Bhatnagar, 2013). For instance, John P. Meyer and Natalya (2010) Employees’ commitment for their job depends on perceived organization offerings which also affects employees’ attitude toward work and their satisfaction level. Adding more insights into SOBC model, Gouldner (1960) and Levison (1965) posit that within the boundaries of social exchange, employees ascribe anthropomorphic traits to their organization and create sense of obligation toward the organization. Furthermore, as described by Blau (1964), under social exchange perspective individual does in expectation of some future return. Consequently, reciprocation relationship between the organization and its employees is established (Biwas and Bhatnagar, 2013). Thus, the norm of reciprocity acts as principal mechanism between employee and employer relationship. As such, the sense of reciprocity and social exchange perspective establish psychological contact between employer and employee in the organizational context. The present study is in an attempt to investigate norm of reciprocity within the social exchange bond, specifically to develop an understanding of employee attitude such as, job satisfaction, organizational commitment and employee’ intention to leave an organization.

Organizational commitment

There is a proliferation of foci, types, definitions and measures of organizational commitment. For instance O’Reilly et al. (1991) proposed three independent foundations representing separate dimensions of organizational commitment: compliance, identification and internalization. The compliance centralise about the employee by accepting the rules and influence of people in authority mainly to the benefit from them, in terms of remuneration and promotion. Identification occurs when an employee feel close connection with his organization in order to maintain a self-definition relationship as the consequent of desire for the affiliation with the organization. The component internalization takes place when there is value congruence between employees and the organization.

Later in 1991, Meyer and Allen argued that the psychological states reflected in the different definitions of organizational commitment are not mutually exclusive, corroborated by Dunham et al. (1994), identified three types of organizational commitment: affective, continuance and normative.

They redesigned the classification of O’Reilly and Chatman, by introducing the concept of normative commitment and integrated the employee identification and internalization as affective component of commitment, whereas compliance was coined as continuance commitment. They defined affective commitment as the employee’s emotional attachment to, identification with, involvement in, and enjoyment of membership of, the organization, while continuance commitment conceptualized as the cost associated with leaving and benefit associated with continued participation and normative commitment is related to the employee’s feelings of obligation to remain with organization. Employees can experience these three components concurrently and to distinct degrees (Allen and Meyer, 1991).

Affective commitment is defined as employee emotional attachment to, identification with, and involvement in the organization and its goals (Allen and Meyer, 1990). It results from and is induced by an individual and organizational value congruency. Individuals with a high level of affective commitment continue to work for an organization because they want to (Meyer and Allen, 1997). Arfat and Riyaz (2013) systematically argued affective commitment has three factors: individual and organizational value congruence characterizes as employee’s belief and in acceptance of organizational goals and values; an obsession for helping organization to achieve its goals; and a definite desire to maintain organizational membership out of choice. Been cardinal in nature, affective commitment is more productive then other types of commitment (normative and continuance) because what could be achieved through desire cannot be achieved through compulsion. Manager-rated affective commitment has positive relationship and continuance commitment has negative relationship with the potential and profitability of employee (Shore et al., 1995) corroborated by Meyer and Allen’s findings that employees who showed a high degree of continuance commitment were more likely to earn poor remarks from their supervisor on performance and potential. However, it has also been demonstrated that it is the affective characteristics that have greatest impact on both negative outcome variables such as absenteeism and turnover (Dunham et al., 1994; McFarlane-Shore and Wayne, 1993) and associated with positive organizational outcomes as well such as improved retention, attendance, and citizen behaviors, self-reports of performance, and objective measures of supervisor ratings of employees’ performance as well as indicators of improved operational costs and sales (Meyer and Allen, 1997). Thus, affective commitment, in particular, is seen as most beneficial to organizations (Meyer and Allen, 1997). That is the reason affective commitment remains the dominant measure in commitment studies (Mathieu and Zajac, 1990; Randall 1990). Organizations have to ensure that they have the quality of empathy and emotional intelligence to initiate affective commitment of their employees’ toward the organization. This is justified by Steers (1977) and Mottaz (1988), who identified factors which help create intrinsically rewarding situations for employees to be antecedents of affective commitment. These factors include such as perceived organizational support or dependence (the feeling that the organization considers what is in the best interest of employees when making decisions that affect employment conditions and work environment) and other job characteristics like task significance, autonomy, identity, skills variety and feedback concerning employee job performance and the degree that employees are involved in the goal-setting and decision-making processes. In other words, affective commitment develops mainly from positive work experiences, such as job satisfaction and organizational fairness, and is associated with desirable outcomes, such as higher levels of organizational citizenship behaviors, and lower levels of withdrawal behaviors like absenteeism and tardiness (Wasti, 2002).

Normative commitment may be defined as an obligation to remain with an organization (Buchko et al., 1998). It may be the consequent of an internalized norm, developed by the person prior to joining the organization through the values inherent or other socialization processes, that one should be loyal to one’s organization (Arfat and Riyaz, 2013). It is based upon generally accepted rules about reciprocal obligations between organizations and their employees. Reciprocity is a mechanism underlying commitment (Powers, 2000). This reciprocity is based on “social exchange theory”, which suggests that a person receiving a benefit is under a strong “normative” (i.e. rule governed) obligation to repay it in some way. According to social exchange theory individuals enter into a relationship with an organization so as to maximize the benefits they obtain (Blau, 1964). Social exchange is based on an implicit agreement between employee and the employer, referred to as a psychological contract (Rose, 2001). These psychological contracts are governed by the norm of reciprocity and have been shown to play an important role in determining organizational behavior (Garrow, 2004). Thus the receipt by the employee of something “over and above” what they might normally expect from their employer, places them under a social obligation to repay it in some way (McDonald and Makin, 2000).

Continuous commitment is the perceived costs to the employee of leaving the organization, and may include the loss of benefits or seniority status within the organization (Allen and Meyer, 1990). Employees with strong continuance commitment stay with the organization out of self-interest (Alexander et al., 2010). Continuance commitment is an attachment to an organization based on an employee’s awareness of the costs associated with discontinuing membership (Reza et al., 2010). It is inertia of an employee to retain or toward the organizational membership and this inertia has mainly two antecedents: investments (perceived sacrifice) and lack of alternatives. Remaining with an organization tends to result from the accumulation of side bets (investments) an individual has made in the organization which would be lost if the individual discontinued membership in the organization (Ko, 1996). However, Meyer and Allen (1997) recognized that in order for there to be continuance commitment between employee and organization the employee must be able to identify alternatives. The sacrifice subcomponent has a stronger negative correlation with withdrawal cognition and turnover intention than does the alternatives subcomponent (Mayer et al., 2002).

Job satisfaction

The concept of job satisfaction has been broadly studied in literature, due to its influence on work productivity, employee turnover and employee retention (Javad and Davood, 2012). Generally, employees will be satisfied with their jobs and committed to their organizations if they are content with the nature of the work itself, they are satisfied with their supervisor and co-workers, and if they perceive current pay policies and future opportunities for promotion within their firm to be adequate (Reed et al., 1994). Implying thereby job satisfaction is a multidimensional concept involving satisfaction with job facets ranging from pay to supervision to satisfaction with the nature of the work itself. Job satisfaction is a complex construct composed of several facets which influence the employee’s mind. The literature commonly distinguishes various dimensions of satisfaction. Satisfaction has been classified into three main classes: intrinsic, extrinsic and total (Weiss et al., 1967). Intrinsic satisfaction refers to the task natures (factors) that directly correlate with satisfaction from sense of achievement, self-esteem, autonomy, feedback and sense of good control. Extrinsic satisfaction refers to the task natures that indirectly correlate with satisfaction from excellent work environment, affirmation and praise from superiors, esprit de corps, good benefits, high pay and opportunities for advancement. Global satisfaction refers to employees’ overall satisfaction toward their job and is measured as the combination of intrinsic and extrinsic satisfaction.

According to Rose (2001), an employee is intrinsically satisfied if he receives no apparent reward except the activity itself, while extrinsic satisfaction is defined as the opposite concept (i.e. an employee is extrinsically satisfied if he receives monetary compensation or other material rewards to modify his behavior). However, this study took intrinsic aspects include autonomy, achievement, challenge and feelings of recognition. Extrinsic sources stem from the environment of the person and may include pay, working conditions, job security, etc. As a consequence of the importance of this concept, it emerges that also the main antecedents of job satisfaction.

Employee turnover intention

Employee turnover intentions may be defined as an employee’s cognitive response to the working conditions of a particular organization and to the economic condition of a nation as whole, which stimulates an employee for the search of better alternative job and manifest as the intent to leave an organization voluntarily. Turnover intention has been described as the last in a sequence of withdrawal cognitions, a set of cognitions including thinking of quitting and the intent to search for alternative employment (Tett and Meyer, 1993).

Literature review and development of research hypothesis

Researchers across the globe have studies and investigated the intricacies among employee job satisfaction, organizational commitment and employee turnover intentions and have come up with the findings evincing the essence of reciprocity norms between organizational offerings and employee attitudes at their workplaces. For instance, Stazyk et al. (2011) found that organizations’ environment impacts employees’ sense of obligation, that is, normative commitment and affective commitment toward its organization. As such, organization which strives to enrich the core characteristics of their jobs is, in return, likely to develop employees’ satisfaction with their job and sense of commitment to their organization. In fact, employees value certain conditions of work, and if employee finds congruence of organizational and personal need, employees will be more satisfied and committed toward their organization and less likely to leave the organization (Martin and Roodt, 2008). Arfat and Riyaz (2013) posit that organizations cannot directly affect the attitudes and behavior of the employee, rather the good match of employee-organization needs ensure that people are committed to the organization and satisfied with their job, which, in turn, will enhance positive workplace attitudes. Steijn (2004) found that the employee perception of organization inducements and work environment is the best predictor of organizational commitment. The findings also suggested that employee’ attitudes like the level of commitment in the organization and employee satisfaction can be increased with the various organizational offering to its employees such as compensation, promotional policies and working conditions. In the year Sarminah and Salma (2012), demonstrate when employees perceive their organizations as having greater concern over personal development, improvement and welfare by providing support, it consequently improves the emotion and attachment of employee to the organization and turnover intentions. Thus, positive emotions and employee’ engagement toward organization may be ensured if the employee perception toward intrinsic and extrinsic job characteristics are positive. Therefore, there is clear evidence that organizational inducements to its employees have instrumental value in the employee’ attitude at their workplace. In this regard various studies have investigated the relationship among the various employee attitudes as antecedents of organizational offerings. For instance Atif et al. (2011) posit that employee retentions and job satisfaction can be enhanced if employee have strong organizational commitment while organizational offerings such as compensation and organizational support plays an important role in enhancing organizational commitment. Similarly, Karsh et al. (2005) found that commitment and job satisfaction predict employee turnover intentions. They further proclaim that organizational work pressure, having work schedule that meet one’s need, feeling physically safe at work, receiving feedback and organizational quality environment indirectly affects future organizational membership through employee satisfaction with their jobs and organizational commitment. Replicated by Guy et al. (2001) found that company which sets up non-monetary rewards system to recognize individual, encourage greater participation in decision making and promote flexibility in conduct of work has consequently committed and satisfied workforce, which, in turn, undermine turnover intentions.

Therefore, there is substantial evident that organizational internal processes embed in intrinsic and extrinsic job characteristics have significant role in enhancing employees sense of obligation toward their organization. In short, there is a body of evidence to suggest that antecedents of employee attitude are principally organizational variables. Therefore, the model mechanized for this study regress the employees’ attitude such as job satisfaction and organizational commitment as reciprocation attitude to the various organizational offerings, categorized as intrinsic and extrinsic characteristics of job. However, by virtue of relationship previously established by the studies the model for the present study extends to incorporate employee turnover intentions.

Another aspect of the study intends to provide more insights in Herzberg’s hygiene theory of work motivation. The study attempts to seek about the predicting estimation of intrinsic and extrinsic job characteristics on work motivation. While assessing the competing powers of intrinsic factors and extrinsic factors as predictors of employee attitude, behavioral scientists have come up with diverse findings. Camilleri (2006) found intrinsic aspects of the work situation are significant predictor of job satisfaction, while Steijn (2004) found that organizational characteristics are more important antecedents for employee attitude at workplace. Goetz et al. (2012) found the presence of intrinsic motivating factors like the opportunity to use abilities has most positive impact on job satisfaction. More comprehensively, Xu Huang and Van (2003) sought for national characteristics that moderate the level relationship between job characteristics and job satisfaction. The results revealed that the link between intrinsic job characteristics and job satisfaction is stronger in richer countries. By contrast, extrinsic job characteristics are strongly and positively related to job satisfaction in economically poor countries. Similarly, Adigun and Stephenson (1992) found that extrinsic job characteristics were found comparatively strong predictor of job satisfaction to Nigerians, at the same time as; intrinsic factors were better estimator of job satisfaction for British workers. These conflicting findings poses question to the generalization of hygiene theory of motivation, thus advocate the need for further investigation in this direction.

Theoretical background and hypotheses development

The studies reviewed provide lucid evidence that organizational inducements embedded in job characteristics acts as instrument to elevate employee productive behavior toward their job and organization at large. As such, organizations while helping to satisfy employees’ socio-emotional needs create a felt obligation in the minds of employees to the organization (Armeli et al., 1998). Consequently, a psychological contract ensue an individual’s belief regarding the terms of a reciprocal exchange agreement between the employee and employer (Rousseau, 1989). The currency of this agreement can be both economic (e.g. employees’ attendance and performance in exchange for pay and benefits) and socio-emotional (e.g. employees’ loyalty in exchange for rich job characterizes offered by the organization to its employees). Specifically, Scholl (1981) argued that, to the extent that reciprocation norm is operating, “employee expect that the debt incurred through advance rewards would act to hold an employee into a particular system until the debt was repaid.” Berg et al. (2001) found that individuals can experience obligations as something they should do and/or as something they want to do, and that obligations experienced as wants were associated with greater satisfaction. While as, Wiener (1982) referred this reciprocal obligation as an internalized normative pressure, that makes organizational commitment a moral obligation because the individual feels he or she ought to do so. This feeling of moral obligation is measured by the extent to which a person feels that he or she should be loyal to his or her organization, make personal sacrifice to help it out and not criticize it (Weiner and Verdi, 1980). These arguments clearly indicate that there exist functional relationship of organizational offerings (such as intrinsic and extrinsic rewards to its employees) and employee attitude (reciprocated by exhibiting satisfaction with job and commitment toward their organizations):

H1.

Job characteristics leads job satisfaction to which employee reciprocate by exhibiting their commitment toward their organization which in turn reduce intentions to leave an organization.

Research gaps

Although studies have been consistently reported a positive relationship between job satisfaction and organizational commitment, however, for the managerial implication, the understanding of mechanism by which of employee’ reacts to its environment and develop attitude toward their job and organization becomes imperative. In this context, this study makes attempt to address the reciprocation perspective between organization and its employees. In a way, this study attempts to illustrate the processes by which organizational inducements exert their influence employee’ attitudes and behaviors reciprocate as sense of moral duty toward the organization. Also, while the link between employees’ satisfaction with their job and high organizational commitment, on the one hand, and low intentions to leave on the other is fairly straightforward, yet there in need to study these variables as exogenous and endogenous to inquire about their causation. Furthermore, the justification for the need of study also spur from the available present literature genuinely lacks adequate empirical material about the competing power of intrinsic and extrinsic factors of job in determining the job satisfaction as such some authors hold that intrinsic characteristic of job better predict job satisfaction, whereas another set of behavioral scientists found extrinsic job characteristics as prime determinant of job satisfaction. For this reason, the study was conducted in the state of depressed economy where unemployment rate is as high as 194 percent makes it more interesting to investigate for the competing power of intrinsic and extrinsic rewards for job satisfaction.

Objectives of the study

This study is intended to broadly investigate the underlying reciprocity mechanism which governs the relationship between employer and employee at their workplaces in a perspective whereby intrinsic and extrinsic factors of job satisfaction are considered as proxy to organizational offerings to its, while as multi overall job satisfaction and dimensional organizational commitment as employee’ attitudinal are studies as reaction to these organizational offerings. Under the aforementioned notion, the present study intends to examine the influence of job characteristics on employees’ attitudes, such as, job satisfaction, organizational commitment, and employee’ turnover intentions as psychological response to job characteristics in a reciprocation perspective. In a way, the study attempts to provide insights about how employee’ reciprocate to the perceived obligation toward its organization. The study also aims to supplement the empirical evidence about the competing power of intrinsic and extrinsic factors of job in determining the job satisfaction.

Research methodology

This study apply the tenets of situational theories which assume employee’ attitude as psychological reaction to the job characteristics; therefore, the study integrates the job characteristics as the organizational offerings to its employee as independent variable and employees attitude like job satisfaction, organizational commitment and employee’ turnover intentions as reciprocity reaction to the organizational offerings. The structural equation model (SEM) was used to frames the intricacy job characteristics, job satisfaction and organizational commitment and employee turnover intentions. Ten job characteristics were identified with which employees experience at the workplace as organizational offerings. These include salary, recognition, co-workers, supervision, organizational policies, promotion, working condition, task requirement, job security and nature of work. Subsequently, these identified facets were divided into intrinsic and extrinsic factors of job satisfaction, and were considering as proxy to the organizational offerings to its employees. These job characteristics were identified during in-depth interviews and discussions with the respondents, whereas, overall job satisfaction, organizational commitment and employees’ turnover intentions were considered as employee’s psychological reactions to the organizational offerings and were incorporated as dependent variables in the model.

Sample size and participants

After the pilot survey, the sample size was calculated on the basis of the following formula:

X = Standard deviation 2 Z 2 / D2 ,
Where X=size of sample Z=standard score and D=amount of precision or allowable error in the sample. By applying this formula, the sample size arrived at 640, which was rounded off to 650. The sample consists of 654 hospital employees, working at the different hospital across the state. In order to ensure the representation of the entire human capital, employees working under different levels of occupational were included in the for the purpose of data collection. The number of employees from each hospital has been selected through proportionate method.

Measures

Questionnaire method was used to collect the data for the study. A five-point Likert type scale was used for the sake of maintaining uniformity in measuring the variables. All the variables were measured with multiple-item scales, questionnaire item used to measure different constructs in this study are derived from the previously established studies. As such, multidimensional organizational commitment construct was measured using items drawn from Meyer and Allen (1991) scale. Job characteristics and employee’ turnover intentions scale was adapted from the study conducted by Ali Mohammad et al. (2008). The instrument used for the present study has universal application. Therefore the results thus produce are of universal significance. The reliability and validity of measurement tools for the study was established by the CFA.

The fit of CFA for intrinsic facets of job satisfaction model (Figure 1) was examined. The indices were as: value of χ2 =97.99, df =41, χ2/df =2.39, GFI =0.934, CFI =0.952 and RMSEA =0.046. Collectively, the results of CFA fit indices reveal that the model fits the data well. Thus the CFA model is accepted.

Measurement model for extrinsic facets of job satisfaction yield the following fit indices (Figure 2). The fit indices are as value of χ2 =273, df =268, χ2/df =3.29, GFI =0.912, CFI =0.941, RMSEA=0.059.

The questionnaire adapted to measure organizational commitment among the hospital employees was framed and specified in a conceptual model given in Figure 3. All the items of organizational commitment are indicators of a specific sub-constructs of affective commitment, normative commitment and continuous commitment. The total of 18 items in the organizational commitment measurement model is divided into the three sub-constructs, consisting of six items in each dimension. The items of all three dimension of organizational commitment had loadings within the range of 0.55 to 0.98, and the entire factor loading were statistically significant at p<0.005. The results of CFA indicate that the model fits the data. χ2 value=404.3, df= 130, χ2/df=3.11, specifically GFI=0.914, CFI=0.953 and RMSEA=0.056. The magnitude of indices from the measurement model of organizational commitment proposed for the present study reflects proper estimation of all substantive relationship between items and the constructs. Moreover, Cronbach’s α for the organizational commitment scale was found 0.86. In fact, Meyer and Allen (1991) reported that the reliability coefficients obtained for the scale ranged from 0.52 to 0.96. Therefore, indicating that the items chosen adequately define the construct.

The model for the above CFA model (Figure 4) was examined along the same lines as that for the measurement of other constructs. The results from the model fit were as, value of χ2=39.71, df=12, χ2/df=3.30, GFI=0.978, CFI=0.989 and RMSEA=0.059.

Findings

Prior to drawing any inference from the model depicted in (Figure 5) model was subjected to validity test. The model fit was assessed with two badness of fit and three goodness of fit indices; χ2=357.57, df=87, Normed χ2 ( χ 2 / df ) =4.11, GFI=0.922, CFI=0.943 and RMSEA =0.069. The magnitude of these indices is well within their standard acceptance limits. Thus, projected research model (Figure 5) provides valid assessment of the preconceived conceptions and thoughts developed from the review of literature and display the underlying concept of this study. The model introduces the system of relationships between latent intrinsic and extrinsic job characteristics, job satisfaction organizational commitment and employee turnover intentions. The results from the SEM indicate that both intrinsic (SWR=0.43, CR=5.96) and extrinsic (SWR=0.61, CR=7.80) characteristics of job have significant positive effect on the overall job satisfaction. The results reveal satisfaction of employees with the extrinsic worth of job acclivities their sense of overall job satisfaction. In other words, path coefficients of intrinsic and extrinsic characteristics of job to job satisfaction reveal employees’ positive evaluation of the content and context of their jobs, which, in turn, enhances their positive reciprocal obligation toward their job and organization. As such, these relationships demonstrate their phenomenon by which employee’s subjective evaluation to the organizational offering embedded in the job characteristic contribute in the formation of employees’ responsive attitude toward the job and the organizational at large. Therefore, the H1 stands excepted.

With regard to competing predicting powers of intrinsic and extrinsic characteristics of job, employees were also found to attach enormity to the extrinsic characteristics of job compared to the intrinsic characteristics of job in determining their level of job satisfaction. Thus, contrary to Herzberg’s hygiene theory of motivation, the analysis revealed that extrinsic job factors are strong predictor of job satisfaction as compare to intrinsic factors. Owing to the fact that the study was conduct in depressed economy these findings are corroborated with the studies carried by Simons and Enz (1995) and Goetz et al. (2012). However, Ukaegbu (2000) explained that for employees working in a depressed economy the extrinsic working conditions are stronger predictors of employee attitudes than intrinsic factors. In addition, Chitiris (1988) posits, when an organization did not allow employees an opportunity to satisfy most of their needs, hygiene factors became more powerful sources of motivation than motivators, and they led to improved performance and productivity. Since the present study was conducted in the depressed state of India with growing unemployment level where meager intrinsic rewards to employees were observed, thereby, substantiate the findings of previous studies.

The regression coefficients of the paths running from job satisfaction to the affective, normative, and continuous commitment dimensions reveal that job satisfaction has equivalent influence on affective (SWR=0.73, CR=32.32), and normative commitment (SWR=0.72, CR=31.60). Whiles as, the job satisfaction also explains statistically significant variation in continuous commitment as well (SWR=0.55, CR=19.91). Therefore, the contention postulate by the previous studies about the relationship between job satisfaction and multidimensional organizational commitment remain supported.

From the direction and magnitude of these path coefficients it may be posit that job satisfaction is a function of organization’s intrinsic and extrinsic characteristic, which, in turn, impounds sense of loyalty and emotional attachment among the employees toward their organizations. These findings are congruent with the notion of behavioral scientists like Sinem and Baris (2011), who found job satisfaction has significant and positive relationship with dimensions of organizational commitment.

Additionally, the model extends to trace the relationship between affective, normative and continuous commitment with the employees intentions to leave their organizations. The standardized regression weights for these hypothetical relationship were found as: affective commitment to employees turnover intentions (SWR=−0.32, CR=7.08), normative to employees turnover intentions (SWR=−0.43, CR=9.56) and continuous commitment to employees turnover intentions (SWR=−0.20, CR=6.52). This implies employees’ affection, obligation and perceived cost and benefits associated with employee turnover intentions. These results corroborate with Abraham and David (2005) and Atif et al. (2011). However, at the cursory glance to path coefficients reveals employee complect their turnover intentions primarily with their perceive reciprocity toward their organization. Implying thereby employee decide about their future organizational membership substantially on the basis of their perceive reciprocity toward their organization. It reveals the perceived reciprocity is an important factor in the formation of employee attitude toward at workplace. These findings shows analogy with contentions made by Xiang and Lei (2006) that different dimensions of organizational commitments have different functions, and more attention should be paid to normative commitment for addressing employee turnover intentions than previously thought.

Conclusion

The study revealed that employees’ subjective evaluation to the intrinsic and extrinsic factor of job contributes to the formation of their reciprocal psychological reactions characterized as their job satisfaction and commitment toward their organization. As such employee’ better evaluation of job content and job context leads to the sense of obligation and commitment toward the organization, hence reduces their intentions to discord the organizational membership. The findings also revealed that employees attach their job satisfaction feelings more toward the extrinsic worth of job than the intrinsic worth. On this subject matter the previous studies establish justification of relatively strong estimation power of extrinsic factors on the grounds of depressed economic conditions of the country, however, for the findings of present study the relatively strong correlation of extrinsic characteristics of job could be also attributed to the fact that professionals (hospital employees like Doctors and Paramedical staff) generally have limited control over extrinsic factors and have high degree of control over intrinsic elements. Therefore, the professional employees’ perceptions of the job are particularly dependent on the degree of satisfaction with the extrinsic factors (Pearson and Seiler, 1983).

Discussion

Empirical investigation reveals employees’ subjective evaluation of various facets of job characterized as intrinsic and extrinsic factors, contribute to the formation of their overall attitude toward their jobs, which, in turn, determine employees’ emotional attachment, obligation and identification with their organizations. Profound investigation reveals that employees attach their organizational membership decision primarily with their perceived reciprocation and obligation spur from the organizational offerings by the employer. Perceived reciprocity is a function of what organization supplies (benefits) to its employees (Meyer and Allen, 1991). Under the notion that employees compare their input efforts with commensurate rewards, and equate to their colleagues and other comparable organizations, this study estimated the employee’s perceived benefits as their evaluation to the intrinsic and extrinsic job characteristics. Thus employees experience a functional cognitive comparison of organizational offerings and their efforts at workplace. I label and comprehend employee’ functional cognitive comparison of effort and reward as the “work-benefit equation.” As such work-benefit equation is the fundamental determinant of attitudes at workplace. More comprehensively, “work-benefit equation” supplemented by with internalized norms determine employees’ sense of reciprocation. This is mainly because of a broad notion that reciprocity encompasses a feeling of bidirectional obligation to reply a favorable treatment to the involved parties (Wajda and Angela, 2012). Therefore, if there is imbalance between inducements and contribution, the individual may leave the organization (Zhang and Lee, 2010) and exhibit low perceived obligation to remain with an organization (Snape and Redman, 2003). Yet, the rationale of “work-benefit equation” largely depends upon the employees’ individual sense of moral obligation spur from the value system of an individual and is associated with the introjected regulations (Meyer et al., 2004). The emerging conclusion, therefore, is that employees reciprocate treatment by the employer by adjusting their attitudes and behavior accordingly at their work places.

Implications

Although there are various studies manifested on the relationship between job satisfaction, organizational commitment and employee turnover intentions, for all that, the present work is an attempt to deem these relationships in a different panorama to bring more insight in the subject matter of organizational behvoiur. For the present study, the relationship among the job characteristics, job satisfaction, organizational commitment and employee’ turnover intentions were considered in a perspective of reciprocity norms. The study opens new horizons to the researchers across the globe, whereby organizational and job characteristics are considered as catalyst for the employee’ attitude and can be study and analyze in a functional relationship model. A new regime in employee–employer relationship purview of reciprocation perspective may impel management scholars to investigate the functional relationship of organizational offerings as an input and employee attitudes as an output while emphasizing on achieving organizational equilibrium. Hence, study encompass the managerial implication by gauging the understanding of mechanism by which of employee’ reacts to the workplace environment and develop attitude toward their job and organization. In this way, the propositions expatiated in the present work improves the understanding for the application of various work motivation and organizational theories in practice. Moreover, this work substantiates the competing power of intrinsic and extrinsic job factors on job satisfaction and opens debate for the generalization of Herzberg’s motivation theory.

Direction for the future research

There is need for the exploration of sub dimensions within normative commitment and continuous commitment to assess their implication at workplace. For instance, the influence of normative commitment on employee’ turnover intentions could be made clear, in a way, whether employees stays with an organization due to obligation arising from organizational offerings (indebted obligation) or due to the individual moral obligation spur by virtue of internalizations of norms and value adopted from the family, religion and dwelling culture (moral obligation), irrespective of what organization offers to its employees. This will add more insight about to postulation of reciprocity perspective mooted in the present study.

Similarly, continuous commitment should also be further investigate, for a reason, whether an employee remains with its organization primarily due to the benefits that he/she entitles in the form of individual investment within that organization or due to high perceived costs from the leaving the job, especially in the depressed economy.

Limitations

This study does not take into account several extraneous factors which could have significant role in the employee–employer reciprocation relationship. For example this study was conducted in time when nation was facing its adverse economic conditions. As such, employee may dither to express their intentions to leave despite of having low affectionate and sense of obligation toward their respective organization. Another limitation arises on the assessment of cost of benefits associated with leaving the organization, which in the times of tight labor market conditions would be exceptionally high. Thus cloud affects the intricacy of understudy variables. Moreover, this study attributes job satisfaction, organizational commitment and employee turnover intentions only few generic intrinsic and extrinsic characteristics of job.

Figures

Results of confirmatory factor analysis (CFA) for Intrinsic factors of Job satisfaction

Figure 1

Results of confirmatory factor analysis (CFA) for Intrinsic factors of Job satisfaction

Results of confirmatory factor analysis (CFA) for Extrinsic factors of job satisfaction

Figure 2

Results of confirmatory factor analysis (CFA) for Extrinsic factors of job satisfaction

Confirmatory factor analysis (CFA) of measures for organizational commitment

Figure 3

Confirmatory factor analysis (CFA) of measures for organizational commitment

Results of confirmatory factor analysis (CFA) for overall job satisfaction and turnover intentions

Figure 4

Results of confirmatory factor analysis (CFA) for overall job satisfaction and turnover intentions

The relationship among job characteristics organizational commitment and employee turnover intentions

Figure 5

The relationship among job characteristics organizational commitment and employee turnover intentions

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Further reading

Chen, H., Ford, D.L. Jr., Kalyanaram, G. and Bhagat, R.S. (2012), “Boundary conditions for turnover intentions: exploratory evidence from China, Jordan, Turkey, and the United States”, The International Journal of Human Resource Management, Vol. 23 No. 4, pp. 846-866.

Dixit, V. and Bhati, M. (2012), “A study about employees’ commitment and its impact on sustained productivity in Indian auto-component industries”, European Journal of Business and Social Sciences, Vol. 1 No. 6, pp. 34-51.

Ko, J.W., Price, J.L. and Muller, C. (1997), “Assessment of Meyer and Allen’s three component model of organizational commitment in South Korea”, Journal of Applied Psychology, Vol. 82, pp. 961-973.

Meyer, J.P. and Allen, N.J. (1984), “Testing the Aside-bet theory of organizational commitment: some methodological considerations”, Journal of Applied Psychology, Vol. 69 No. 3, pp. 372-378.

Riyaz and Arfat (2013), “Employee turnover intentions: job stress or perceived alternative external opportunities”, Human Resources Management; Challenges and Choices, Vol. 1 No. 44.

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Corresponding author

Arfat Ahmad can be contacted at: arfat.ahmad77@gmail.com