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Stressor factors, internal communication and commitment to change among administrative staff in Malaysian public higher-education institutions

Nor Farah Hanis Zainun (School of Business Management, Universiti Utara Malaysia College of Business, Sintok, Malaysia)
Johanim Johari (School of Business Management, Universiti Utara Malaysia, Sintok, Malaysia)
Zurina Adnan (School of Business Management, Universiti Utara Malaysia College of Business, Sintok, Malaysia)

On the Horizon

ISSN: 1074-8121

Article publication date: 6 November 2018

Issue publication date: 26 November 2018

942

Abstract

Purpose

The objective of this study is twofold. First, it examines the relationship between stressor factors (i.e. role overload, role conflict, role ambiguity, interpersonal conflict and organizational constraints) and commitment to change. Second, it investigates the moderating effect of internal communication in the hypothesized link.

Design/methodology/approach

A total of 225 administrative staff in the public higher education institutions located in the Northern Region of Peninsular Malaysia participated in the study. Structural equation modelling was used to test the hypotheses.

Findings

Role overload, role ambiguity and organizational constraints pose a substantial influence on commitment to change. Internal communication is a significant moderator in the association between role ambiguity and commitment to change.

Research limitations/implications

This study contributes to the Social Exchange Theory by assessing stressor factors as the predictors of commitment to change. Future studies can further extend the model by examining other variables related to stressor factors and extending the nomological networks of these factors in relation to commitment to organizational change.

Practical implications

This study makes explicit the need for management in public higher education institutions to consider stressor factors, particularly role overload, role ambiguity and organizational constraints, which affect the commitment to change. Furthermore, the aspect of internal communication in public higher education institutions deserves further attention by the management in alleviating role ambiguity and boosting commitment to change among the administrative staff.

Originality/value

The study is one of the pioneers to demonstrate that the presence of internal communication as a moderating factor in assessing the influence of stressors on commitment to change among administrative staff in public higher education institutions. Further, little empirical evidence on commitment to change in terms of normative, affective, and continuance in the setting of Malaysian public higher education institution is available in the literature.

Keywords

Citation

Zainun, N.F.H., Johari, J. and Adnan, Z. (2018), "Stressor factors, internal communication and commitment to change among administrative staff in Malaysian public higher-education institutions", On the Horizon, Vol. 26 No. 4, pp. 291-306. https://doi.org/10.1108/OTH-12-2017-0094

Publisher

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Emerald Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2018, Emerald Publishing Limited

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