A renewed interest in work has developed world-wide during the last decade.
One of the reasons for this is that organizations are responding to the
changing economic, social, technological and environmental demands in
ways that are fundamentally transforming the nature of organizations and the
meaning of work for employees. Work has changed tremendously, not only in
nature but also its importance. The current demands placed on organizations
and employees include, among others, global competition, cost-cutting, downsizing
and restructuring and information processing on a large scale. It is
intuitive to think that these changes and demands will affect employees in
some way or the other. For many employees changes brought different job
descriptions, more roles to fulfil and more complicated tasks to complete with
more uncertainty and less clear-cut instructions.
The work commitment construct has been part of a lively debate since
Morrow's (1983) call for a moratorium on the development of further work
commitment measures due to the existence of concept redundancy within and
among the work commitment facets. It has been proposed that the work
commitment construct consists of four main facets i.e. job involvement,
organizational commitment, career commitment and work values. It has
been unclear up to now on how these facets are interrelated. The
relationships between the work commitment facets, role strain and intention to
quit have also not been studied together in a single study before.
The current study investigated the underlying dimensions of the work
commitment construct, the underlying dimensions of each proposed facet, as
well as determined the relationships among the work commitment facets, role
strain and intention to quit, based on a large diverse South African sample.
This was done by using Exploratory and Confirmatory Factor Analyses, the
calculation of intercorrelations and Structural Equation Modeling. Each
instrument was standardized for South African conditions.
The results indicated that although the instruments were portable to South
Africa, unique results and factors were obtained. Promising results were
obtained with regard to the causal relationships among the variables.