THE RELATIONSHIP BETWEEN ORGANISATIONAL COMMITMENT AND JOB SATISFACTION OF COMMISSIONED OFFICERS WITHIN AN ARM OF THE SOUTH AFRICAN NATIONAL DEFENCE FORCE
Job satisfaction and organisational commitment are two of the most researched organisational behaviour constructs. It is generally agreed that low levels of satisfaction or commitment may result in employees voluntarily ceasing the employee-organisation relationship which results in organisations loosing professional and skilled individuals, which is a potentially crippling factor within any organisation, particularly Governmental Departments who relying on specialist and highly trained and skilled employees. The current study examined the organisational commitment, the level of job satisfaction and the relationship between satisfaction and commitment of fully functionally qualified permanent contract male and female officers on salary Grade C2 to Grade C6, extending across all occupational divisions and classes, namely operational, personnel, logistics, engineering and technical. The sampling technique used was a quantitative non-probability convenience sampling design with the sample consisting of 62 commissioned officers. The majority of the respondents were African with the sample being more representative of males than females. The majority of the respondents were married and between the age of 22 to 29 having at least a 3 year degree or diploma and from the operational occupational class. The respondent’s levels of satisfaction were measured by means of the Job Descriptive Index Questionnaire which measured the five job facets, namely pay, promotion, supervision, co-workers and the nature of work. The study found that respondents were moderately satisfied with their promotion opportunities, followed by the pay they receive. They were however, less satisfied with the supervision they receive, their co-workers and the work itself. Affective, continuance and normative commitment was assessed by means of the Organizational Commitment Scale. The findings of the study found that the respondents had below average levels of organisational commitment across all three components as well as overall commitment. Furthermore, results derived from the research indicated that there was a statistically significant and strong positive correlation between organisational commitment and job satisfaction.
Additionally, the results of the study regarding differences between selected demographic variables and the core dependent and independent variable found that there was no statistically significant difference for organisational commitment or job satisfaction scores between males and females and tenure. There was however a statistically significant difference in organisational commitment and job satisfaction for different occupational classes.
CHAPTER 1: INTRODUCTION AND PROBLEM STATEMENT
The retention of specialised and skilled employees is a considerable challenge facing organisations today. Numerous studies have shown that the level of turnover can be seen as an important indicator of the satisfaction and commitment of employees and subsequently the effectiveness and efficiency of an organisation.
Numerous studies conducted have reported that the level of job satisfaction of employees correlates to their level of commitment and its impacts on the relationship to turnover intention; low levels of satisfaction results in decreased organisational commitment, which has an influence on turnover intention (Currivan, 1999; Eslami & Gharakhani, 2012). Research into job satisfaction and organisational commitment has found job satisfaction to be an antecedent of organisational commitment and organisational commitment as a predictor of turnover intention and actual turnover (Currivan, 1999).
Cullinan (as cited in Luddy, 2005) states that poor salaries are not the only reason as to why organisations are experiencing employee satisfaction concerns, Cullinan determined that other work factors such as the environment and poor management are also shown to contribute towards lower levels of job satisfaction. This dissatisfaction often leads to specialised, scarce skilled or professional employees seeking alternative employment.
This situation is not limited to the private sector; the public sector experiences the same problems as shown in recent studies (Luddy, 2005). Further reports have highlighted the concern of the retention of professional and specialised skilled employees within Governmental Departments (South African Defence Review, 2014). The South African National Defence Force (SANDF) is not immune to this situation; there has been an exodus of experienced, qualified and skilled employees in recent years to the private sector. The salary and remuneration packages of the public sector are not competitive with the private-sector which is
why the private sector can recruit and source qualified and skilled specialists from Governmental Departments. This means that the leaders and management of these departments have a greater responsibility in ensuring that their employees experience organisational commitment and job satisfaction.
PROBLEM STATEMENT AND SIGNIFICANCE OF THE STUDY
The SANDF established by section 224(1) of the Constitution of the Republic of South Africa, 1993, Act No. 200(2) of 1993 and mandated as “the only lawful military force in the Republic, for the protection and defence of the Republic, its sovereignty, territorial integrity, national interests and people, in accordance with the Constitution and the principles of international law regulating the use of force.”(Constitution of the Republic of South Africa, 1993, Chapter 11, Article 200(2), 113). The SANDF therefore requires soldiers, sailors, airmen and operators whom are equipped, trained and committed to carrying out the mandate of the SANDF.
As determined by the Department of Defence Review (2014) the SANDF is not immune to the exodus and “is experiencing an alarming loss of skilled personnel, specifically engineers, technicians, aircrew, vet-officers and legal officers, amongst others, requiring specific occupational dispensations to prevent the further loss of scarce skills.” (p. 9-8). Additionally, the SANDF is facing the challenge of retaining its specialised and qualified professionals such as, Combat Officers, Submariners, Divers, Surveyors, Logistician, Engineering and Technical Officers. (South African Department of Defence Annual Review, 2009, 2010, & 2011; Department of Defence Review, 2014).
The attempt to arrest the decline of critical capabilities, with regards to human resources, has already to some degree been implemented in the SANDF with the employment of scarce skills retention strategies and incentive schemes. The strategies primarily address the non-remunerative factors, in conjunction with ongoing remunerative incentive schemes, in an attempt to retain employees in the scarce and specialist skills occupation groups. (SAN Maritime Human Resources
and Training Capability, 2008; South African Department of Defence Annual Review, 2009).
Furthermore, the SANDF operates in an environment with complex technological equipment, all though there are sufficient newly appointed personnel within these domains that are being educated, trained and developed, due to the unique and specialised nature of these qualifications, it will take time before the personnel acquire the skills, knowledge and experience to counter the loss of experienced and specialist personnel (South African Department of Defence Annual Review, 2011).
It can therefore be seen that the retention of professional and skilled employees is of utmost importance to the SANDF considering the extent of the investment made in the recruitment, selection, training and development of their scarce skills. Due to the quality, time, unique and specialised nature of the training received the cost to the organisation includes not only the loss of investment associated with employee turnover but also the costs involved in recruiting, selecting and training replacements. Furthermore, there are extra pressures and responsibilities placed on the remaining employees who have to conduct the work left behind by the employee who quit while their replacements are being trained, which could have an influences their levels of satisfaction and commitment.
It is from this research that it can be interpreted that it is a responsibility of management, both in the private and public sector, to regard organisational commitment and job satisfaction as an essential determinant of employee motivations, productivity and turnover intention thereby, resulting in the effectiveness and efficiency of the organisation (Luddy, 2005).
An organisations most valuable resource is its personnel therefore the retention of specialist and scarce skills personnel is a top priority. Since data on employees who leave the organisation voluntarily is typically difficult to obtain, researchers often focus on the most direct determinant of turnover, intention to remain (Currivan, 1999).
One way to address the issue of employee turnover intention is to understand the organisational commitment and job satisfaction levels of employees. Currivan (1999) defined job satisfaction as “the degree of positive emotion an employee has towards a work role” (p. 497) whereas, Allen and Meyer (1990, p. 14) conceptualised commitment as “a psychological state linking an individual to an organization (i.e., makes turnover less likely).” Therefore as determined by Currivan (1999) “satisfaction denotes positive emotions toward a particular job, organizational commitment is the degree to which an employee feels loyalty to a particular organization” (p. 497).
For the SANDF, the job satisfaction of its employees means soldiers, sailors and airmen that are motivated and committed to attaining the goals and objectives as mandated by the Constitution of South Africa. Research has found that organisational commitment is positively correlated with job satisfaction while negatively correlated to turnover intention (Allen & Meyer, 1990; Angle & Perry, 1981; Porter, Steers, Mowday & Boulian, 1974). By increasing organisational commitment, organisations can have a positive influence on factors such as job satisfaction and turnover intention (Allen & Meyer, 1990; McFarlane Shore & Martin, 1989).
The intention is to highlight to the leadership cadre the importance of the organisational-employee relationship and provide a rationale for the organisation to have strategies, complimentary to existing retention strategies and incentive schemes, in place for promoting satisfaction and commitment in ways that will serve the employees and SANDF alike.
The aim of this study is to determine the relationship between organisational commitment and job satisfaction, and to establish if there is a relationship between job satisfaction and the three organisational commitment components of commissioned officers within an Arm of the SANDF.
The main objective of this study is to investigate the relationship between organisational commitment and job satisfaction in order to answer the following questions:
⦁ Is there a relationship/association between organisational commitment and job satisfaction?
⦁ What is the strength of the relationship/association between the variables organisational commitment and job satisfaction?
⦁ Examine the relationship between selected demographic variables and the core independent and dependent variables
Based on the research objectives of the study the hypothesis are as follows:
⦁ Hypothesis 1: There is a statistically significant relationship between organisational commitment and job satisfaction.
⦁ Hypothesis 2: There is a statistically significant relationship between organisational commitment and the five facets of job satisfaction.
⦁ Hypothesis 3: There is a statistically significant relationship between job satisfaction and the three components of organisational commitment.
⦁ Hypothesis 4: There is a difference between the organisational commitment and job satisfaction scores of males and females.
⦁ Hypothesis 5: There is a difference between the organisational commitment and job satisfaction scores of the different occupational classes groups.
⦁ Hypothesis 6: There is a difference between the organisational commitment and job satisfaction scores of the different tenure groups.
Locke (as cited in Saari & Judge, 2004, p. 401) defines job satisfaction as “ a pleasurable or positive emotional state resulting from the appraisal of one’s job or job experiences”. According to Ivancevich & Matteson (2002, p.121) job satisfaction is defined as ” an attitude people have about their jobs. It results from their perception of their jobs and the degree to which there is a good fit between individual and organization”.
1.4.2. ORGANISATIONAL COMMITMENT
Research on the construct organisational commitment has come up with a variety of definitions however; most definitions describe the construct in terms of Mowday, Steers and Porter (1979, p.226) three dimensions focusing on affective attachment. (a) The extent to which employees identify with, involvement in, acceptance of, and, support the achievement of organisational goals and values.
(b) A willingness to apply energy on behalf of the organisation. (c) A strong desire to remain in that organisation, (Allen & Meyer, 1990; Eslami & Gharakhani, 2012; Mowday, et al., 1979; Porter et al., 1974). Therefore highly committed employees desire to remain with their employing organisation (Cohen, 1993).
The research report consists of six chapters outlined as follows:
⦁ Chapter 1: Introduction and Problem Statement: This chapter contextualises the research topic through an introduction, problem statement and the research objectives. The aim of which is to determine the relationship between organisational commitment and job satisfaction, and to establish if there is a relationship between the three organisational commitment components and the five job satisfaction facets within the sampled organisation.
⦁ Chapter 2: Literature Review of Job Satisfaction: This chapter provides a review of literature discussing the theoretical basis relating to job satisfaction.
⦁ Chapter 3: Literature Review of Organisational Commitment: This chapter provides a review of literature discussing the theoretical basis relating to organisational commitment.
⦁ Chapter 4: Research Methodology: This chapter explains the research methodology and the use of non-probability sampling design and descriptive and inferential statistical techniques from a quantitative perspective.
⦁ Chapter 5: Data Analysis and Findings: This chapter presents the results of the data analysis and interpretation of the findings.
⦁ Chapter 6: Summary, Conclusions and Recommendations: This chapter summarises the results and looks at the main findings and conclusions based on the data analysed. Recommendations will also be made.
The chapter highlighted that the level of job satisfaction of employees correlates to their level of commitment and its impacts on the relationship to turnover intention; low levels of satisfaction results in decreased organisational commitment, which has an influence on turnover intention. It is from this research that it can be construed that it is a responsibility of management, to regard organisational commitment and job satisfaction as a determinant of employee motivations, productivity, resulting in the effectiveness and efficiency of the organisation. Therefore, the aim of this study is to examine the relationship between organisational commitment and job satisfaction of commissioned officers within an Arm of the SANDF..