Original Research

Perceptions of sacrifice, workplace friendship and career concerns as explanatory mechanisms of employees’ organisational commitment

Melinde Coetzee, Nadia Ferreira, Ingrid Potgieter
SA Journal of Human Resource Management | Vol 17 | a1033 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.4102/sajhrm.v17i0.1033 | © 2019 Melinde Coetzee, Nadia Ferreira, Ingrid Potgieter | This work is licensed under CC Attribution 4.0
Submitted: 12 January 2018 | Published: 06 February 2019

About the author(s)

Melinde Coetzee, Department of Industrial and Organisational Psychology, University of South Africa, South Africa
Nadia Ferreira, Department Human Resource Management, University of South Africa, South Africa
Ingrid Potgieter, Department Human Resource Management, University of South Africa, South Africa


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Abstract

Orientation: Employees’ psychological attachment to their organisation remains an important topic of inquiry for organisations concerned about improving their talent management practices for the purpose of retaining valuable human capital.

Research purpose: The aim of the study was to explore the constructs of job-embedded sacrifice, workplace friendship and career concerns as potential underlying explanatory mechanisms of employees’ affective, continuance and normative commitment towards the organisation. Organisational attachment theory was utilised as theoretical framework to study the relations among the variables.

Motivation for the study: The notion of job-embedded sacrifice, workplace friendship, career concerns as explanatory mechanisms of employees’ affective, continuance and normative commitment in the South African higher education context is under-researched, and especially from the perspective of organisational attachment theory.

Research approach/design and method: A non-probability convenience sample (N = 200) of academic and administrative staff members employed in a South African higher educational institution participated in the study. A cross-sectional, quantitative research design approach was followed. Multiple regression analysis was performed.

Main findings: Person–job sacrifice positively predicted affective, continuance and normative commitment. Perceptions of friendship opportunity accounted for the variance in affective commitment. High levels of work–life adjustment career concerns accounted for higher levels of affective and normative commitment.

Practical/managerial implications: Addressing the underlying psychological needs espoused by employees’ perceptions of person–job sacrifice, friendship opportunity and work–life adjustment concerns are important to consider in human resource talent management practices. The constructs speak to employees’ sense of employment security which influences their organisational commitment.

Contribution/value-add: The study extends organisational attachment theory by offering insight into the role of person–job sacrifice, friendship opportunity in the workplace and work–life adjustment concerns in explaining employees’ organisational commitment. The new insights inform human resource retention practices for academic and administrative staff members in the higher education environment.


Keywords

career concerns; job-embedded sacrifice; organisational attachment theory; organisational commitment; workplace friendship

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