Original Research

Understanding intention to quit amongst artisans and engineers: The facilitating role of commitment

Samuel Siwela, Francois van der Bank
SA Journal of Human Resource Management | Vol 19 | a1409 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.4102/sajhrm.v19i0.1409 | © 2021 Samuel Siwela, Francois van der Bank | This work is licensed under CC Attribution 4.0
Submitted: 04 June 2020 | Published: 31 May 2021

About the author(s)

Samuel Siwela, Department of Industrial Psychology, Faculty of Economic and Management Sciences, Stellenbosch University, Cape Town, South Africa
Francois van der Bank, Department of Industrial Psychology, Faculty of Economic and Management Sciences, Stellenbosch University, Cape Town, South Africa


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Abstract

Orientation: Given the critical shortage of skilled artisans and engineers in the job market, retention of this key talent is of paramount importance.

Research purpose: The aim of this study was to identify the determinants of affective commitment and investigate the impact thereof on intention to quit (ITQ) amongst artisans and engineers.

Motivation for the study: For human resource management interventions to be effective in retaining artisans and engineers, the constructs underlying commitment and stay intentions need to be understood. Whereas previous studies have mostly focussed on bivariate relationships, the current study was motivated by the need to develop and test an integrative explanatory model.

Research approach/design and method: A non-probability convenience sample of 154 artisans and 84 engineers employed in a manufacturing engineering company participated in this study. A cross-sectional design was employed, with structural equation modelling as analysis technique.

Main findings: The data supported the central role of affective commitment in reducing ITQ amongst artisans and engineers. Job fit, psychological meaningfulness, perceived organisational support and satisfaction with pay all explained significant variance in affective commitment, whilst affective commitment demonstrated a strong negative relationship with ITQ. It was found that although perceived organisational justice does not necessarily create affective commitment, people are more likely to quit when they experience injustice.

Practical/managerial implications: For organisations to retain artisans and engineers, they have to foster both affective commitment and organisational justice. Affective commitment can be facilitated by interventions focusing on job fit, meaningful work, organisational support and satisfaction with pay.

Contribution/value-add: This study provides practical insights into the antecedents of ITQ amongst artisans and engineers, informing human resource management interventions aimed at better retention.


Keywords

affective commitment; intention to quit; artisan; engineer; retention; job satisfaction

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