Original Research

Retention factors in relation to organisational commitment in medical and information technology services

Jeannette van Dyk, Melinde Coetzee
SA Journal of Human Resource Management | Vol 10, No 2 | a433 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.4102/sajhrm.v10i2.433 | © 2012 Jeannette van Dyk, Melinde Coetzee | This work is licensed under CC Attribution 4.0
Submitted: 17 October 2011 | Published: 18 July 2012

About the author(s)

Jeannette van Dyk, Department of Industrial and Organisational Psychology, University of South Africa, South Africa
Melinde Coetzee, Department of Industrial and Organisational Psychology, University of South Africa, South Africa


Orientation: Retaining staff with scarce and critical skills in the medical and information technology (IT) industry has become a top priority because of skills shortages.

Research purpose: The objectives of the study were to investigate empirically: (1) the relationship between employees’ satisfaction with organisational retention factors (measured by the Retention Factors Scale) and their organisational commitment (measured by the Organisational Commitment Questionnaire) and (2) whether gender, age, race and tenure groups differ significantly in terms of these variables.

Motivation for the study: Medical and information technology professionals have specialised and hard to replace skills. They also have strong tendencies to leave their organisations and countries. Understanding the retention factors that will increase their organisational commitment may benefit the organisations who want to retain their valuable talent.

Research design, approach and method: The researchers used a cross-sectional survey design to collect data from a purposive sample of 206 staff members who had scarce skills in a South African medical and information technology services company. Correlational and inferential statistics were computed to achieve the objectives.

Main findings: The results showed that the participants’ satisfaction with retention factors has a significant relationship with their organisational commitment and that the biographical groups differ significantly in terms of the variables.

Practical/managerial implications: The measured retention factors were all associated with human resource management practices that influence employees’ intentions to leave.

Contribution/value-add: The results are important to managers who are interested in retaining staff who have scarce skills and provide valuable pointers for designing effective retention strategies.


affective commitment; career development; continuance commitment; normative commitment; retention factors


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