Original Research

Human resource practices and affective organisational commitment: A sectoral comparative study

Renier Steyn, Magda L. Bezuidenhout, Anton Grobler
SA Journal of Human Resource Management | Vol 15 | a841 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.4102/sajhrm.v15i0.841 | © 2017 Renier Steyn, Magda L. Bezuidenhout, Anton Grobler | This work is licensed under CC Attribution 4.0
Submitted: 19 July 2016 | Published: 30 May 2017

About the author(s)

Renier Steyn, Graduate School of Business Leadership, University of South Africa, South Africa
Magda L. Bezuidenhout, Department of Human Resource Management, University of South Africa, South Africa
Anton Grobler, Graduate School of Business Leadership, University of South Africa, South Africa


Orientation: Organisational commitment (OC) is often depicted as a desirable employee attitude and relates to organisational performance. Little research has been carried out on the (Human Resource) HR practices–OC relationship within the South African context, and specifically with regard to this relationship across various sectors.

Research purpose: The purpose of this contribution is to specify the HR practices–OC relationship, within South Africa, and specifically across various sectors.

Motivation for the study: It addresses the important matter of OC, a necessary requirement for sustaining organisations, through effective delivery of HR practices.

Research design, approach and method: This study is based on a cross-sectional survey design, collecting primary data on HR practices and OC from South African employees in public and private sector organisations, as well as state-owned entities.

Main findings: Minimal practically significant mean scored differences were detected among HR practices delivered per sector. Furthermore, a positive link between effective HR practices and OC was found within each of the three sectors, but this relationship was sector-specific.

Practical implications: The findings of this study offer a new, contextualised perspective on the HR practices–OC relationship. The data gathered could assist practitioners in reshaping HR policies – and particularly practices – to suit their specific sector.

Contribution and value add: The findings of this study are expected to offer valuable insight into the deferential management along sector lines. They also reiterate the importance of localised research and caution practitioners not to transfer research findings to local settings without a thorough investigation of local research.


organisational commitment; human resource management services; public sector; private sector; state-owned entities; sectorial comparison


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Crossref Citations

1. Investigating the validity of the Human Resource Practices Scale in South Africa: Measurement invariance across gender
Renier Steyn, Gideon De Bruin
SA Journal of Human Resource Management  vol: 16  year: 2018  
doi: 10.4102/sajhrm.v16i0.1038