Original Research

Total rewards and its effects on organisational commitment in higher education institutions

Calvin M. Mabaso, Bongani I. Dlamini
SA Journal of Human Resource Management | Vol 16 | a913 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.4102/sajhrm.v16i0.913 | © 2018 Calvin M. Mabaso, Bongani I. Dlamini | This work is licensed under CC Attribution 4.0
Submitted: 13 February 2017 | Published: 17 May 2018

About the author(s)

Calvin M. Mabaso, Department of Industrial Psychology and People Management, University of Johannesburg, South Africa
Bongani I. Dlamini, Faculty of Management Sciences, Durban University of Technology, South Africa


Orientation: Retaining staff with special endeavours within higher education institutions has become a top priority and crucial for any organisational productivity and competiveness. Attracting and retaining talent has remained a critical and complex issue for human capital management in organisations.

Research purpose: The purpose of this study was to investigate the impact of total rewards on organisational commitment measured by Total Rewards Scale and Organisational Commitment Questionnaire.

Motivation for the study: There is paucity in research on the impact of total rewards on organisational commitment. Commitment of academic staff is significant as higher education institutions are influential in the development of a country.

Research design, approach and method: This study employed the quantitative research method using a survey design. A semi-structured questionnaire was used to collect survey data. A sample of 279 academic staff, which was the total population of participants, was selected for this study.

Main findings: Results show a positive and significant correlation between elements of total rewards (performance management, 0.387; recognition, 0.335; talent development and career opportunities, 0.328; compensation, 0.231; benefits, 0.213; work–life balance, 0.024) and organisational commitment. A variance of 52.3% of total rewards explained organisational commitment. Performance management, compensation, benefits, recognition, talent development and career opportunities significantly predicted organisational commitment. However, work–life balance indicated a negative effect on organisational commitment.

Practical managerial implications: Findings of the study has implications to managers because they have to encourage and promote total rewards in order to enforce talent retention within higher education institutions for the benefit of both institutions and employees.

Contribution: The results are important to managers with great interest in talent retention and can be used as guideline to develop rewards strategy.


total rewards; organisational commitment; talent retention; compensation; recognition


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