Original Research

Role stress and turnover intentions among information technology personnel in South Africa: The role of supervisor support

Rennie Naidoo
SA Journal of Human Resource Management | Vol 16 | a936 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.4102/sajhrm.v16i0.936 | © 2018 Rennie Naidoo | This work is licensed under CC Attribution 4.0
Submitted: 21 March 2017 | Published: 04 April 2018

About the author(s)

Rennie Naidoo, Department of Informatics, University of Pretoria, South Africa


Orientation: High turnover of information technology (IT) personnel is a major problem facing many global and local organisations. An increasingly important area of turnover research of IT personnel experiencing role stress involves examining their perceptions of supervisor support.

Research purpose: This study aimed to examine the effects of role-related stress and supervisor support on job satisfaction, job performance and IT turnover intentions.

Motivations for the study: It is important to assess from both a theoretical and a practical perspective the extent to which turnover can be explained by relational factors such as supervisor support.

Research design, approach and method: An online voluntary survey yielded a sample of 163 respondents. Six constructs were measured: turnover intention, job performance, job satisfaction, supervisor support, role ambiguity and role conflict. A total of 158 usable responses were subjected to descriptive, correlation and regression analysis. Mediation and moderation effects were assessed using a multiple regression bootstrapping procedure.

Main findings: Role ambiguity has a greater impact on job satisfaction than role conflict. Job satisfaction fully mediated the relationship between role stress and turnover intention. Supervisor support mediated the relationship between role stressors and job satisfaction and role stressors and job performance. There was no evidence in favour of a moderating role of supervisor support.

Practical and managerial implications: Higher priority should be given to tackling role ambiguity. Supervisor support can increase job satisfaction, improve job performance and ultimately reduce turnover intentions, despite the presence of role stress.

Contribution or value-add: Human resource managers and IT managers could use these results to improve job performance and staff retention.


turnover; role stress; supervisor support; job satisfaction


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