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DEMOGRAPHIC AND ORGANISATIONAL ANTECEDENTS OF COMMITMENT AMONG SME EMPLOYEES IN IMO STATE NIGERIA

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  • Name: DEMOGRAPHIC AND ORGANISATIONAL ANTECEDENTS OF COMMITMENT AMONG SME EMPLOYEES IN IMO STATE NIGERIA
  • Type: PDF and MS Word (DOC)
  • Size: [424 KB]
  • Length: [109] Pages

 

ABSTRACT

The study examined some demographic (gender, age, length of service, educational qualification and marital status) and organisational (level of job tension and perceived job characteristics) antecedents of commitment among employees of fourteen SMEs in Imo State of Nigeria. A total of 174 participants, comprising of 117 females and 57 males, aged between 18 – 40 years with a mean age of 24.99 years and SD of 4.56 were administered with three instruments: Kahn, Wolfe, Quinn and Snoek’s (1964) Job-related Tension Inventory; Hackman and Oldman’s (1975) Job Characteristics Scale and Meyer, Allen and Smith’s (1993) three dimensional Organisational Commitment Questionnaire adapted by Gbadamosi (2006). A One-Way MANOVA was used to analyse data collected. Results indicated that, employees did not significantly differ in their levels of job tension on the three dimensions of organisational commitment (F = 3.357, P> 0.05; F = 0.292, P > 0.05; F = 0.200, P > 0.05). Also, employees, except for the continuance commitment (F = 4.344, P < 0.05), did not significantly differ in affective (F = 0.122, P > 0.05) and normative (F = 0.011, P > 0.05) commitment. It was also discovered that gender and age were significantly different for affective commitment (F = 4.589, P< 0.05; F = 5.987, P < 0.005) but were not significant for continuance (F = 0.171, P > 0.05; F = 0.105, P > 0.05) and normative (F = 0.235, P > 0.05, F = 0.509, P > 0.05) commitment. However, the findings showed that length of service, educational qualification and marital status were not statistically significantly different across all three dimensions of organisational commitment. The results were discussed with particular reference to the commitment needs of SME employees in Nigeria.

TABLE OF CONTENTS

CHAPTER ONE
1.0 INTRODUCTION 1
1.2 Employee Commitment
1.3 Organisational Commitment and Demographic Characteristics
1.4 Organisational Antecedents of Commitment
1.5 Statement of the Problem
1.6 Significance of the Study
1.7 Objective of the Study
CHAPTER TWO
LITERATURE REVIEW
Theoretical Review
2.1 Historical Background of the Concept of Organisational
Commitment
2.2 Contemporary Theories of Organisational Commitment
2.2.1 The Becker’s ‘Side-Bet’ Model (1960)
2.2.2 The Porter, Steers, Mowday, and Boulian Model (1974)
2.2.3 The O’Reilly and Chatman Model (1986)
2.2.4 The Meyer and Allen Three Component Model (TCM) Of
Commitment
2.3 Dimensions of Organisational Commitment
2.4. Developing Organisational Commitment
2.4.1 Stages of Organisational Commitment
2.4.2. Levels of Organisational Commitment
2.5. Job Characteristics Model
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2.6. Job-Related Tension.
EMPIRICAL REVIEW
2.7 Antecedents of Organisational Commitment
2.7.1. Employee Age and Organisational Commitment
2.7.2 Gender and Organisational Commitment
2.7.3 Organisational Tenure and Organisational Commitment
2.7.4. Organisational Commitment and Job Characteristics
2.7.5. Organisational Commitment and Job-Related tension
2.7.6. Organisational Commitment among Nigerian Employees
2.8 Hypotheses
CHAPTER THREE
3.0 METHOD
3.1 Participants
3.2 Instrument
3.3 Procedure
3.4 Design and Statistics
CHAPTER FOUR
4.0 RESULTS
CHAPTER FIVE
5.0 Discussion
5.1 Implications of the Study
5.2 Limitations of the Study
5.3 Suggestions for Further Studies
5.4 Summary/Conclusion
REFERENCES

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APPENDIX I
QUESTIONNAIRE
APPENDIX II

CHAPTER ONE

ifying the factors that determine the organisational
commitment of SME employees. For ease of discussion, the antecedents of
employees’ organisational commitment focused on in this study would be
divided into two broad categories: demographic characteristics and
organisational characteristics.
Amongst some identified demographic characteristics that could predict
employee commitment are; age, educational level, gender, job grade-level, job
tenure, family life cycle status (made up of marital status; number of children;

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age of youngest and oldest child; and number of children living at home),
salary, and alternative job opportunities (Camilleri, 2002).
Age and tenure are believed to be demographic characteristics, which are
positively correlated with commitment. As employees get older and remain in
their organisations, their commitment increases, probably because alternative
employment opportunities diminish for older people or because commitment
may be a successful strategy in getting along. Or it may be, quite simply, that
more committed employees’ stay with the organisation longer.
Higher education is however associated with lower commitment, perhaps
because educated people have expectations which their organisations cannot
meet or are more committed to their professions (professional bodies) than to
organisations. It may also be that alternative work opportunities are greater.
Also, employees with lower educational level have been shown to have higher
continuance OC while those with high educational level appear to feel less
obligated to remain with the organisation. This could be because employees
with higher educational qualification will tend to have greater expectations
than the organisation may offer thus they become less committed.
Women are usually more committed than men to their organisations, possibly
because they have to overcome more barriers to getting into those
organisations or because fewer alternatives are available to them.
The marital status of an employee is believed to have a positive influence on
organisational commitment. This could be because married employees with

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dependent children are most times the breadwinners of their families; hence
they have more personal responsibilities and greater financial burdens than
their single counterparts. As a result, they are inclined not to risk leaving their
organisation.
Organisational characteristics include aspects of the task (e.g., skill variety,
task autonomy) the employee is engaged in, the degree to which the job is
interesting to the incumbent (e.g., job challenge and scope) and the degree to
which the job is defined and is under the control of the incumbent (e.g., role
conflict and role ambiguity) (Beck & Wilson, 1998). Several organisational
characteristics are correlated with commitment. Broad Job roles are positively
associated with commitment, perhaps because broad jobs challenge people
more than narrow jobs or because people with broader jobs (e.g. managers
and the like) often have already demonstrated their commitment, which is
why they have been given the broader jobs (Hahn, 2007). Role conflict and
role overload are negatively associated with commitment; role ambiguity
have mixed association (Lee & Schuler, 1982; Smith & Brannick, 1990). Thus,
when people have broad and clear jobs, commitment may increase, but if their
jobs are ambiguous, commitment decreases.
According to Steers (1977), there are three groups of antecedents, which act
as variables determining the level of commitment a worker will have towards
the workplace. The first group are demographic characteristics. Demographic
characteristics are factors that define the worker, and they include age,
opportunities for achievement, education, and role tension. The second group

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are the characteristics of the job and includes challenge, social interaction, and
feedback. The last group specify the importance of work experience, as work
experience is viewed “as a major socialising force and as such represents an
important influence on the extent to which psychological attachments are
formed with the organisation” (Steers 1977), these include group attitudes,
organisation dependability and trust, levels of personal investment, feelings of
personal importance to the organisation, and the expectations of rewards.
Over the years these antecedent factors have been validated by various
researchers (Grusky 1966; Mowday, Porter & Steers 1982; Meyer & Allen
1997; Camilleri 2002).
1.2 Employee Commitment
Literature defines commitment as an employee’s level of attachment to some
aspect of work (Rajendran & Raduan, 2005). Various authors have been
instrumental in identifying different types of employee commitment as critical
constructs in understanding attitudes and behaviours of employees in an
organisation. Meyer and Lynne (2001) identified more than 25 employee
commitment concepts and measures. They further group commitment into
three foci; commitment to work/job, commitment to career/profession and
commitment to organisation.

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Figure 1.1: Typology of Employee Commitment (Source: Mayer & Lynne,
2001)
Work commitment refers neither to commitment to the organisation nor to
ones career, but to employment itself (Baruch, 1998; Hagen & Nelson, 2001).
Employees who are committed to their work hold a strong sense of duty
towards their work and place intrinsic value on work as a central life interest
(Mottaz, 1988; Saros & Santora, 2001).
On the other hand, career commitment refers to identification with, and
involvement in ones occupation. It is similar in conceptualization to
occupational commitment (Mellor, Mathieu, Farell & Rogelberg, 2001).
Employees who are high in career commitment tend to be committed to their
career or occupation rather than to the organisation of which the employee is
a part of.
Organisational commitment forms a subset of employee commitment. It is the
willingness of employees to accept organisational values, and goals, and to

Employee Commitment
Organisational Commitment
Career/Professional Commitment
Work/Job Commitment

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work towards achieving these; to be fully involved, and participate, in all the
activities, both work and non-work related, of the organisation; and to
dedicate time, and effort, towards the betterment of the organisation
(Herscovitch & Mayer, 2002; Rajendran & Raduan, 2005). The committed
employee, for example, is less absent, and is less likely to leave the
organisation voluntarily, than are less committed employees (Herscovitch &
Mayer, 2002).
For the purpose of this study, Commitment is defined as “a force that binds an
individual towards a course of action” (Meyer & Herscovitch, 2001). In the
case of employees in the Nigerian SME sector, commitment keeps them with
the organisation, irrespective of other openings available to them as a result of
the skill they have acquired. The concept of commitment is relevant because
commitment influences behaviours independently of other motives and
attitudes and, in fact, can lead to persistence in a course of action even in the
face of conflicting motives or attitudes. Commitment, for instance, can lead
individuals to behave in ways that, from the perspective of neutral observers,
might seem contrary to their self-interest.
1.3 Organisational Commitment and Demographic Characteristics
Demographic characteristics refer to those unique, individual factors, which
determine the attitude of an employee towards his or her job. Some
demographic characteristics that determine organisational commitment
include demographic variables such as age, educational level, gender, job
grade-level, job tenure, family life cycle status (made up of marital status;

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number of children; age of youngest and oldest child; and number of children
living at home), salary, and alternative job opportunities (Camilleri, 2002).
Most researchers agree that these variables do influence organisational
commitment of employees. There are however divergent views as to whether
most of the identified demographic characterises negatively or positively
affect organisational commitment of employees. Also, most of these studies
have been western oriented and focused on large organisations. There is
therefore need to evaluate the generalizability of these finding in Nigeria and
in small and medium sized organisations.
1.4 Organisational Antecedents of Commitment
Organisational Characteristics in the context of this study refer to those job
specific factors inherent in the job that could result in reducing or increasing
employee’s organisational commitment. These characteristics include aspects
of the task (e.g., skill variety, task autonomy) the employee is engaged in, the
degree to which the job is interesting to the incumbent (e.g., job challenge and
scope) and the degree to which the job is defined and is under the control of
the incumbent (e.g., role conflict and role ambiguity) (Beck & Wilson, 1998).
In this study, organisational characteristics encompass two broad dimensions;
job characteristics and role tension.
Job characteristics were defined comprehensively by Hackman & Oldham
(1976) who argued that to enhance employee motivation the job must have
five core characteristics i.e. skill variety, task significance, task identity,
autonomy and feedback. Researchers have attempted to examine relationship

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between job characteristics and different variables including organisational
commitment. To raise job satisfaction (and organisational commitment)
among their employees, managers need to reduce the gap between the
importance and likelihood values for job characteristics that involve the
acquisition of skills (Linz, 2003). There are various dimensions of job
characteristics and their importance in the Human Resource Management is
well established.
1.5 Statement of the Problem
Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) are springing up at an alarming rate in
Nigeria. Their role towards the growth of Nigeria’s economy cannot be
underestimated. For this reason, government and non-governmental agencies
have, in the last two decades, increased awareness and support given to
entrepreneurs to invest in SMEs (Sanusi, 2003). Such investments by Nigerian
SMEs have continued to increase with these SMEs employing more and more
hitherto unemployed Nigerians. It is believed that SMEs employ over 58% of
the global working population and contribute over 30% to the global Gross
Domestic Product (GDP) (NigerianBusinessInfo, 2006). Moreover, SMEs have
continued to face severe constraints in Nigeria. The main identified
constraints are poor funding (NigerianBusinessInfo, 2006) and inadequate
managerial skills (Sanusi, 2003). These reasons contribute to the alarming
rate at which SMEs become moribund.
However, there may be more unidentified constraints than has been
attributed to poor financing and inadequate management skills. One of these

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unidentified constraints is the low level of organisational commitment among
SME employee. Employees in SMEs use such organisations as stepping-stones
because they are unskilled or semi-skilled. So, when these employees gain
experience or additional experience, they move on to bigger and better firms.
Also, since employees form the fulcrum of the daily organisational activity,
thereby determining the upswing in business activity and consequently, the
success of the organisation depends, to a large extent, on their high level
commitment which in the case of Nigerian SMEs is doubtful.
Furthermore, SME employees’ commitment may not only be as a result of the
organisation type. Demographic characteristics such as age, educational level,
gender, job grade-level, job tenure, family life cycle status (made up of marital
status; number of children; age of youngest and oldest child; and number of
children living at home), salary, and alternative job opportunities influence
their level of commitment. Also, the inherent organisational characteristics of
the job such as aspects of the task (e.g., skill variety, task autonomy) the
employee is engaged in, the degree to which the job is interesting to the
incumbent (e.g., job challenge and scope) and the degree to which the job is
defined and is under the control of the incumbent (e.g., role conflict and role
ambiguity) could also be influencing the low level of commitment among SME
employees.
1.6 Significance of the Study
Theoretically, this study added to the body of knowledge on the general
subject of employee commitment. From a practical point of view, this study

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would be of immense benefits to SMEs in Nigeria. In that it would provide
them with ample evidence on the organisational commitment level of SME
employees.
Also, the study would provide government and non-governmental agencies
with crucial data on factors, other than poor financial and inadequate
managerial skills that could result in reduced expansion of the SME sector.
1.7 Objective of the Study
The objectives of this study were:
1. To identify whether SME employees’ level of organisational commitment (on three dimensions) is inversely related to their level of job-related tension. 2. To access whether SME employees’ level of organisational commitment will be different from their perceived level of job characteristics. 3. To find out whether older employees were different on the three dimensions of organisational commitment than their younger counterparts. 4. To identify if female employees will be different on the three dimensions of organisational commitment than their male counterparts. 5. To confirm whether SME employee’s differ on the three dimensions of organisational commitment based on length of service 6. To access whether the three dimensions of organisational commitment differs among employees of different level of educational qualification 7. To identify if married SME employees differs on the three dimensions of organisational commitment from their single counterparts.
Thus the conceptual model of the study:

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Figure 1.2: Conceptual model of the study

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