n South African Journal of Labour Relations - Job embeddedness, organisational commitment and voluntary turnover of academic staff at a higher education institution in South Africa

Volume 38, Issue 1
  • ISSN : 0379-8410
  • E-ISSN: 2520-3223



Academic staff recruitment and retention remain a challenge in South Africa and internationally. Most academics at South African universities are ageing, with fewer younger people entering academia. The objectives of the study were to determine empirically whether job embeddedness and organisational commitment significantly predict voluntary turnover and whether people from different gender, race and age groups differ significantly in terms of these three variables. The measuring instruments used were the Job Embeddedness Scale (JES), the Organisational Commitment Scale (OCS) and the Voluntary Turnover Scale (VTS). A cross-sectional quantitative survey design was used to collect data from a random sample of (N=102) full-time academic staff at a South African higher education institution in Gauteng. The findings showed that organisational fit, community links and normative commitment significantly and positively predicted the participants' intention to stay at the institution. Female participants showed higher levels of organisational fit and sacrifice, hence a stronger intention to stay. White participants had stronger community links and fit, and the African participants had higher levels of normative commitment than the other race groups. The current study adds to the knowledge base on the turnover intentions of academic staff and makes recommendations for retention practices and possible future research.

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