The mediating effect of locus of control between role overload, job satisfaction and turnover intention
Lane, Rachel Clare
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Contemporary South African higher education institutions have undergone many drastic changes in recent years with regard to the demographic composition of students and organisational structures. Huge demands in terms of transformation have been placed on these institutions while they have simultaneously been transforming from former Technikons to Universities of Technology. This causes staff to be faced with major changes which affect all aspects of the institution. The objective of this research was to investigate whether role overload, job satisfaction and locus of control could be used to predict turnover intention of employees in a higher education institution. Further objectives included empirically determining whether locus of control had a mediating effect between role overload, job satisfaction and turnover intention. A cross-sectional survey design was used and an availability sample was taken from a South African higher education institution (n=210). Five measuring instruments were administered as part of a larger questionnaire. Descriptive statistics were used to analyse the data and a series of regressions was used to test for the hypothesised mediating effect. The reliability coefficients obtained for the scales indicated that the Cronbach Alpha coefficients for qualitative role overload, job satisfaction and turnover intention were acceptable; however, those for quantitative role overload and locus of control were below the recommended cut-off mark. The results showed that there was a strong relationship between the dimensions of overload, indicating that the feeling of having too much to do in the time available is accompanied by the feeling that individuals do not have the skills to complete their required tasks. Furthermore, it was found that if employees feel that they have too much to do and that they do not possess the skills to complete tasks, they will be dissatisfied with their jobs. Both quantitative and qualitative role overload contributed to the participant's thoughts of leaving the institution and it was concluded that a satisfied employee is less likely to think of leaving the organisation. Locus of control had minimal relationships with quantitative and qualitative role overload, as well as with turnover intention. Locus of control was, however, found to be related to job satisfaction. Locus of control was found to be a poor predictor of turnover intention and did not mediate the relationship between role overload and job satisfaction on the one hand, and turnover intention on the other. It was concluded that job satisfaction was the strongest predictor of turnover intention. By way of conclusion, recommendations were made both for the organisation and for future research.
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