Validation and investigation of the Quality of Work-Life Scale within selected South African manufacturing organisations
Quality of work life plays a vital role in the performance and growth of an organisation and its employees. Quality of work life entails the degree to which employees’ personal and working needs are met while working in the organisation. There is criticism that the manufacturing industry does not provide opportunities for employees to fulfil their personal and working needs. Thus, by improving the quality of work life of employees, the organisation will be able to deal with the stressors surrounding the criticism. However, to date there are no evidence that a measurement for quality of work life was validated in the South African context. As a result, the applicability of this construct and the impact of improving the quality of the work life for employees within selected South African organisations is unknown. The present study postulated that organisations implementing strategies and interventions to improve quality of work life and organisational commitment, will decrease the level of turnover intention, which may lead to improved performance, higher profitability and increased growth of the organisation – and benefit employees. Therefore, it is important to create awareness on quality of work life, organisational commitment and turnover intention among organisations and employees alike. Currently, however, there is a lack of research on the relationship between quality of work life, organisational commitment and turnover intention among employees within selected South African manufacturing organisations. Therefore, it is important to investigate these relationships. The general objective of this study initially was to determine the psychometric properties of the Quality of Work Life scale, in terms of its validity and reliability, in the South African context. A further aim was to determine the relationship between quality of work life, organisational commitment and turnover intention; and whether organisational commitment mediates the relationship between quality of work life and turnover intention among employees within selected South African manufacturing organisations. The study used a cross-sectional research design. A combined convenience and purposive non-probability sampling technique was utilised (N = 400) to collect data within manufacturing organisations. Descriptive statistics (i.e. means standard deviation, skewness and kurtosis) as method was used to analyse the data. Exploratory factor analysis was done to determine whether the Quality of Work Life scale was valid in the South African context, through investigating the item loading. Furthermore, convergent validity was determined by investigating the relationship between all nine dimensions of the mentioned scale. The reliability of the constructs was also calculated through Cronbach’s alpha coefficients. The data were analysed through inferential statistics (i.e. confirmatory factor analyses, correlations, multiple regression analyses and structural equation modelling) as tested by the IBM SPSS and AMOS programmes. The results indicated that not all 50 items of the Quality of Work Life scale have high corrected item -total correlations, therefore, three of the 50 items were removed. From the Quality of Work Life scale, (with 47 items), all nine dimensions were investigated further, namely: working environment, organisational culture and climate, relations and co-operations, training and development, compensation and rewards, facilities, job satisfaction and job security, autonomy of work and adequacy of resources. For all these dimensions, acceptable levels of reliability were found, as well as positive interrelationships. The results provided evidence that all the mentioned nine dimensions of quality of work life have a significant negative relationship (with large effect) with turnover intention. Furthermore, it was found that quality of work life significantly predicts organisational commitment and turnover intention. The results also indicated that organisational commitment partially mediates (with medium effect) the relationship between quality of work life and turnover intention. The findings thus confirmed that organisations developing strategies and interventions to increase the levels of quality of work life and organisational commitment, will not only experience increased performance among employees; the organisation’s performance as a whole will improve significantly. To round off the study, conclusions were drawn, and recommendations made for future research and practice.