Employee commitment and its impact on process quality in a manufacturing concern
Van Blerk, Elsabè Johanna
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The aim of this study was to evaluate employee commitment to achieve the primary objective, which was to evaluate employee commitment towards product and process quality. Employees who are engaged in their work and committed to their organisations give companies crucial competitive advantages – including higher productivity, better quality products and lower employee turnover. A thorough literature study was conducted by using the views of different authors and combining them. The concept of quality was defined by making use of the five quality gurus; Deming, Juran, Feigenbaum, Crosby and Ishikawa. The fourteen principles of quality, developed by Deming, were presented in Table 2.1. These principles had the goal of increased productivity, with less rework, less waste of manpower and material resources, resulting in a reduction of costs, to in turn give the organisation greater market share and ultimately better competitive position, by improving the overall quality of an organisation’s work processes. The concept of employee and organisational commitment was defined, and from this study it is evident that employee commitment towards the company is positive and therefore should have a positive effect on their operating environment. The product process flow for this manufacturing concern were discussed to give an overall view of the production processes used in this organisation. An empirical study was completed using a questionnaire survey to determine employee commitment at a manufacturing concern in Gauteng. The questionnaire used for this study was designed to focus on commitment towards internal quality only, to specifically evaluate employee perspective towards product quality, as well as the commitment towards the organisation. Analysis of the responses showed the questionnaire to be reliable and valid. Respondents indicated that they are committed towards the organisation in general across all constructs, but a lack in management trust was a predominant sentiment. The quantitative analysis showed that after a factor analysis was done on the two sections of the questionnaire, four factors for each section were considered as meaningful. These factors were: Affinity, quality awareness, autonomy and corporate image (employee commitment - section B) and employee commitment, task performance, job satisfaction and contextual performance (company relationship – section C). This indicated strong employee commitment towards the organisation. The qualitative results had four areas that all respondents felt needed some attention, and loaded negative towards the organisation. These were HR (trust in management, competency, communication and company culture), skills development, employee development and BBBEE. Thus, drawing conclusions from quantitative results alone could give a company a false sense of employee commitment towards the company and therefore overlook the importance of the roles that employees play in executing strategic plans. Conclusions regarding the findings of the research study were presented and recommendations for this organisation were made. These recommendations are merely a guideline that correlates directly to the empirical analysis made. The research study was evaluated against the primary and secondary objectives with the conclusion that both were achieved.
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