The moderating effect of social support on the relation between role overload, job satisfaction and turnover intention
Sieberhagen, Charl Francois
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Gold mining in South Africa has played a significant role in the economic development of the country over the past 120 years. The continued focus on productivity, recruitment and consolidation in the South African gold mining industry will result in a decline in production. Much of the decline can be attributed to natural attrition as the industry has moved from a mass employer of limited, contract, unskilled labour, to an employer of more permanent, mostly semi-skilled or skilled labour. The objective of this research was to investigate the reliability of measuring instruments of social support, role overload (qualitative and quantitative), job satisfaction and turnover intention for employees in the mining industry. Further objectives included empirically determining whether social support has a moderating effect on the relation between role overload and job satisfaction and turnover intention. A cross-sectional survey design was used. A random sample was taken from a South African mining company (N=250). Gender and age were included as control variables. Individuals on Paterson grading E band to C Upper (managers) were part of the sample. Five measuring instruments were administrated. Descriptive statistics and inferential statistics were used to analyse the data. The results obtained for the five scales proved the measuring instruments to be reliable. The results show that when an employee feels that his/her work is more than he/she can accomplish in the time available (quantitative role overload), the employee will most probably also feel that his/her work requires skills, abilities and knowledge beyond that of their own (qualitative role overload). It is also indicated that social support from the supervisor increases the employee's positive attitude or pleasurable emotional state towards his/her job or job experience (job satisfaction), as well as heightens the probability of social support from colleagues. Furthermore, the more positive the employee's attitude towards the job, the less the intention to stop working will be (turnover intention). This intention to stop working will also be less when social support from the supervisor is more and/or when the employee experiences less feelings that his/her work is more than he/she can accomplish in the time available. Turnover intention was predicted by social support from supervisor. Job satisfaction was predicted by role overload (quantitative) and social support from supervisor. By way of conclusion, recommendations for future research are made.