Relations of indicators of work climate and satisfaction to turnover intention in the context of social support
Tertiary institutions in South Africa have experienced radical changes in the past decades, especially due to the change from technikons to universities of technology. These changes created new mental and emotional demands for academic staff and placed them under additional pressure. Problems experienced by tertiary institutions include constantly changing systems, students from underprivileged backgrounds and decreased subsidies from the state. These factors could lead to role overload and role conflict. The objective of this research was to examine the relationships between individual indicators of work climate (job challenge demand, role overload and role conflict, job satisfaction and pay satisfaction and social support) and turnover intention. Further objectives included empirically determining if these indicators of work climate can be used to predict turnover intention and to determine if social support plays a moderating role in the translation of work climate in turnover intention. A cross-sectional survey design was used. A convenience sample was taken from a South African university of technology. Measuring instruments for all the variables of interest were administered. Descriptive statistics were used to analyse the data. Finally, a structural equation model was developed to explain the relations between the variables. The results obtained for the scales proved that four of the seven specific measuring instruments are reliable in terms of their specific use for employees in a South African tertiary institution. Job challenge demand, quantitative role overload and role conflict were less reliable. Results showed that when an employee feels that he/she has too much to do in too little time, or if the task is too difficult to complete, he/she will experience lower levels of job satisfaction which in turn may lead to higher levels of turnover intention. Social support from the supervisor and colleagues increase job satisfaction. A moderating effect for social support between work climate (role characteristics and satisfaction) and turnover intention was demonstrated. By way of conclusion, recommendations for future research were made.