Introduction
A basic purpose of all organizations might be improvement of outcomes in terms of
employees’ job satisfaction, financial outcomes, customer satisfaction, and employees’
commitment. Organizations and many researchers have focused on the methods about how to
improve outcomes. These issues might especially be more important to small medium-sized
enterprises (SME). Compared to big companies, SME operate in more challenging conditions
such as facing the difficulty of hiring new and competent employees, lower productivity and
high turnover rate.
SME consists of a small group of people, so managers and employees could interact more
easily with each other than in big companies. Frequent interactions with each other could cause
managers and employees to build more emotional relationships that affect employees’ attitudes,
outcomes, and behaviors. Therefore, employees in SME might be more affected by
environmental factors such as their leader’s characteristics, organizational culture and
organizational climate. If employees are emotionally attached to an organization, they might
want to stay longer with their organizations and have passions to their jobs.
Organizational culture functions like a mechanism to integrate people in organization,
improves the outcomes of organization, shapes and shares same values, and increases the
stability of the organization. Ortiz and Lisa (2005) proved that organizational culture improved
organization performances and also emphasized the importance of power, values, rituals, and
leadership as important components of culture.
The lack of employees’ commitment results in poor business outcomes and employee
turnover. Employees’ commitment is another important factor that affects employees’
productivity. Meyer and Allen (1997) suggested that employees who were strongly committed to
their organizations identify with, get involved in and feel loyal towards their organizations
In this regard, organizations could utilize employees’ emotional commitment as a way to
prevent and reduce high turnover rate in SME. Thus, finding factors to affect employees’
emotional commitment to improve an organization’s outcome in SME might be the most
important issue. If we can find factors to affect employees’ emotional commitment, we can
suggest some methods to improve organization effectiveness, such as reduced turnover rate.
Purpose of the Research
The primary objective of this research is to verify the factors to affect employees’
emotional commitment, as well as the connection among these factors, employees’ emotional
commitment and turnover intention.
The specific objectives of this research are the following:
1. Identify the factors to affect employees’ emotional commitment in the small mediumsized enterprise contexts.
2. Identify the relationship of organizational culture (learning organization) to employees’
emotional commitment, the relationship of the characteristics of leaders (spiritual
leadership) to employees’ emotional commitment, and the relationship of employees’
emotional commitment to turnover intention.
3. Identify the role of employees’ emotional commitment to mediate environmental factor
of organization and turnover intention.
Statement of the Problem
The purpose of this research is to identify and verify the factors to affect employees’
emotional commitment and to identity the relationship between those factors and employees’
emotional commitment and between employees’ emotional commitment and turnover intention
in SME context.
To date, there have been a number of research studies conducted on factors to affect
employees’ turnover intention (Joo & Park, 2009; Mobley, Horner, & Hollingsworth, 1978;
Mobley, Griffeth, Hand, & Meglino, 1979; Michales, & Spector, 1982; Lamber, Hogana, &
Bartona, 2001; Egan, Yang, & Bartlett, 2004; Bedeian, Kemery, & Pizzolatto, 1991). The major
findings of these studies are job autonomy, organization structure, career satisfaction, leadership,
and organization commitment. Commitment is considered an especially important factor in
organizations. Low commitment to organizations will result in bad outcomes such as turnover
intentions and low productivity. Some researchers have verified the effect of commitment on
employees’ turnover intention.
The positive relationship between commitment and behavioral outcomes of loyalty has
been strongly supported in the literature (Bowen & Shoemaker, 1998; Dick & Basu, 1994; Kim
et al., 2001; Morgan & Hunt, 1994). Meyer and Allen (1997) suggested that a “committed
employee is one who will stay with the organization through thick and thin, attend work
regularly, put in a full day, protect company assets, and share company goals” (p. 3). Zimbardo
(1985) suggested that when emotion is evoked, this emotion is leading to actions. Thus, if
employees have emotional commitment to a leader or an organization, this commitment will
have a negative effect on turnover intention.
In this current study, the author assumed that employees’ emotional commitment in SME
will have important role to improve organization effectiveness especially in turnover intention.
Thus, through finding and verifying the factors to affect employees’ emotional commitment, the
author gave practical suggestions for SME.
Significance of the Study
The primary significance of this study is to address employees’ emotional commitment as
a mediator to figure out the relationship between of environmental factors within an organization
and turnover intention.
Research Questions and Hypotheses
1. What are the factors to affect employees’ emotional commitment?
2. What are the relationships among environmental factors (organization culture and
characteristic of leaders), employees’ emotional commitment and organization
effectiveness (turnover intention)?
3. Could employees’ emotional commitment reduce turnover intention?
Hypothesis 1: Learning organization as an organizational culture will be positively
related to employees’ emotional commitment.
Hypothesis 2: Spiritual leadership will be positively related to employees’ emotional
commitment.
Hypothesis 3: Employees’ emotional commitment will be negatively related to turnover
intention.
Conceptual Framework of the Research
Learning organization is defined as one factor of organizational culture that helps
establish a learning culture. Learning organization means that the learning organization involves
grouping, individual and organizational learning with the concurrent procedure effort for
organizational and individual learning (Chang & Lee, 2007). An organization having a culture to
support employees’ learning could promote organizational changes and sustainable competitive
advantages and improve organization outcomes (Preskill, 2005; Senge, 1990). Several empirical
studies explained the strong relationship between learning organization cultures and organization
outcomes in term of job satisfaction, organization commitment, productivity, and turnover
intention (Ellinger et al., 2002; Tjepkema et al., 2000; Yeo, 2005; Wang, 2005).
Leadership is a way to create a vision and encourage their employees with selfconfidence through coordination and communication (Bohn & Grafton, 2002). In recent years,
spiritual leadership has emerged which integrates spirituality into leadership theory. Spiritual
leadership is concerned with the quality of the human spirit. Spiritual leadership can produce
follower trust, intrinsic motivation, and commitment that is required to maximize human wellbeing and organization outcomes (Fry et al., 2011). Spiritual leadership could have an effect on
employees’ trust and commitment that could then increase organizational performance (Fry,
Hannah, Noel, & Walumbwa, 2011). Fry et al. (2005) also suggested that spiritual leadership
positively affect employee productivity and commitment to organization.
In order to design the integrated research, a conceptual framework (Figure 1) has been
developed to guide the entire study.
Environmental
Factors
Learning
organization
Spiritual
leadership
Figure 1. Conceptual framework.
Organization
Effectiveness
Employees’
Emotional
Commitment
Turnover
intention
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