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Organisational commitment, work engagement and meaning of work of nursing staff in hospitals

Author(s): Ilka Beukes | Elrie Botha

Journal: South African Journal of Industrial Psychology
ISSN 0258-5200

Volume: 39;
Issue: 2;
Start page: 1;
Date: 2013;
Original page

Keywords: Commitment | Engagement | Meaning of work | Nursing staff

Orientation: Nursing is a noble profession but not always an easy job. Work overload, few resources, limited promotion and development opportunities have a negative impact on the sustainability of the profession.Research purpose: The primary objective of this research was to investigate the relationship between organisational commitment, work engagement and meaning of work amongst nursing staff at various hospitals.Motivation for study: It is important to understand how to optimise the work experience of nursing staff in order to ensure a committed and engaged workforce.Research design, approach and method: A survey design with a cluster sample (n = 199) was used. The Organisational Commitment Questionnaire, Utrecht Work Engagement Scale, Work-Life Questionnaire and a biographical questionnaire were administered.Main findings: The majority of the scales showed acceptable reliability. Results indicated that the majority of nursing staff view their work as either a job or a calling. This impacts the organisation in the sense that viewing work as a calling predicts 19% of the variance in organisational commitment and 30% of the variance in work engagement.Practical/managerial implications: Viewing work as a calling will accompany higher levels of engagement and commitment to the organisation. Nurses who feel that they make a meaningful contribution to the hospital are more inclined to stay in the organisation.Contribution/value-add: Strategies can be put in place to focus on experiencing work as a calling, rather than a job. Enhancing this experience and creating awareness could lead to higher levels of organisational commitment and work engagement.
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