The Impact of Social Power Bases, Procedural Justice, Job Satisfaction, and Organizational Commitment on Employees' Turnover Intention

Article excerpt

This study proposes a conceptual framework to investigate the effects of employees' perception of supervisors' "social power bases" on employees' "turnover intention" mediated by employees' perception of "procedural justice", employees' "organizational commitment" and "job satisfaction". The results obtained from structural equation modeling indicate that procedural justice, job satisfaction, and organizational commitment are significantly and negatively related to employees' turnover intention. Moreover, job satisfaction is more effective mediator than organization commitment to lessen employee turnover.


Employees' turnover remains one of the most widely researched topics in organizational analyses (Dalton and Todor, 1981). Despite the significant progress of research in this field (Morell et al, 2004; Negrin and Tzafrir, 2004), there is a great deal of confusion as to what might actually cause employees to leave their organizations. Different researchers developed different models to enlighten and advance the understanding of employee turnover to explain and predict employees' movement within or out of the organize tion(s).

A number of researchers (Jackofsky, 1984; Dalton and Todor, 1981) identified the relationships between employees' turnover intention and the labor market, physical working conditions, pay, job skill, supervision, employee personal characteristics (such as intelligence, aptitude, personal history, sex, age, length of service and so on), and employee's reaction to his/her job (including aspects such as job satisfaction, job involvement, and job expectations). Among all of these variables, the relationships of job satisfaction and organizational commitment with turnover intention are found to be substantially documented (Poon, 2004; Koh and Goh, 1995). Researchers showed that employees' perception of supervisors' Social Power Bases (SPB), employees' perception of Procedural Justice (PJ), employees' Job Satisfaction (JS), and their Organizational Commitment (OC) have linkage to the employees' Turnover Intention (TI) (Poon, 2004). Some other researchers (Cotton and Tuttle, 1986; Michaels and Spector, 1982) have identified that employees' JS and OC function as mediating variables. Therefore, in this study, the researchers have proposed two different conceptual frameworks to investigate the causal relationship between the employees' .perception of supervisors' SPB and employees' TI, while mediated (both directly and indirectly) by employees' perception of PJ, employees' OC, and employees' JS to aid explaining the causality among the studied variables in the specified order or sequence.



The notion of power (social power) can be traced back to the 1950s, when Dahl (1957) argued that power is the ability to overcome resistance in achieving a desired result. Rahim (1989) elaborated on desired results, and proposed that power is the ability of one party to change or control the behavior, attitudes, opinions, objectives, needs, and values of another party.

A theoretical framework that received much attention in studies of social power was first proposed by French and Raven (1959). The definitions of five types of SPB (coercive, reward, legitimate, expert, and referent) provided by French and Raven (1959) put to use in the current study are: (a) Coercive power is the employees' perceptions whether a superior has the ability to punish them if they fail to conform to his or her influence attempt, (b) Reward power is the employees' perceptions whether a superior can reward them for desired behavior, (c) Legitimate. power is the employees' perceptions whether a superior has the right to prescribe and control their behavior, (d) Expert power is based on employees' belief that a superior has job experience and special knowledge or expertise in a given area, and (e) Referent power is based on employees' desires to identify with a superior because of their admiration or personal liking of the superior


PJ generally refers to the perceived fairness or equity of the procedures to make allocation decisions (Folger and Greenberg, 1985). …


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