Academic journal article Business Renaissance Quarterly

Unwavering Hope and Workers' Commitment in the Nigerian Manufacturing Industry: A Study in Workplace Spirituality

Academic journal article Business Renaissance Quarterly

Unwavering Hope and Workers' Commitment in the Nigerian Manufacturing Industry: A Study in Workplace Spirituality

Article excerpt

Abstract

This study examines the association between 'hope' as an element in the emerging theme of 'workplace spirituality', and 'workers' commitment' in the Nigerian manufacturing industry. The cross sectional survey design was adopted and 235 middle and senior level organizational members constituted the study sample. The foundational philosophical stance of the study was 'critical realism', whereby 'concurrent paradigm triangulation' was adopted. The results of data analyses show that there is a positive and significant association between 'hope' and the measures of workers' commitment, namely: affective commitment, continuance commitment and normative commitment. The study found that workers' 'unwavering hope' in the Nigerian manufacturing industry leads to high workers' affective and normative commitment, as well as low workers' continuance commitment. Thus, as organizational members' conviction that their organizations' vision, purpose and mission will be fulfilled increase, they substantially develop a sense of obligation and loyalty towards the organization. The study therefore recommends that Nigerian manufacturing organizations should strive to inspire unwavering hope in organizational members in order to be assured of their high level of commitment at work.

Introduction

Workers' commitment has been observed to be of prime importance to managers and researchers (Suliman and Iles, 2000), and is acknowledged to be a crucial factor in achieving organizational success. Consequently, Rego and Cunha (2007 p. 4) argue that "in the management discourse, commitment is a central variable, given that more committed people tend to devote higher efforts to work, thus contributing to organizational performance". Kinjerski and Skrypnek (2006) are therefore of the view that in order for organizations to be successful, employees need to be committed to, and be passionate about their work. Accordingly Gbadamosi (2003 p.274) posits that "organizational commitment continues to be a topical issue in management research and continues to engage the attention of practicing managers". Recognizing the sources of organizational commitment has therefore become an increasingly significant priority for organizations and Overberghe et al (2003) argue that over thirty years of research has been done to investigate how commitment influences organizational life. This view is corroborated by Liu (2000, p.1) who argues that "organizational commitment (OC) has been seen as one of the most important variables in the study of management and organizational behavior in the last three decades". Accordingly, Karim and Noor (2006, p.1) acknowledge that "the topic of organizational commitment has been the subject of much theoretical and empirical effort in the field of organizational behavior, human resource management and industrial/organizational psychology".

In the face of the obvious importance of workers' commitment in organizational practice, there is now a growing need for the emergence of a theory that encapsulates the full panoply of contributive forces which lead to workers' commitment. For, in x-raying the research literature on organizational commitment (Yang et al, 2004; Overberghe et al, 2003; Noordin and Zainuddin, 2001), we identify the incompleteness of assumptions about the sources of workers' commitment. For instance, Oliveira (2002, p. 17) argues that "little attention has been paid in the literature to the investigation of spirituality as a cultural phenomenon that might influence organizational behavior and induce organizational change". Thus, while research that examines the relationship between organizational processes and commitment is well developed (Kwon, 2002), there is a dearth of theory to elucidate the impact of the critical facets of workplace spirituality on workers behavior, and one of these critical facets, as identified by Fry and Matherly (2006), is 'hope'. Campbell (2007) argues that organizational members, being humans, apart from their physical component, are made-up of spirituality, cognition and emotion; none of which should be ignored in organizational studies. …

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