32 SES 05 A, Organizational Commitment of Teachers
The research topic is Teachers’ organizational commitment in NIS Taraz: levels, factors and implications. The study investigated the level of organizational commitment of teachers and the personal- and environmental factors within Nazarbayev Intellectual School of Physics and Mathematics in Taraz affect teachers’ organizational commitment. The school is part of a network of 21 elite schools under the auspices of "Autonomous Educational Organization" Nazarbayev Intellectual Schools.
Research questions: 1. What is the level of teacher organizational commitment at NIS school in Taraz? 2. What personal and environmental factors influence teacher organizational commitment at NIS school in Taraz?
Organizational commitment is an individual attitude, which can manifest in the job-related behavior of employees in an organization. Organizations employ people who use their mental, social and physical skills to turn the capital inputs of the organization into useful products and services. When the employees of the organization remain with their employer for a long time, the organization can enjoy a long life of productivity, profitability and sustainability. On the other hand, when employees constantly leave their employer, productivity is no longer assured. Moreover, when employees such as teachers leave a school, they leave with tacit knowledge, which includes what they learnt from the organization in order to be productive. They go away with important expertise. It is therefore in the best interest of school leaders and other employers to curb the tendency for their employees to leave and instead establish strategies to keep them around and fulfilled. This study set out to understand how this is possible.
In Kazakhstan, educationists are expected to manage the personal domain on their own. It is within the personal realm that organizational commitment is situated. This implies that leaving educationists to manage important personal assets such as organizational commitment on their own deprives the organization of the opportunity to understand, modify and harness organizational commitment to its fullness. A narrow, one-sided understanding of organizational commitment means that organizational leaders miss opportunities to intervene at a personal- or environmental level to support their employees and thus keep them for long on their payroll.
The purpose of this quantitative, cross-sectional survey study was to examine the level of organizational commitment of teachers in NIS Taraz and to analyze the personal and environmental factors influencing teacher organizational commitment. This study throws light on organizational commitment of teachers within a school located in Kazakhstan. It applies the understanding of the experience of other researchers around the globe and contextualizes it to Kazakhstan’s education system specifically in secondary school. It provides a template for similar further studies that will take place on the subject of organizational commitment. In particular, for NIS Taraz, the study provides information to guide decision making within the schools human resource management. The study was intended to challenge teachers to reflect individually about their organizational commitment as well as to appreciate how to conduct rigorous research.
Based upon the literature reviewed, study variables and their relationships were theorized. Personal factors and environmental factors predict organizational commitment and its components. The components of organizational commitment have overlapping characteristics as determined by Meyer and Allen. It is theorized that personal factors such as age, highest qualification, gender, happiness with the organization, work experiences and being able to handle challenges at work predict continuance-, affective- and normative organizational commitment. The environmental factors such as: Employer providing all resources for teaching and learning; employer giving autonomy regarding classroom decisions; similar belief- and values systems of the organization; believing in the blessing of deity, and good student quality and behavior predict continuance-, affective- and normative organizational commitment.
This study adopted a quantitative design, dealing with numerical figures and systematically measurable quantities. It helped in the process of explaining, predicting and controlling phenomena and was appropriate to answer the research questions. This study adopted a causal- comparative quantitative methodology. Quantitative data on teacher organizational commitment were correlated with personal and environmental factors that affect teacher commitment. Statistical techniques and essential descriptive information were used in the analysis. A cross-sectional survey was employed to collect data at a given time. The data helped to determine the relationship between the study factors. The survey was quick, easy and cost effective and the response rate was 93%. The survey design was preferred over other approaches in the interest of saving time and cost. It was sufficient to chart out the course for further study. The study took place at Nazarbayev Intellectual School Taraz, Zhambyl province in Kazakhstan. This organization was purposively chosen because it is the workplace of the researcher and it was easier to get permission to research there. The target population in this study was the 135 contracted teachers of Nazarbayev Intellectual School, Taraz. The respondents were disaggregated by gender, age, teacher rank, years of service and total teaching experience. A survey questionnaire was administered. Concerning affective-, normative- and continuance commitment, validated questions were adapted from the Organizational Commitment Questionnaire (OCQ) of Meyer and Allen (1997). The subcomponents of the OCQ had Cronbach’s alpha values of 0.87, 0.79 and 0.75 respectively. Relevant validated questions were synthesized from the literature to develop a measurement tool on personal and environmental factors that affect teachers’ organizational commitment with good psychometric properties. Given the possibility that the English language skills of some of the respondents were wanting, data collection instruments were translated into Kazakh and Russian with the help of professional translators. The study gathered data on personal and environmental factors that affect teachers’ organizational commitment. Official permission to collect data for this study was sought from the school administration prior to deploying questionnaires. Each respondent received a hard copy of the questionnaire, a timeframe of 20 minutes within which to complete it, and a specific location in which to deposit the completed questionnaire. Respondents were anonymous to protect their privacy. The principles of anonymity and respondent protection were upheld. The will of respondents to choose to provide all, partial or none of the data requested was to be unreservedly respected.
In conclusion, the first research question, organizational commitment at the study site was rated above the midpoint of the scale by respondents. Both affective- and normative organizational commitments were rated above the midpoint of a 7-point Likert scale while continuance commitment at the study site was rated below it. Some age-, entry date- and marital status groups had statistical differences on their ratings of normative organizational commitment. Furthermore, the category highest qualification groups have statistical differences on ratings of continuance commitment. Concerning the second research question; 81 percent of personal- and 99.4 percent of environmental factors were rated as affecting organizational commitment. However, personal- and environmental factors did not show statistically significant correlation to organizational commitment. A handful of personal and environmental factors significantly correlated with organizational commitment. Specifically, the personal factor ‘Being happy with the organization’ was significantly correlated to continuance organizational commitment. Moreover, the environmental factor ‘Employer assures your job security’ was significantly correlated to continuance organizational commitment. Furthermore, the environmental factor ‘Believing in the blessing of deity’ was significantly inversely correlated to affective organizational commitment. The first part of the purpose of the study to measure the level of organizational commitment was achieved with organizational commitment globally rated at 4.14 out of 7, which is a moderate level. The second part of the purpose of the study to determine the predictors of organizational commitment at the study site; with the exception of DS4_3: Being indifferent towards rewards and DS4_4 Having enough savings to live on even if you retire today, other personal factors as well as all environmental factors were rated by respondents as affecting organizational commitment. Overall, the study was successful in answering the questions posed.
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