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Title: The influence of rewards on job satisfaction and organisational commitment among academic staff at selected universities of technology in South Africa
Authors: Mabaso, Mzwenhlanhla Calvin 
Issue Date: 2017
Higher education institutions are particularly vulnerable to the loss of their highly qualified employees to better rewards and benefits from the private sector and other higher education institutions. Talent retention and employee turnover, therefore, are major concerns for higher education institutions (HEIs). Without well qualified and committed academic staff, no academic institution can really ensure sustainability and quality over the long-term. Owing to the competition for scarce skills, the attraction and retention of quality employees has emerged as the biggest challenge in human capital management, this phenomenon has also arisen in universities of technology. To attract and retain employees, organisations need novel reward systems that satisfy them. Employee rewards are an important component in exchange of employee contribution. It is generally accepted that employee rewards plays a significant role to attract, motivate, satisfy, retain and maintain commitment among employees in any organisation while ensuring a high standard of performance and workforce stability. Essentially, it is understood that reward systems in higher education institutions are at fault because they do not provide individuals with rewards that they value.

The overall outcome of the study is to benefit employees, rewards practitioners and institutions by attracting and retaining talented employees. The study focuses on the academic staff at two universities of technology, namely, Central University of Technology and Tshwane University of Technology. A quantitative research approach was employed with a semi-structured questionnaire comprising a 5 Point Likert Scale to determine the influence of employee rewards on job satisfaction and organisational commitment among academic staff at universities of technology. The target population for the present study comprises all academic staff at Central University of Technology and Tshwane University of Technology (from level of lecturers, senior lecturers, head of departments and professors). The target population for this research was obtained from the Human Resources Management Department at both universities of technology. The source list indicates that both UOTs equated to staff of 1 089 (CUT = 296; TUT = 820). A semi-structured questionnaire was administered to 279 sample respondents of academic staff. Data obtained from 225 respondents and 8 uncompleted questionnaires yielded a response rate of 78%. Systematic sampling was used to select target respondents, nth element was drawn on every 4th element for the entire sample. The data collected from the responses were analysed with the Statistical Package for the Social Sciences (SPSS) and AMOS, version 24.0 for Windows. Three main data analysis techniques are employed: descriptive statistics, confirmatory factor analysis and structural equation modelling (SEM).

Two models are employed in CFA to test dimensional structure of employee rewards. These include a model that allows all factors to be freely correlated, a proposed model was tested for correlation and a structural model. All factors are correlated because they measure one higher order factor, where all indicators test if they measure only one construct. The results of CFA provide solid statistical evidence that affirm relationship among constructs. However, some factors do not converge towards the job satisfaction construct in a South African context. Work-life balance and fringe benefits provided a negative correlation to job satisfaction. A significant statistical relationship is seen between employee rewards, job satisfaction and organisational commitment. The SEM results affirm that compensation, performance management, recognition, talent development and career opportunities have a positive and significant influence on job satisfaction. Job satisfaction has a significant effect on organisational commitment while total rewards components performance management, recognition, talent development and career opportunities has a positive and significant impact on organisational commitment. However, employee rewards have a significant effect on job satisfaction and organisational commitment. These results, therefore, can aid remuneration specialists in higher education institutions with specific reference to universities of technology to implement these total rewards components in order to affect job satisfaction while ensuring organisational commitment among academic staff. This study would benefit if these models are tested with an alternative data set. The research also suffered from a limitation common to survey research and SEM. Due to time and money constraints, it is a cross sectional sample at one specific point in time. As a result, while causal relationships can be inferred, they cannot be generalised towards other universities of technology in South Africa.
Submitted in fulfillment of the requirements for the degree Doctor of Philosophy in Management Sciences: Human Resources Management, Durban University of Technology, Durban, South Africa, 2017.
Appears in Collections:Theses and dissertations (Management Sciences)

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