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Exploring the relationship between perceived organisational support, employee engagement and their impact on commitment.

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Academics are regarded as the operational core of universities and the manner in which they perform determines the quality of the student’s higher education experience and impacts at the societal level. Hence, higher education institutions base their sustainability on the scholarly knowledge and innovative capabilities of employees. No academic institution can sustain itself without highly skilled, experienced, competent and committed employees. The aim of this study is to establish the relationship between perceived organisational support and employee engagement and their impact on organisational commitment. This research study adopted the quantitative research approach utilising a closedended questionnaire comprising of academics’ biographical information, the Utrecht work engagement scale, the perceived organisational support scale and the original commitmentscale. The sample size for the study consisted of 292 permanent academic staff members from the University of KwaZulu-Natal’s four Colleges, namely, Health Sciences, Humanities, Law and Management Studies and lastly, the College of Agriculture, Engineering and Science. The reliability and validity of the measuring instruments used in the study were tested using Factor Analysis and Cronbach’s Coefficient Alpha respectively. Data was processed using both descriptive and inferential statistics. The findings of this study indicate that UKZN academics display differing levels of work engagement, organisational commitment and perceived organisational support with work engagement being the highest, followed by organisational commitment and lastly, perceived organisational support. Furthermore, significant relationships were found between work engagement, perceived organisational support and organisational commitment respectively. In addition, work engagement and perceived organisational support significantly account for 54.8% (Adjusted R2 ) of the variance in determining the Organisational Commitment of academics with perceived organisational support having a greater impact on organisational commitment than work engagement. Biographical influences are also assessed. The results of the study and ensuing recommendations are graphically represented. The implementation of the recommendations have the potential to enhance work engagement, perceived organisational support and hence, organisational commitment.


Doctoral Degree, University of KwaZulu-Natal, Durban.