The effects of the psychological contract on organisational commitment amongst nurses.
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Globally, nurses play a core role within healthcare sectors. However, the public healthcare sector of South Africa is less to be desired. The nursing profession of South Africa is currently experiencing severe shortages, along with other numerous challenges. The shortage of nursing professionals has left nurses within the system over worked, working beyond their scope of practice and being exploited within the workplace. This has increasingly caused nurses to seek employment in other sectors or relocate overseas. Consequently, the crisis has a direct influence on the maintenance or breach of the psychological contract, which has an effect on the level of organisational commitment of the nursing staff. This study intends to outline the effects of the psychological contract on organisation commitment, amongst nurses in the public healthcare sector. In understanding the psychological contract, employers will be able to identify how and when psychological contract violations take place, and the intensity of its repercussions. Given South Africa’s nursing crisis, the organisational commitment of nurses has become a major issue for the nursing profession. It is of the utmost importance for hospitals to retain excellent nursing staff in order to improve the performance of the hospital and overall patient satisfaction. Nurses play a pivotal role in the preservation of good healthcare. Apart from the critical medical duties they perform, they also play an active role in hospital administration/ward management. This study takes a quantitative approach and a survey research design is adopted. The sample was drawn using a simple random sampling technique and 234 questionnaires were distributed. The sample size is 201 with an 85.9% response rate. Descriptive and inferential statistics are used to assess the effects of the psychological contract on organisational commitment amongst nurses in the hospital. The psychometric properties of the questionnaire (validity, reliability) are statistically assessed using Factor Analysis and Cronbach’s Alpha respectively. The results generated reflect the effects of the psychological contract on organisational commitment amongst nurses in the hospital. The nursing staff believe that they are fulfilling their obligations to their employer to a great extent, however their employer is failing to fulfil their obligations to them. Specific areas for improvement are evident and recommendations made in this regard. The results, areas for improvement and recommendations are graphically represented.