Contemporary Psychology, Vol. 15, No. 1, 2012, 43-64

Original scientific paper

Job Attitudes, Job Performance and Turnover Intentions of Scientists

Željko Jerneić - Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences, University of Zagreb, Zagreb
Vera Kutleša - HR Department, Auto Hrvatska d.d., Zagreb

Fulltext (croatian, pages 43-64).pdf

The aim of this study was threefold: (a) to investigate the differences in job satisfaction, job involvement and organizational commitment between junior researchers and researchers, (b) to establish how job attitudes are related to objective measures of their job performance and turnover intentions, and (c) to examine if their status (researchers vs. junior researchers) moderates the relationship between job attitudes and work outcomes. The study was conducted on a sample of 184 scientists employed in one nonprofit public research institute. The results showed that junior researchers (N = 72) are less job-involved and have lower levels of affective, normative and instrumental commitment in comparison to the researchers (N = 112). In accordance with the hypothesis of cosmopolitan orientation of scientists and their stronger commitment to profession and professional community than to the employing organization, job involvement was the best predictor of job performance in both, the sample of researchers and the sample of junior researchers. On the other hand, significant predictors of turnover intentions were job satisfaction, and affective and instrumental commitment. The scientist status was not a moderator of the relationship between job attitudes and job performance, but it moderated their relationship with turnover intentions. Significant interactions were obtained for job satisfaction and affective organizational commitment. Job satisfaction correlated more strongly with turnover intentions of junior researchers than with those of researchers, while affective commitment correlated only with turnover intentions of researchers. The results confirm the importance of job attitudes in prediction of work outcomes, but also indicate that scientists represent a specific professional group whose job performance is determined by different job attitudes compared with other professional groups. They also imply that predictive validity of certain job attitudes is different for predicting turnover intention of researches and junior researchers.

job satisfaction, job involvement, organizational commitment, job performance, turnover intentions, scientists, cosmopolitan latent role

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