Original Research

Organisational commitment, work engagement and meaning of work of nursing staff in hospitals

Ilka Beukes, Elrie Botha
SA Journal of Industrial Psychology | Vol 39, No 2 | a1144 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.4102/sajip.v39i2.1144 | © 2013 Ilka Beukes, Elrie Botha | This work is licensed under CC Attribution 4.0
Submitted: 30 April 2013 | Published: 05 November 2013

About the author(s)

Ilka Beukes, Department of Industrial Psychology, North-West University, Vaal Triangle Campus, South Africa
Elrie Botha, Department of Industrial Psychology, North-West University, Vaal Triangle Campus, South Africa

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Orientation: Nursing is a noble profession but not always an easy job. Work overload, few resources, limited promotion and development opportunities have a negative impact on the sustainability of the profession.

Research purpose: The primary objective of this research was to investigate the relationship between organisational commitment, work engagement and meaning of work amongst nursing staff at various hospitals.

Motivation for study: It is important to understand how to optimise the work experience of nursing staff in order to ensure a committed and engaged workforce.

Research design, approach and method: A survey design with a cluster sample (n = 199) was used. The Organisational Commitment Questionnaire, Utrecht Work Engagement Scale, Work-Life Questionnaire and a biographical questionnaire were administered.

Main findings: The majority of the scales showed acceptable reliability. Results indicated that the majority of nursing staff view their work as either a job or a calling. This impacts the organisation in the sense that viewing work as a calling predicts 19% of the variance in organisational commitment and 30% of the variance in work engagement.

Practical/managerial implications: Viewing work as a calling will accompany higher levels of engagement and commitment to the organisation. Nurses who feel that they make a meaningful contribution to the hospital are more inclined to stay in the organisation.

Contribution/value-add: Strategies can be put in place to focus on experiencing work as a calling, rather than a job. Enhancing this experience and creating awareness could lead to higher levels of organisational commitment and work engagement.


Commitment; Engagement; Meaning of work; Nursing staff


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