Employment duration and organisational commitment in the Saudi public sector
The purpose of this study is to investigate the nature and role of organisational commitment among public sector employees in Saudi Arabia. The aim is to develop the public sector to accommodate the rapid growth in the number of employees. This is regarded as one of the most important challenges facing both sectors (public and private). Additionally, this study attempts to identify significant influences on organisational commitment in the public sector in Saudi Arabia. The selected variables are: personal factors (gender, age, level of education, income, marital status, experience); job characteristics (autonomy, skill variety, task identity, feedback and friendship opportunities); work environment (supervision, co-workers, company identification, physical work conditions and financial rewards). The questionnaire in this study was designed to obtain respondents' views in relation to commitment. It was distributed to 900 employees in the public sector in Saudi Arabia (male and female) at all Saudi ministries. The results of this study have indicated that: 1) The five personal variables (gender, age, nationality, marital status and income) have a negative relationship with organisational commitment, while education has a positive and significant relationship with organisational commitment. Experience has a poor relationship with organisational commitment. 2) Variables related to job characteristics (skill, task identity, friendship opportunity, feedback and autonomy) have a positive relationship with organisational commitment. 3) Work environment variables (company identification, co-workers, physical work conditions and financial rewards) have a positive and significant relationship with organisational commitment but supervision has a negative relationship with organisational commitment. The possible contributing factors to these findings were analysed. This study also investigates the feasibility of improving the level of organisational commitment among public sector employees in Saudi Arabia. Finally, recommendations are provided to improve organisational commitment among public sector employees and future areas for research are suggested.