Date of Award

2008

Degree Type

Thesis

Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)

Schools and Centres

Business

First Supervisor

Dr. Russel Kingshott

Second Supervisor

Dr. Anthony Imbrosciano

Abstract

A critical problem which faces higher education institutions in Indonesia is that of being able to generate staff’s commitment notwithstanding the inability of the institutions to provide their staff with comparable remuneration. This research sought to ascertain the potential of alternatives to extrinsic rewards in facilitating staff’s commitment in the Indonesian Catholic higher education institutions context. Two ethics-related variables, namely, institutional ethical climates and staff’s ethical ideology were chosen as the possible predictors. The choice was deemed relevant in respect of the endeavours of the institutional leaders to introduce codes of ethics to their institutions. A conceptual model delineating the relationships between organisational commitment, ethical climates, and ethical ideology was developed and tested in this research. A two-step structural equation modelling procedure was used as the primary statistical technique to test the hypothesised relationships. This research built upon the work of Cullen, Parboteeah, and Victor (2003) by focusing on the relationships between ethical climates and organisational commitment through an examination of the nexus between ethical climates types, not only with affective but also with continuance and normative commitment. Additionally, ethical ideology was put to the examination to test the potentiality of this variable for mediating the relationships. The research involved permanent staff of nine Catholic higher education institutions in seven cities on the island of Java, Indonesia. It was conducted during the period of July to September 2005. A cross-sectional survey was employed as the primary method to collect the data. The fieldwork comprised the distribution of a selfadministered questionnaire to potential respondents through direct contact. A purposive or judgmental sampling was used to identify and invite respondent participation. A total of 1,000 questionnaires were distributed of which 642 were usable, representing the overall response rate of 68.15%. Findings of this research demonstrated that the validity of Allen and Meyer’s (1990) three-component model of organisational commitment, Victor and Cullen’s (1987; 1988) multidimensional model of ethical climates, and Forsyth’s (1980) twodimension model of ethical ideology were confirmed in the research sample. Of the theoretical nine ethical climates types, only six were identified in this research. The six emergent climates involved two egoistic, one benevolent, and three principle-based climates. One of the egoistic climates, namely, company profit was undocumented. However, all egoistic and principle-based climates emerged in this research were found to be consistent with the theoretical ethical climates typology. The three types of theoretical benevolent climates did not appear as discrete climates. Instead, they merged together as a single climate. This climate was perceived by the majority of the staff as being more dominant (M = 3.543) in their institutions than the other climates. iii Of the three commitment forms, the means for the normative and affective commitment were found to be relatively equal (M = 5.251 and M = 5.234, respectively). The lower mean (M = 4.689) was shown in continuance commitment. These findings indicated that the commitment of the staff to their institutions was largely based on their desires to identify with and be involved in the institutions and their sense of obligation to stay, rather than on their perceived costs of leaving the institutions. With regard to staff’s ethical ideology, it was shown that the mean of idealism (M = 7.649) was somewhat higher than that of relativism (M = 5.480). This implied that the majority of staff of the institutions were relatively more reliant on universal moral principles (idealism) than on the rejection of such principles (relativism) in making their decisions. Results from the research also revealed that affectively committed staff were less likely to be developed when the staff perceived their institutions as having egoistic climates. Conversely, benevolent climate was shown to have potential for generating not only affective, but also continuance and affective commitment of the staff. However, statistical results suggested the potentiality of this climate for cultivating continuance commitment need to be tested further. Principle-based climates were found to have potential for facilitating staff’s affective commitment through their direct positive impacts on staff’s adherence to moral principles (or idealistic ethical ideology). As expected, the principle-based climate of professional codes was shown to have a negative influence on relativism. Finally, the findings of this research suggested a significant, positive direct effect of affective commitment on normative commitment. These findings contributed greatly to the understanding of the employment relationship within a high context employment setting. As such this research had a number of scholarly and managerial implications and these have been outlined accordingly. Given the limitations of this research a number of directions of future studies have also been discussed.