Impact of Workplace Spirituality on Employee Turnover of Academics in Sri Lanka


Impact of Workplace Spirituality on Employee Turnover of Academics in Sri Lanka

Word Count 13801



Employee turnover has been a raising issue among academics in Sri Lanka following prevailing the crisis situation in the country, which may cause people to experience a considerable stress and burden in both work and family life. Due many reasons including psychological stress and issues in living standards in the country, professionals including lecturers, doctors, engineers and lawyers tend to leave the country. Academics, the vital part of an economy is essential to rebuild a country by eliminating the negativities followed by the crisis. However, there are some organizations in Sri Lanka which focuses on spiritual aspects of the workplace to motivate employees to remain in the company. This study aimed at exploring the effect of workplace spirituality on employee turnover I the academic sector in Sri Lanka with 191 sample. Study developed four hypotheses to be tested using SPSS data analysis software package (version 21). Data were analyzed by adopting Descriptive statistics, Pearson Correlation analysis and Multiple Regression analysis and the results were presented in tables and figures. Then, a comprehensive discussion was made along with the findings of previous studies. Study found that meaningful work has a negative impact on employee turnover of academics. The Sense of community also made a negative impact on employee turnover of academics. The alignment of values also was negatively impacting the employee turnover of academics. Finally, workplace spirituality had a negative impact on employee turnover of academics in Sri Lanka. Then, the limitations of the study were stated followed by a few recommendations that the academic sector and future academics/ scholars can follow to mitigate employee turnover while accelerating the spirituality at the workplace.


Additional information

Table of Contents

1.1 Background of the Study
1.2 Research Problem Justification
1.3 Research Questions
1.4 Research Objectives
1.5 Research Hypotheses
1.6 Significance of the Study
1.7 Chapter Outline
2 Literature Review
2.1 Introduction
2.2 Job Embeddedness Theory
2.3 Employee Turnover Intentions
2.3.1 Factors Affecting Employee Turnover
2.4 Workplace Spirituality
2.4.1 Meaningful work
2.4.2 Sense of community
2.4.3 Alignment with organizational values
2.5 Empirical Evidence
2.6 Conceptual Framework of the Study
2.7 Chapter Summary
3 Methodology
3.1 Chapter Introduction
3.2 Operationalization of the study variables
3.3 Research design
3.3.1 Research Philosophy
3.3.2 Research Approach
3.3.3 Research Method
3.3.4 Data Collection
3.3.5 Population and Sampling
3.3.6 Data Analysis Techniques
3.4 Chapter Summary
4 Data Presentation and Analysis
4.1 Chapter Introduction
4.2 Demographic Profile Analysis
4.3 Univariate Analysis
4.3.1 Descriptive Statistics
4.4 Bivariate Analysis
4.4.1 Pearson Correlation Analysis
4.4.2 Multiple Regression Analysis
4.5 Chapter Summary
5 Discussion and Recommendations
5.1 Chapter Introduction
5.2 Summary of hypotheses testing
5.3 Discussion
5.4 Recommendations
5.5 Future Research Directions
5.6 Limitations of the Study
6 References
7.1 APPENDIX A – Questionnaire




1.1 Background of the Study
The human element is commonly considered as the most significant resource for service firms. Academics are the most valued professionals in the higher education sector and have a major impact on institution achievement. Universities are required to provide an atmosphere where academics may grow in good attitudes and conduct. When academics are inspired and satisfied, they are more likely to be driven and committed, which should benefit institutions far more. However, it is more difficult to create a productive workplace at Sri Lankan universities. Academics face a number of difficult obligations, including managing their teaching loads, publishing high-caliber research, handling their administrative responsibilities, performing community service, and cultivating strong relationships with their coworkers and students. When designing their working spaces, Sri Lankan institutions must concentrate on these tasks. Otherwise, academics will get demotivated, irritated, and worn out, which may cause them to consider enrolling in another university to make up for what they are lacking.

It's common to refer to an employee's plans to leave an organization as the potential to look for other options in other ones. These intentions are some of the most potent motivators of employee departure. Organizations must fully understand the external and internal factors that could influence the academic’s feeling to leave because of the detrimental effects of actual leave. For firms trying to deal with this staff turnover, taking these aspects into consideration must be a top priority (Griffeth et al., 2000).

Academics who quit their employment don't necessarily do more in search of greater financial rewards; instead, their decisions to do so may be influenced by the workplace's culture and its tolerance for personal expression. Universities have undergone significant transformation recently, placing greater focus on developing moral and sustainable values across all workplaces (Fernando, 2005). Building ethics and values at colleges is controversial because of the human resource development (HRD) for them in the workplace. Workplace spirituality is an ethical movement in human resource development (HRD) and management that has produced attention on company values.

Oginni and Omoyele (2018) have conducted a study in Nigeria to evaluate how workforce turnover influences productivity in the industrial sector, using the cable industry as a pilot study. 420 employees were sampled for the study, and 65% of them responded. The findings showed that a recurrent problem at work is employees' decisions to quit and join other organizations. Numerous other factors, including organizational culture, emotional trauma, organizational structure and organizational politics resulting from organizational policies, are all important in this scenario. The findings confirmed once more that the key contributors to labor turnover that have an impact on organizational productivity are job variables, environmental factors, personal factors, and organizational policies.

Numerous academic studies have examined the variables influencing the proportion of employees leaving their positions in different service and manufacturing industries such as health sector, the banking sector, the telecommunication sector, apparel sector, etc. Akeyo and Wezel (2017) used personnels from several non-governmental organizations (NGOs) to perform a research on impact of salary and its related matters cause to employee turnover in humanitarian sector. That study mainly focused on how financial related matters affects the employee turnover.

Workplace spirituality is a topic that is being studied in an expanding corpus of literature. The literature is mostly concerned with creating a conceptual framework, measuring techniques, or characteristics of workplace spirituality. Three main things might be to blame for this increased interest: According to Ashmos and Duchon (2000), the workplace is becoming the primary setting for employees to share their human experiences and foster positive relationships with one another; providing employees with chances for spiritual growth may lessen conflict and stress.
According to some Kim (2009), the explanation for this lack of knowledge is connected to the uncertain underlying mechanism of impact on turnover intentions. More research is required, according to Kaymaz et al. (2014), to define the function of workers' sentiments and emotions in this hypothesized relationship. This hypothesis is consistent with arguments made by Gordge (2008) who claimed that the incorporation of employees' emotions and interpersonal interactions might facilitate an indirect correlation between workplace spirituality and work-related behaviors. However, it might be claimed that impacts on employee evaluations enhance the direct impact of workplace spirituality on plans to leave. Hence, this study aims to fulfill this empirical gap in the literature to examine the influence of workplace spirituality on employee turnover of academic members in universities in Sri Lanka.

1.2 Research Problem Justification

Alarming evidence has been accumulated on the state of education in Sri Lanka. In the past 25 years, almost 3,000 academics in Sri Lanka have changed jobs. In the past eight years, 20% of academics who were currently employed planned to look for positions at other, usually international, universities. By the end of 2020, this specific number is anticipated to reach more than 60 percent]. Low turnover rates are favorable for universities because it provides opportunities for young academics and they could bring innovative ideas for the academic platform, while high rates of turnover are disruptive and harm Sri Lanka’s academic sector's reputation. Further, COVID-19 Pandemic also made an impact on academics to leave the country following the greater crisis in Sri Lanka. The Covid-19 Pandemic has no direct impact on the current crisis in Sri Lanka however, it has an indirect impact on people living standards and academics attempt to leave Sri Lanka and join with foreign countries. Based on university internal databases, the following table was developed by the author to indicate the staff turnover after COVID-19 Pandemic.

1.3 Research Questions

Following research questions can be identified regarding this study.
1. What is the impact of meaningful work on employee turnover of academics in Sri Lanka?
2. What is the impact of Sense of community on employee turnover of academics in Sri Lanka?
3. What is the impact of alignment of values on employee turnover of academics in Sri Lanka?
4. What is the relationship between workplace spirituality and employee turnover of academics in Sri Lanka?
5. What is the impact of workplace spirituality on employee turnover of academics in Sri Lanka?

1.4 Research Objectives

1. To identify the impact of meaningful work on employee turnover of academics in Sri Lanka.
2. To identify the impact of sense of community on employee turnover of academics in Sri Lanka.
3. To identify the impact of alignment of values on employee turnover of academics in Sri Lanka.
4. To identify the relationship between workplace spirituality and employee turnover of academics in Sri Lanka.
5. To identify the impact of workplace spirituality on employee turnover of academics in Sri Lanka.

1.5 Research Hypotheses

1. There is a significant impact of meaningful work on employee turnover of academics in Sri Lanka.
2. There is a significant impact of Sense of community on employee turnover of academics in Sri Lanka.
3. There is a significant impact of alignment of values on employee turnover of academics in Sri Lanka.
4. There is a significant relationship between workplace spirituality and employee turnover of academics in Sri Lanka.
5. There is a significant impact of workplace spirituality on employee turnover of academics in Sri Lanka.

1.6 Significance of the Study

Academic Significance
Since there is an empirical gap in existing literature, at the end of the research, this study will be helpful to fill the gap of knowledge to the available literature by providing generalized findings. And, this research will adopt a new conceptual model to measure the workplace spirituality. Since studies on that measuring method are lack in the literature, this study will add a value to the information databases and it will be advantageous to future scholars to find out their requirements easily. Further, this study will create a platform for the decision making as well about the turnover rate in Sri Lankan academics and how to overcome it through promoting workplace spirituality.

Practical Significance
Employee turnover is one of the most important workplace KPIs that should be tracked. It allows organization to understand how satisfied their employees are and whether or not they are likely to leave. When an employee decides to leave the firm by resigning or retiring, this is referred to as voluntary turnover. When the organization asks an employee to leave, it is referred to as involuntary turnover. In Sri Lanka, academic play a major role in transitioning the knowledge into the next generations and thereby future leaders and country-makers are built upon. When educated crowd is migrated, Sri Lankan becomes helpless and academics are considered as one of major required employees to Sri Lanka as a developing country Further, the university is the place where universe knowledge, skills and attitudes are developed and shared among the country and globe. When Sri Lanka is missed with intellectual properties like lecturers, it will be a huge negative impact and problematic in the future.

1.7 Chapter Outline

Chapter One – Introduction
The majority of Chapter 1 has been devoted to identifying and examining the major problems present in the study area and their relevance to the study's research goals. This chapter also describes the planned study's scope, theoretical and practical importance, and primary anticipated outcomes.
Chapter Two – Literature Review
The main goal of Chapter 2 is to analyze earlier research studies carried out by different academics in order to identify the literature that is currently available in the field of interest. It also identifies the key theories and concepts associated with the research topic and the conclusions of such earlier research studies. This will include a plethora of models, concepts, definitions, empirical findings of previous studies conducted in same discipline.
Chapter Three – Methodology
The successful selection and efficient use of the finest research procedures are essential to the planned research study's accuracy and success. This chapter mainly discusses about the research method and design adopted to the study. It will indicate about the research philosophy, research approach, research type, time horizon, data collection, population and sampling. The tools and techniques used to interpret and generate the key research insights will be covered in this chapter.
Chapter Four – Data Presentation and Analysis
The analysis of the data acquired in line with the main research goals is the primary emphasis of Chapter 4 of the study. The researcher's ability to efficiently analyze the collected data using the best and most appropriate methods and procedures in order to achieve correct research outputs and insights is one of the key aspects that determines the overall success rate.
Chapter Five – Discussion and Recommendations
The primary goals of Chapter 5 of the study are to clearly communicate the findings and compare and contrast them with past research studies carried out by other academics and researchers. By contrasting the data, the researcher could verify that the study's findings were reliable, logical, and applicable. On the basis of the study findings, the relevant suggestions will also be given under this chapter.