The Influence of Organizational Context on Quitting Intention

An Examination of Treatment Staff in Long-Term Mental Health Care Settings

Published in: Research on Aging, v. 21, no. 2, Mar. 1999, p. 176-204

Posted on RAND.org on January 01, 1999

by Kimberly J. Jinnett, Jeffrey A. Alexander

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This study uses multilevel methods to investigate the effects of organizational context on job satisfaction and quitting intention among staff working in long-term mental health care settings. Two types of organizational features are examined: group job satisfaction and structural features of the work unit (unit size, workload, and level of client functioning on the unit). A review of the organizational literature reveals that most empirical research has investigated job satisfaction at the individual level of analysis rather than the group level. The authors argue that the affective context of a group has real and measurable consequences for individual attitudes and behavior, independent of individual attitudes toward the job. Using multilevel modeling, study findings support the premise that group job satisfaction exercises effects on intention to quit independent of individuals' dispositions toward their jobs. These effects are both direct and interactive. The findings underscore the importance of affective context in shaping individual attitudes and behavioral intentions.

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