Title

The impact of relationships on employee commitment within fast growing SMEs

Document Type

Presentation

Publication details

Farr-Wharton, R, Brunetto, Y & Nelson, SA 2009, 'The impact of relationships on employee commitment within fast growing SMEs', paper presented to the Academy of Management Conference: Green management matters, Chicago, IL, 7-11 August.

Peer Reviewed

Peer-Reviewed

Abstract

This paper uses Social Exchange Theory (SET) to examine the impact of the SME Owner/manager-subordinate communication relationship on knowledge and other workers’ perception of autonomy and in turn, affective commitment. Using the OLS procedure, the goodness of fit of the model identified that supervision and autonomy accounted for approximately a quarter of the variance of all SME employees’ levels of affective commitment, and 16.8 percent of the variance for knowledge workers. The implication for SME owner/managers is that because professional engineers (knowledge workers) are costly to educate and train – hence, retaining them is an important goal. These findings also provide evidence that traditional control management practices are probably no longer effective in retaining knowledge workers.

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