James Cook University ISSN 1445-6354
Purpose: To study the factors affecting the intent to leave of healthcare workers who serve in underserviced areas, we test the mediating role of both professional and organizational commitment in the relationship between perceived investment of employee development and intention to leave among these healthcare workers.
Methods: This study was designed a cross-sectional study using a well-organized questionnaire with major studying variables consisting of perceived investment in employees’ development (PIED), Meyer’s occupational and organizational normative commitment, and intent to leave. In total, 692 healthcare workers from 48 health centers were enrolled for study; 616 including 415 (68.9%) from mountainous areas and 187 (31.1%) from isolated islands responded and were valid for analysis. The response rate was 87 %.
Findings: The healthcare worker’s PIED was positively correlated with both professional normative commitment (PNC) and organizational normative commitment (ONC) and negatively correlated with individual’s intent to leave. The dual normative commitments mediate completely the relationship between PIED and intention to leave in those health workers with governmental subsidiary, while no such effect was noted in those without.
Conclusion: The employee’s dual commitments of professional and organizational normative commitment mediated the relationship between perceived investment of employee development and intention to leave. The government’s investmentof on-the-job training and career planning for the healthcare workers in both remote areas and isolated islands is important to enforce their professional and organizational normative commitment, and further, to retain the workforce in these underserviced areas.