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South African Journal of Libraries and Information Science

On-line version ISSN 2304-8263
Print version ISSN 0256-8861

SAJLIS vol.86 n.1 Pretoria  2020 



Determinants of turnover intentions of librarians at the City of Johannesburg libraries in Gauteng province, South Africa



Johannes MasenyaI; Mpho NgoepeII; Veli JiyaneIII

IMaster's student in the Department of Information Science, University of South Africa. ORCID: 0000-0002-5942-2617
IIProfessor in the Department of Information Studies, University of South Africa. ORCID: 0000-0002-6241-161X
IIIProfessor in the Department of information Studies, University of Zululand, South Africa. ORCID: 0000-0002-2856-3695




Organisations, including public libraries, are confronted with the challenges of managing, controlling and putting in place retention strategies to mitigate high turnover intention. Turnover intention can bring devastation to an organisation, leading to consequences such as decreased morale and productivity, shortage of skilled and qualified staff, and direct and indirect costs to the organisation. This quantitative study employed the census method and adopted a case study design, with an embedded survey design, making use of a structured questionnaire to collect data from 174 librarians at the City of Johannesburg Libraries in the Gauteng province of South Africa. Quantitative data were analysed using the Statistical Packages for Social Sciences (SPSS). The findings in relation to demographic factors revealed that the majority of the librarians who have been with the library organisation for a considerable length of time exhibited turnover intention. Findings further showed that the majority of librarians were mostly dissatisfied with organisational determinants, namely: payment and fringe benefits, working environment (work-life balance), and promotion and recognition which are significant predictors of turnover intention. It is recommended that in order to mitigate turnover intention and increase retention, strategic initiatives should be developed which could incorporate variables such as payment and fringe benefits, promotion and recognition.

Keywords: Employee turnover, turnover intention, libraries, librarians, City of Johannesburg



1 Introduction and background to the study

Literature has revealed that employee turnover intention has negative consequences on productivity and performance of organisations, including public libraries (Heavey, Holwerda & Hausknecht 2013, Jerome 2017). Turnover risk management is increasingly becoming an imperative in libraries to ensure the effective retention of employees and to promote stability (Schlechter, Syce & Bussin 2016). There is a consensus among researchers such as Al Mamun and Hasan (2017: 63), Hom et al. (2017) and Óskarsdóttir (2015: 9) that high turnover can damage an organisation; it can cost the organisation, its employees and its customers both directly and indirectly. In a library, a high employee turnover can lead to disruption of cataloguing work, decline in library services, depletion of the library's intellectual capital and interruptions in normal library operations (Adams 2018: 24, Fourie & Meyer 2016: 423, Schlechter, Syce & Bussin 2016: 2).

Turnover is a multidimensional and interdisciplinary construct, and various researchers have utilised distinctive conceptual models with various factors to better understand the turnover phenomenon. Hom et al. (2012: 831) maintain that "everyone eventually leaves, and no librarian stays with the library organisation forever". Unfortunately, staff turnover hurts libraries, librarians and patrons. Hence, the turnover intention of librarians is a trend that needs to be examined. Factors that increase turnover intentions of librarians relate to their career development and include training, promotion, salaries and fringe benefits (Ergado & Gojeh 2015, Ngo-Henha 2017, Omeluzor 2018). It is essential to develop a comprehensive understanding of librarians' turnover considering causes, consequences and strategies to minimise turnover.


2 Contextual setting

This study focused on librarians working within Library and Information Services (LIS), which is one of the directorates of the Community Development department in the City of Johannesburg Metropolitan Municipality. The LIS directorate oversees and manages eighty-nine public libraries and three support sections. City of Johannesburg Libraries (COJLIS) is expected to contribute programmes that address illiteracy, lack of information literacy skills, and digital citizenry in the Fourth Industrial Revolution (4IR) era by bridging the digital divide, implementing e-learning programmes and eliminating inequality with regards to library service provision (Mpendulo & Ramela 2018: 4). According to Moloto (2019), eleven of the City of Johannesburg's public libraries have extended library operating to Sundays in order to ensure that members of the public have access to much-needed basic library services as and when they need them.


3 Conceptual framework

According to Ngulube (2018, 2020), a conceptual framework consists of various ideas that are entrenched in existing theories, sources and experiences mostly influenced by the context of the study. The author further explains that a conceptual framework is generally represented diagrammatically and shows the relationship between the concepts that are explored in a research project (Ngulube 2018, 2020). The conceptual framework for this study incorporates aspects of a theory or theories, concepts from the literature, personal experiences, knowledge of context, and models. Mobley's (1977) model was germane to this study, as it theorises a linear sequence consisting of the following:

dissatisfaction of librarian with the job, thoughts of quitting, evaluation of subjective expected utility of job search, evaluating the possibility of finding a job within the similar salary scale and costs of quitting (loss of annual bonus, health and life insurance benefits), search intentions, evaluation of alternatives, comparison of alternatives and present job, intentions to quit and quitting" (Hom et al. 2017: 7).

Based on study background, the conceptual framework is suitable to study determinants influencing the turnover intention of public librarians. The independent variables influencing turnover intention among public librarians, based on some of the factors developed and derived from the literature and modified to suit the study for public librarians, are: demographics factors (age, tenure, job designation level) (Albaqami 2016, Perez 2008); personal factors: job satisfaction (Spector 2005) and organisational commitment (Meyer, Allen and Smith 1993); and organisational factors (payment and fringe benefits) (Spector 1997), location of workplace (Nair, Mee & Cheik 2016), working environment: flexi working hours (Perez 2008), perceived alternative employment opportunity (Price 2001, Perez 2008), promotion and recognition (Spector 1997), personal interaction (Spector 1997), supervision (Spector 1997) and leadership (Jerome 2017), and training and opportunity to utilise skills (Price 2001). Turnover intention is a dependent variable.

There is no universally accepted conceptual framework that includes variables that influence the turnover process. Therefore, the turnover intention or turnover process is complex to assess and understand (Albaqami 2016: 58). Indeed, one specific reason cannot be pinpointed for employees' decisions to resign. The conceptual framework presented in Figure 1 depicts the interrelationship between the independent variables which helps to understand the turnover intention of COJLIS librarians.



4 Problem statement

In the context of the public library sector, the demand on librarians to deliver library services and implement programmes is exacerbated by turnover, 'retirement swell' and retention problems and there is a lack of empirical evidence and measurements to diagnose these influencing turnover factors (Theron, Barkhuizen & Du Plessis 2014: 1). Unfortunately, the trend of losing qualified, experienced and productive librarians in COJLIS to other local, provincial and national departments seems to be a constant. Organisations, public libraries included, are always facing a certain amount of employee turnover and they find it problematic to retain qualified staff (Dhanpat et al. 2018: 1). A high level of turnover of librarians and a lack of effective retention strategies may put library services in a position where they would find it difficult to be sustainable, with the library organisation unable to support service delivery due to inadequate skills and shortage of experts among its staff (Ngoepe & Jiyane 2015: 69). The understanding of demographic, personal and organisational determinants influencing the turnover intention of librarians at COJLIS could lead to the improvement of turnover risk management.


5 Aim and objectives of the study

This study investigated the determinants of turnover intention among public librarians at the City of Johannesburg Libraries in the Gauteng province. The specific objectives were to:

determine demographic determinants influencing turnover intentions of librarians;

determine organisational determinants influencing turnover intentions of librarians;

determine personal determinants influencing turnover intentions of librarians; and

recommend strategies that could be implemented to minimise turnover and promote retention.


6 Literature review

This study investigated demographic, organisational and personal determinants of turnover intentions of librarians working in the Johannesburg public library sector. In other words, this study is concerned with factors which influence librarians to stay at or to leave the COJLIS. The demographic, organisational and personal determinants used in this study are grounded in studies that empirically examined these factors and concluded that they are well recognised and good predictors of turnover intention (the dependent variable). Cohen, Blake and Goodman (2015: 3) point out that turnover intention is driven by attitudes from employees. If employees are dissatisfied with their jobs, they could engage in counterproductive work behaviour (for example, absenteeism, tardiness and sabotage). Therefore, this study investigated the turnover intention of librarians as predicted by various determinants. It is necessary for library leaders to comprehend the underlying determinants of turnover intentions in order to find effective retention strategies to minimise a high turnover rate. This study was underpinned by the conceptual framework as described above. The turnover intention process is complex to assess and understand due to a cluster of determinants, as discovered in the analysis of related research studies (Albaqami 2016: 58). Previous studies indicate that scholars have acknowledged the clear difference between turnover and turnover intentions, and that constructs are not synonymous and should therefore not be used interchangeably considering that they are predicted by various clusters of variables (Mobley 1977). The information on turnover could help with the planning, prediction and controlling of library resources. The current research study focuses on avoidable or voluntary turnover to fulfil the aim of the study and find factors that would lead to employees resigning from their jobs. Voluntary turnover is when an employee leaves an organisation without force from an external party.

6.1 Demographic determinants influencing turnover intention

Previous research has shown that older employees do not think about resigning as often and as easily as their younger counterparts (Masemola 2011). In this regard, employees with long work experience have been found to have a low turnover tendency. Conversely, Victoria and Olalekan (2016) pointed out that employees with a longer length of service are more likely to leave the organisation. In relation to job designation, Samuel and Chipunza (2009) stated that turnover is high in lower-level jobs. In the same vein, Alkahtani (2015) indicated that non-managerial employees have a higher tendency to leave their job than employees at higher job levels and those in management posts.

6.2 Personal determinants influencing turnover intention

The review of the literature indicates that job satisfaction is multidimensional and includes facets such as fringe benefits, pay, promotion opportunities, supervision, organisational policies and procedures, co-workers, communication and the nature of the work (Ranaweera & Li 2018, Spector 1997). Hart (2014) and Jerome (2017) emphasised that employees' job satisfaction is the key to improving both organisational and individual performance and service quality, and that librarians who have a high level of job satisfaction for extended periods are more likely not to consider leaving the organisation. Siahaan (2017) defines organisational commitment as an active relationship with the organisation such that employees are strongly connected with the organisation and its values, including possessing a willingness to work hard for the organisation and a desire to remain at the organisation for the near future. Siahaan (2017) identified three components of organisational commitment which are used as core measurement of an employee's organisational commitment. The first is an affective commitment which is related to the emotional bond between employees and the organisation. The second is continuance commitment which is related to the bond between employees and their organisation based on the continuation of their work and their concerns about their job security as well as pension fund and seniority packages accumulated over the years. The third is a normative commitment, which is related to returning the favour which the organisation has given to employees. Organisational commitment is considered to be a prominent predictor of turnover intention (Reddy 2015).

6.3 Organisational determinants influencing turnover intention

Organisational determinants which have a significant influence on turnover intention were outlined in Figure. A large number of studies have revealed that librarians in various organisations seek to improve their salary and fringe benefits either within the current organisation or by joining another organisation that may offer competitive remuneration and benefits (Belete 2018, Johennesse & Chou 2017, Samuel & Chipunza 2009). Rissanen (2017: 52) reported that, in order to be retained and to reduce incidents of turnover intent, employees expect compensation that is in line with their skills and work experience. Unless the total payment structure is perceived as internally fair and externally benchmarked for competitiveness, employees are likely to leave their organisations (Nasurdin, Tan and Khan 2018, Onah & Anikwe 2016).

Location of workplace also has the potential to have an impact on employees' level of job satisfaction and, in turn, influence their turnover intentions (Nair, Mee & Cheik 2016). For instance, librarians may be attracted to specific libraries due to their advantages that the area affords, such as the availability of public transport and schools. In relation to the working environment, flexible work practices (allowing for a work-life balance) make it possible for the employee and employer to take into account the employee's personal responsibilities while still ensuring the employee is doing what is expected by the organisation (Mullins 2007: 804). Coetzee and Schreuder (2010: 263) observed that employees who have access to work-life policies (for example, flexible working hours) show significant organisational commitment and express significantly lower intentions to leave their jobs.

Uitzinger, Chrysler-Fox and Thomas (2018) identified a perceived alternative employment opportunity as a predictor of turnover intention. Price (2001) stated that external pull factors, such as the availability of attractive job alternatives outside the organisation, have been largely overlooked to further understand employees' turnover intention. If librarians are not feeling fulfilled or are seeing no opportunities for growth in their current work, they will leave the organisation with the result that turnover increases (O'Bryan & Casey 2017: 2). Belete (2018) described promotion as an advancement of employees to a higher post with greater responsibilities, a higher salary, better service conditions and a higher status. Employees who feel that they have equal opportunity to be promoted and recognised for their efforts and performance are usually more satisfied with their job, leading to reduced turnover intention (Spector 1997). Ngoepe and Jiyane (2015: 72) are of the view that it is best to promote employees inside the library when a job at a higher level becomes vacant, as this empowers them. Poor career progression could result in low self-confidence, which could have an adverse effect on turnover intention.

Personal interaction appears to be an essential predictor of turnover intention. Nyamubarwa (2013: 80) asserted that a poor relationship with management and co-workers could be an important reason for employees leaving their jobs. A saying that 'people leave managers, not organisations' seems to be true. Emerging evidence shows that employ ees are prepared to leave their employing organisation if relationships with their supervisors are fraught or if managers fail to apply appropriate interpersonal skills when interacting with them (Denton 2013). In their respective studies, Mobley (1977) and Uitzinger, Chrysler-Fox and Thomas (2018: 2) concurred that supervision and leadership style is a critical factor in staff retention. Leaders and their leadership styles are significantly related to turnover intentions.

Training that develops and utilises new skills is the best reward that library organisations give employees. Zhang (2016: 88) echoed the sentiments of other scholars and practitioners who emphasised that training is an important premise of staff promotion and self-development. Growth, advancement and opportunities for skill utilisation decrease turnover intention by a high degree because employees are given opportunities within the organisation to improve themselves (Sattar & Ahmed 2014).

6.4 Strategies to reduce turnover

Retention refers to strategies and interventions aimed at preventing competent employees from leaving the organisation -in the case of this study, public librarians from leaving the library. Studies have shown that, in the public library sector, competitive salary packages, promotion, a work-life balance, transparent communication and greater autonomy are critical to improving the retention of staff (Belete 2018, Fyn et al. 2019, Johennesse & Chou 2017, Samuel & Chipunza 2009). Ngoepe and Jiyane (2015: 67) stated that appropriate mentoring and career management systems can contribute to successful succession planning as they ensure that there is a pool of suitably equipped and experienced librarians, thus indirectly reducing turnover intention. The literature has shown that typical retention factors include job characteristics (for example, skills variety, task significance, autonomy), opportunities for training and development, career opportunities, work-life balance, supervisor support, compensation, learning and sharing skills (Potgieter & Snyman 2018).


7 Research methodology

This study employed a quantitative research approach and adopted a case study, with an embedded survey as a research design. The census method was employed to investigate the target population of 174 librarians with a minimum of six months' experience, so there was no need for sampling. The pilot study was conducted from 7-22 May 2019 where in eighteen questionnaires were distributed to the public libraries within the local government sphere in different South African provinces and to the National Library of South Africa. Sixteen questionnaires were returned. Feedback provided was incorporated into the final questionnaire. A structured questionnaire, which was e-mailed and self-administered, was used as a data collection instrument. In total, 102 librarians out of the 174 sampled responded to the questionnaire representing a 58.6% response rate.

The respondents self-reported their demographic information namely: age, tenure and job designation. The respondents completed the Turnover Intention Scale (Viator 2001) to measure turnover intention as a dependent variable. The modified Job Satisfaction Survey (Spector 1997) was used to measure effects of factors such as payment and fringe benefits, personal interactions and supervision (independent variables) on turnover intention. In addition, Jerome's (2017) leadership questionnaire, Nair, Mee and Cheik's (2016) location of workplace scale and Hwang & Kuo's (2006) perceived alternative employment opportunities questionnaire were used. The Job Diagnostic Survey (Hackman & Oldham 1976) was used for overall job satisfaction. The revised three-component model of the organisational commitment questionnaire designed and refined by Meyer, Allen and Smith (1993) was used in this study to measure organisational commitment. Cronbach's alpha was used to determine the reliability of the scale and its items.

A review of the literature indicated that a number of empirical studies have employed these eleven instruments to measure predictors or theoretical constructs (independent variables) related to turnover intention. In addition, dissatisfaction with various components of job such as payments and fringe benefits, promotion and recognition, supervision and leadership styles can influence turnover intention of librarians at COJLIS. Actual turnover is a dichotomous construct that requires costly longitudinal research with ethical implications (Cohen, Blake & Goodman, 2015: 3), hence, it is not part of this study. The Cronbach's alpha reliability coefficient of 0.70 and above was reported in these measurement instruments. The questionnaire had a coefficient correlation of 0.869, which is above the average of 0.70 which shows that the items in the questionnaires used had high levels of internal consistency.

Ethical clearance was obtained from the University of South Africa, and the City of Johannesburg Metropolitan Municipality gave permission to conduct the research study in the LIS directorate. The researchers received informed consent from the respondents before administering the questionnaires. Data for this study were collected in June and July 2019. The data collected were analysed using Statistical Package for the Social Sciences (SPSS). Descriptive statistics summarised the means and standard deviations. Linear regression and Pearson correlation statistical test were utilised to validate the existence of the relationship between the dependent variable and independent variables.


8 Results and discussion

The demographic profile of the 102 respondents, as indicated in Table 1, shows that the majority of librarians (46.1%; 47) were between the age of 40 and 49. The majority of the respondents (79.4%: 81) were employed at an operational level (librarian and senior librarian positions). Job tenure in the library organisation indicated that a significant proportion of the respondents (30.4%; 31) had been with the organisation for over twenty years.

8.1 Descriptive analysis of demographic, organisational and personal determinants and turnover intention

The mean and standard deviation results of the independent and dependent variables are presented in Table 2, Table 3 and Table 4. The variable, turnover intention, was used to determine the turnover intent of the librarians at the COJLIS.

8.1.1 Demographic determinants and turnover intention

On demographic determinants, as reflected in Table 2, in relation to age and turnover intention through the observation of the mean score, it was evident that 51 (50%) of the librarians intended to leave the COJLIS, while 51 (50%) intended to stay with the library. The results of this study are inconsistent with research conducted by Biswakarma (2016) and Masemola (2011) who identified age as one of the reliable demographic variables that affect turnover intention.

Regarding the tenure variable, Table 3 shows that fifty-two respondents (51%) wanted to leave compared to fifty respondents (49%) who wanted to stay at the organisation. The results of this study corroborate findings of Óskarsdóttir (2015) and Victoria and Olalekan (2016) which revealed that length of service with the organisation, including libraries, is a significant predictor of turnover. This finding might be explained by the fact that knowledge and skills of the librarians gained in the years of employment are not fairly and adequately compensated.

Table 4 depicts job designation and turnover intention. As it was found that fifty-one (50%) of the respondents wanted to leave the library organisation, the present findings are partially consistent with previous studies (Albaqami 2016, Óskarsdóttir 2015) which identified that job designation has a significant influence on turnover intention. In the present study, the most surprising results showed that the majority of the librarians in middle and senior management intended to leave the organisation.

8.1.2 Organisational determinants and turnover intentions

Table 5 provides descriptive statistics on the study's independent variables and dependent variables including mean (M) and standard deviation (SD). Pay and fringe benefits (M=2.06, SD=0.969) seem to be the least satisfying variable in the library organisation. Fyn et al. (2019) and Johennesse and Chou (2017) found that pay and fringe benefits are predictors of turnover intention. Nasurdin, Tan and Khan (2018) emphasised that payment and fringe benefits should be externally benchmarked for fairness and competitiveness. Keng (2014) reported that employees would change their job for a 10% increment in salary. The location of the workplace (M=3.1, SD=1.134) is considered one of the contributory determinants influencing turnover intention. This study's finding about this variable confirms the results of existing studies: that workplace location has the potential to have a negative impact on employees' level of job satisfaction and, in turn, increase their turnover intentions (Nair, Mee and Cheik 2016).

The result for working environment: flexi working hours (work-life balance) (M=3.06, SD=1.128) implies that respondents are dissatisfied with the variable. It is worth mentioning that the data were collected during a labour dispute on working hours and overtime within the libraries. Perceived alternative employment opportunities (M=3.05, SD=1.056) were below the suggested 3.2 threshold. Martins and Geldenhuys (2016) stated that a mean score below the threshold of 3.2 is considered developmental, whereas a mean score above 3.2 is considered positive. It was unexpected that respondents do not see alternative employment opportunities besides the COJLIS. This finding contradicts the finding of O'Bryan and Casey (2017) that, when skilled employees such as librarians are not intellectually stimulated by their work, they may seek alternative employment. Employees leave organisations based on the number of perceived available job opportunities external to their current organisation. Employees may prefer to remain with their current organisation because they regard the cost of leaving the organisation as too high or too risky (Schlechter, Syce & Bussin 2016).

The variables of promotion and recognition (M=2.62, SD=1.119) indicate that the librarians are dissatisfied. This finding agrees with those of Ramogale (2016) and Siew (2017: 1) who found that failure to offer an incentive for hard work, irrespective of whether it is monetary or not, may increase turnover intention. Maithili and Navaneethakrishnan (2014) discovered that a lack of recognition and promotion are important factors that have a negative impact on job satisfaction and increase the probability of an employee departing the organisation. The personal interaction variable (M=3.52, SD=0.998) shows that librarians are satisfied with this factor. This finding is supported by Yamazakia and Petchdee (2015) who found that employees who have positive experiences when interacting with their supervisors and managers are likely to remain in the organisation.

The supervision variable (M=3.42, SD=0.995) indicates satisfaction on the part of respondents. Al Mamun and Hasan (2017) emphasised that supervisors or managers with positive attitudes towards employees and who treat them respectfully would consequently have lower turnover intention among their employees. Wasserman and Yehoshua (2016) supported this evidence that suggests that lowering supervisory pressure and allowing for autonomy on the part of employees may result in the lowering of turnover intention. The leadership variable (M=2.89, SD=1.014) proved that the respondents are not satisfied with certain leadership styles. The findings of this study were consistent with a recent study by Wasserman and Yehoshua (2016) which indicated that leadership styles are the most critical factor in employee intention to stay or leave. The results of this study provide support for research that suggests that an autocratic and authoritarian leadership style could be linked to a higher turnover intention as compared to democratic, laissez-faire leadership styles, and transactional leadership styles (Siew 2017, Singh & Luthra 2018). The results for training to develop and utilise new skills (M=3.37, SD=1.019) demonstrates that librarians at the COJLIS are satisfied with this variable. Bamgbose and Ladipo (2017) discovered that growth and advancement as well as opportunities for skills utilisation have a highly significant impact on turnover intentions.

8.1.3 Personal determinants and turnover intentions

The job satisfaction variable (M=3.02, SD=1.114) confirmed that librarians are unhappy in this regard. Adeoye and Fields (2014) reported that dissatisfied employees leave, while satisfied ones remain at the organisation. Kumari (2018) and Jerome (2017) affirmed that job satisfaction is affected by personal factor variables like pay, promotion, supervision, benefits and working conditions. Organisational commitment (M=2.96, SD=1.056) revealed that many of the librarians did not feel a sense of loyalty or obligation to remain at the organisation. The findings are consistent with previous studies that organisational commitment has been recognised as a salient predictor of turnover intention.

In the case of turnover intention (M=3.27, SD=1.121), results based on the analysis using Sekaran's (2003) measurement scale (for example, good agreement: 2.34-3.66) found that a significant proportion of librarians think of leaving their organisation. The finding of this study reflects other findings: that turnover intention is high in most organisations and that it appears that no strategies are in place to prevent future incidences of turnover (Albaqami 2016). It is a confirmation that turnover intention among librarians is high because 51% of librarians want to leave, in line with data indicated in Table 3. This confirms findings from the literature by Johennesse and Chou (2017), Döckel, Basson and Coetzee (2006) and Ergado and Gojeh (2015).


9 Implications for human resource practice

Taking into consideration that payment and fringe benefits, working environment, and promotion and recognition are strong predictors of turnover intention, directors of human resources departments and libraries should develop strategies and policies aimed at minimising turnover intention in order to increase retention of librarians. Career-path development, succession planning and mentorship programmes for librarians should be strengthened to be more robust for public libraries. The library should pay employees market-related, competitive salaries in order to reduce turnover intention (Erasmus, Strydom & Rudansky-Kloppers 2016).


10 Conclusion and recommendations

In this study, demographic determinants (age, length of service and job designation) were found to be significant predictors of turnover intention. The present study found that 50% of librarians at the COJLIS are considering leaving the library organisation; dissatisfaction with payment and fringe benefits and with promotion and recognition emerged as the most probable reasons for librarians resigning their current job. Therefore, it is recommended that the library pay employees fair, market-related and competitive salaries as it was revealed that when age, length of service and job level increase, turnover intentions increase.

Librarians were dissatisfied with organisational determinants (payment and fringe benefits, promotion and recognition, location of workplace, the working environment (work-life balance) and leadership styles). The perceived alternative employment opportunities variable produced the unexpected result that librarians who display turnover intention do not consider the availability of alternative job opportunities. Improvement in organisational determinants is required to reduce turnover intention, as these factors are considered the most influential factors affecting turnover intention. Besides paying competitive salaries, libraries should expand or adjust the traditional library structure to allow for additional positions such as Principal Librarian and Regional Librarian to allow for further promotion of staff. The recognition and rewarding of good performance should be institutionalised. In addition, prior to the placement of a staff member, libraries should consider the location of the workplace relative to the employee's place of residence. Furthermore, the organisational flexi-time policy aimed at ensuring work-life balance without impacting on service delivery should be refined in line with the institutional policy framework. It is recommended that library managers and supervisors vary their leadership styles depending on what circumstances demand.

In relation to personal determinants (job satisfaction and organisational commitment), this study found that librarians are dissatisfied with a number of organisational factors. The librarians are not committed to staying with the library organisation. This study recommends that a library framework based on job satisfaction and organisational commitment be developed in order to reduce turnover intention. Job satisfaction of librarians could be enhanced by improving on job benefits (for example, introducing car allowances, enhancing working environment and benchmarking salaries against those of other similar organisations) and may play a pivotal role in reducing turnover intention.

This study recommends that organisational leaders, library leaders and human resource practitioners prioritise the variables with which librarians are dissatisfied. They should initiate the development of an institutional talent retention framework to reduce turnover intention. If the library or institution contracts a human resources or business consultant to develop the retention strategy, the outcomes of this study should be integrated into that strategy. While these findings can be generalised in the context of COJLIS, future studies should make use of a larger sample of librarians and nonprofessionals working in the provincial libraries and other public libraries within local government in order to enable generalisation of findings across the sector.



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Received: 31 March 2020
Accepted: 3 June 2020

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