The growth of the fitness industry in Thailand has been on the rise now that the Thai people place unprecedented importance on exercise to keep fit. According to a 2015 survey by the Thai Health Promotion Foundation, 36% of the population exercise at least 31-60 minutes a day. Increasingly more facilities have been established around the country for the purpose of providing residents with a workout venue. Particularly foreign brand fitness establishments have penetrated the Thai market and gained a sizable market share. The managerial personnel at fitness establishments play a role in managing the day-to-day back-office and fitness-floor operations and orchestrating the client service efforts. Such businesses need to take into account organizational commitment and job satisfaction among their staff as these qualities are believed to be closely tied to staff turnover (Yousef, 2017).
Turnover can be harmful to organizational performance (Glebbeek & Bax, 2004). Therefore, it is important that an organization try to retain its staff in light of the high cost of replacement (Hinkin & Tracey, 2000; Pack & Won, 2017). This is especially so when it comes to cross-national enterprises where foreign investments are made somewhere outside their home country; it is crucial that more efforts be put into recruiting and staffing. Management needs to understand what causes turnover intention and what has to be done to retain talented workers (Buckingham & Vosburgh, 2001).
Prior research proposing turnover models mostly addressed job satisfaction, organizational commitment and leadership, either independently or correlationally. Sometimes these studies yielded conflicting results and led to a conclusion about the scarcity of research on turnover intention (McCarthy, Tyrrell & Lehane, 2007). In addition, research has been conducted to identify how leadership behavior can be used to encourage employees to achieve better organizational outcomes. However, very few studies have tried to better understand the impact of leadership behavior on predictors of turnover such as job satisfaction, organizational commitment and organizational engagement.
This study proposes a model that emphasizes the role of leadership behavior, job satisfaction and organizational commitment in explaining turnover intention. Specifically, the investigator wished to examine these variables whose mechanism was presumed to contribute to turnover intention or particularly, the effect of job satisfaction and organizational commitment on turnover intention as moderated by leadership behavior.
Organizational commitment has been recognized as a psychological state that describes the quality of an employee's relationship with his or her organization and this state implies the decision to continue or discontinue membership in an organization. It is conceptualized by Meyer & Allen (1997) as a model made up of three components of organizational commitment: (1) Affective (emotional attachment and identification with the organization), (2) continuance (awareness of the costs associated with leaving the organization) and (3) normative (feeling of obligation to continue employment with the organization).
Organizational commitment is a variable receiving a lot of attention from contemporary researchers. Among other reasons for its prominence in the organizational literature is that commitment has repeatedly been recognized as a significant factor that determines the work behavior of employees in organizations (Meyer & Herscovitch, 2001; Meyer, Stanley, Herscovitch & Topolnytsky, 2002). Commitment is the factors that links employees to the organization (Fornes, Rocco & Wollard, 2008) and helps the organization succeed (Fornes et al., 2008). Commitment has been found to be related to some positive organizational outcomes such as job performance (Chen, Silverthorne & Hung, 2006), employee satisfaction (Chughtai & Zafar, 2006; Meyer et al., 2002) and turnover (Meyer et al., 2002).
Research shows that commitment has been defined in so many different ways that there is a lack of consistency in the definition and this even has contributed to the difficulty in understanding the results of the research (Darolia, Kumari & Darolia, 2010). In this regard, organizational commitment is characterized by three psychological factors: first, identification which refers to a belief in and acceptance of organizational goals and values; second, involvement which refers to a willingness to exert considerable effort toward organizational goal accomplishment; and third, loyalty which refers to a strong desire to remain in an organization (Yousef, 2017).
Moreover, other researchers associated organizational commitment with turnover intention as its predictor (Bentein, Vandenberg, Vandenberghe & Stinglhamber, 2005; Hackett, Lapierre & Hausdorf, 2001; Wagner, 2007). Nevertheless, it was argued that such turnover studies failed to address both job satisfaction and organizational commitment in the temporal dimension, so it was suggested that the causal relationship between these two variables should be interpreted with caution (Wagner, 2007).
Turnover is a concept that has been studied from many perspectives. Some look at turnover as a model, wherein it is viewed as a consequence of employees' job satisfaction and organizational commitment. It is also based on the leader-member exchange theory and the organizational support theory (Maslyn & Uhl-Bien, 2001; Walumbwa et al., 2011). Turnover is regarded as a termination from the employees' side without any involvement or pressure from the employer's side. With regard to employee turnover, Wagner (2007) asserted that job satisfaction and organizational commitment contribute independently to the prediction of turnover intention or cognition. Later, Griffeth, Hom & Gaertner (2000) also concluded that organizational commitment predicted turnover better than job satisfaction.
Some researchers present the view that organizational commitment develops through job satisfaction and that organizational commitment mediates the influence of job satisfaction on turnover intention. Other authors have stated that the relationship was in fact the opposite; that is, organizational commitment precedes job satisfaction. However, this view was not supported by later research (Chen et al., 2006). In fact, in their meta-analysis of the antecedents, correlates and consequences of organizational commitment, Meyer, Stanley, Herscovitch & Topolnytsky (2002) treated job satisfaction as a correlate (rather than an antecedent) of commitment in their model explaining turnover and turnover intention. Furthermore, other studies used correlational analysis and regression analysis and failed to attest to the concomitant effect of job satisfaction and organizational commitment on turnover intention (Choi & Chiu, 2017; Wagner, 2007).
As for information technology professionals, despite the fact that organizational commitment was highly correlated to turnover intention, it was removed from the model to minimize multicollinearity since it was highly correlated with job satisfaction (Joseph, Koh & Soon, 2007). Many argued that the tested model did not take into account the influence of leadership behavior that literature has identified as being associated with turnover (Kammeyer-Mueller & Wandberg, 2003; Maertz, Griffeth, Campbell & Allen, 2007).
Leadership has an impact on employees and employee behavior in many ways. It solves the problem about collective effort in an organization so it is crucial to organizational effectiveness (Hogan & Kaiser, 2005). Hogan & Warrenfeltz (2003) presented a domain model of leadership that identifies four classes of managerial competencies: (1) intrapersonal skill (able to control emotions and behavior, internalized standards of performance); (2) interpersonal skills (building and maintaining relations, social skill role-taking and role-playing, impression management, political savoir-faire); (3) business skills (abilities and technical knowledge needed to plan, budget, coordinate and monitor organizational activities); and (4) leadership skills (influence and team-building skills). This model proposes the different broad...