The present study examines social workers' beliefs about the prestige that outsiders (e.g., patients, suppliers, competitors, and the public) attribute to their organization and the way these beliefs influence the social workers' commitment to the organization they work for, job satisfaction, and turnover intentions (i.e., intentions to leave the organization). We collected two primary data sets (N = 160 and N = 489, respectively) from social workers in nonprofit social service organizations in Israel in 2001 and 2002. In general, the results show that perceived (construed) external prestige results in higher employee commitment and satisfaction, which, in turn, leads to lower levels of intention to leave the organization. The implications of these findings for research on organizational image and employee commitment are discussed, with particular emphasis on social workers in nonprofit social service organizations.
Bibliographical noteFunding Information:
We contacted Israel’s Ministry of Labor and Welfare and requested its approval and support to conduct this research project. After the research project was approved, we obtained from the Ministry a list of registered social workers working for nonprofit social service organizations in Israel. We administered structured surveys to 600 randomly selected social workers using the Ministry of Labor and Welfare’s internal mail system. The survey was also accompanied by a cover letter in which we described the study’s goals and scope and assured the respondents that the data would be confidential.
We contacted the Department of Social Work in the health care division of Israel’s Ministry of Health and requested its approval and support for this research project. Using a list of names and addresses of the social workers’ unit heads and a letter from the Department of Social Work in the health care division of Israel’s Ministry of Health encouraging participation in the study, 390 structured surveys were distributed to each social worker through her or his personal mailbox. The survey was also accompanied by a cover letter from the researchers that described the study and assured the respondents that the data would be confidential. A prepaid university-addressed reply envelope addressed directly to the researchers was provided for each respondent.
- Job satisfaction
- Nonprofit organizations
- Organizational commitment
- Organizational image
- Perceived external prestige
- Social workers
- Turnover intentions