1.1 BACKGROUND OF STUDY
Work has become one of the most important aspects of an existing society. In Nigeria today and the world at large, workplace is always in state of constant change. It is also a highly stimulating environment which brings a large number of benefits and opportunities to those who work within it.
According to Ulrich, et al., (2008) states that workforce and workplace are one of the most important areas of an organization’s ability to deliver on its goals. However, there are some of factors within the organization that normally affect the workers’ abilities to assist the organization achieve its goals. These factors could relate to organizational stress, job engagement, poor practices of work life balance and others.
The continuous change in demands of the working world can increase levels of organizational stress among employees, especially for those who are consistently working under pressure in small and medium scale enterprises (Issa, et al. 2009). Whilst pressure on the other hand has its positive side in improving organizational performance, but such pressure becomes excessive it can lead to stress which might has negative consequences (Futa, 2013& Santiago, 2003).
According to the Oxford Advanced Learner’s Dictionary 6th Edition, stated that organizational stress among other things could be referred to as pressure, tension or discomfort arising from problematic situations in an individual’s life. Where the incidence of such stress is traceable to an organisation or working environment, it is known as organisational stress (Narayanan et al 2009). As Narayanan et al (2009) further observed that organisational stress could be identified with almost any aspect of a job in an organisation such as extremes of heat, noise and light, or too much or too little responsibility etc. The continuous stress faced by most employees in an organization especially those that found themselves in small and medium scale enterprises (SMEs) could create an intention to quit in the organisation (Irene, 2005).
Intention to quit either completely quit would also change job is a major concern for small and medium scale enterprises (SMEs) in Nigeria because when employees lost confidence as a result of stress, lack of motivation or incentives, excessive work load and poor adherence to work-life balance in the organization, the employees’ concentration and motivation will be lost and this would reduce the productivity and efficiency of the organization (Nazarian, 2013). Many things that cause employees intend to quit in their workplace, such as: feelings of employees who feel that the organization is no longer able to meet their needs. they show indications of declining productivity levels will have an impact on the disruption of corporate activity, such as increased absenteeism, less excited and led to a decline in performance, whereas high employee performance have a positive impact in achieving the goals of the organisation (company), as it reflects the productivity of the organization which reflects the ability of employees to achieve the objectives as planned (Nusair, 2013).
1.2 STATEMENT OF THE PROBLEM
The growth of small and medium scale enterprises is one of the major tools for socio-economic development in Nigeria. But the issue of employees’ intention to quit is the major concern of most businesses; be it manufacturing or service rendering. Employees’ intention to quit could be as a result of stress or turnover intention in their work place; the stress could be noise, pressure and the number of work load on the employees. Stress also has been proven to influence indirectly the intention to leave (Bedeian & Armenakis, 2011). Job stress causes dissatisfaction which in turn leads to the intention to leave. Consequently, Elangoven (2001) discovered direct and indirect relationship between stress and intention to leave among employees in small and medium scale enterprises (SMEs). He found that even though there is circular relationship among studied variables e.g. job satisfaction and commitment, never the less certain stressful job characteristics may directly affect individuals decision to leave.
Many studies tackled the literature on employees in terms of demographic characteristics and turnover intent. Lambert (2006) discovered that gender, tenure, and education level of employees influenced their turnover intent. Women had higher turnover intent than men; he accredited this to job characteristics which involved more masculinity. (Becker, 2010) stated that with increasing tenure, employees intention to leave diminishes as employees “sunken cost” increased i.e. employees became more devoted to the organization. People with greater educational level were found to display greater turnover intent than those with lesser educational level. People with greater educational level observed higher external job occasions. It is to this regard that researcher desired to carry out a research on organizational stress and employees’ intention to quit amongst SMEs using Nigeria as the case study.
1.3 AIM AND OBJECTIVES OF THE STUDY
The main aim of the research work is to examine organizational stress and employees’ intention to quit amongst SMEs. Other specific objectives of the study are:
to determine the relationship between organizational stress and employees’ intention to quit amongst SMEs in Nigeria
to determine the effect of organizational stress on employees’ turnover rate (ETR) amongst SMEs in Nigeria
to investigate on other factors that could lead to employees’ intention to quit amongst SMEs in Nigeria
to examine whether employees’ turnover is important to SMEs in Nigeria
to proffer solution to the above problems
1.4 RESEARCH QUESTIONS
The study came up with research questions so as to ascertain the above stated objectives of the study. The research questions for the study are:
What is the relationship between organizational stress and employees’ intention to quit amongst SMEs in Nigeria?
What is the effect of organizational stress on employees’ turnover rate (ETR) amongst SMEs in Nigeria?
What are other factors that could lead to employees’ intention to quit amongst SMEs in Nigeria?
Is employees’ turnover important to SMEs in Nigeria?
What is the way forward to the problem facing SMEs in Nigeria?
1.5 STATEMENT OF THE RESEARCH HYPOTHESIS
H0: there is no significant relationship between organizational stress and employees’ intention to quit amongst SMEs in Nigeria
H1: there is significant relationship between organizational stress and employees’ intention to quit amongst SMEs in Nigeria
H0: organizational stress has no significant effect on employees’ turnover rate (ETR) amongst SMEs in Nigeria
H1: organizational stress has significant effect on employees’ turnover rate (ETR) amongst SMEs in Nigeria
1.6 SIGNIFICANCE OF THE STUDY
The study on organizational stress and employees’ intention to quit amongst SMEs is will be of immense benefit to the entire SMEs in Nigeria in the sense that the study will try to establish a relationship between organizational stress and employees’ intention to quit amongst SMEs in Nigeria. Secondly, the study will determine the effect of organizational stress on employees’ turnover rate (ETR) amongst SMEs in Nigeria. The study also serves as a repository of information to other researchers that desire to carry out similar research on the above topic. Finally the study will contribute to the body of the existing literature on organizational stress and employees’ intention to quit amongst SMEs
1.7 SCOPE OF THE STUDY
The study on organizational stress and employees’ intention to quit amongst SMEs will focus on small and medium scale enterprises in Nigeria from 2003 to 2017
1.8 LIMITATION OF STUDY
Insufficient fund tends to impede the efficiency of the researcher in sourcing for the relevant materials, literature or information and in the process of data collection (internet, questionnaire and interview). Secondly, the researcher will simultaneously engage in this study with other academic work. This consequently will cut down on the time devoted for the research work
1.9 DEFINITION OF TERMS
Organizational stress: Organizational stress can have a profound effect on production and motivation in the workplace.
Employees’ turnover: Employee turnover refers to the number or percentage of workers who leave an organization and are replaced by new employees
SMEs: Small and medium-sized enterprises or small and medium-sized businesses are businesses whose personnel numbers fall below certain limits
Employee: This is an individual whose services are headed or are headed or are essential for the attainment of organizational goals and objectives. He/she puts both mental and physical efforts in order to achieve the set goals and or objectives of an organization.
Productivity: This refers to the output –input ratio within a time period with due consideration for quality.
Service: This is defined as any effort geared towards creating a certain level of satisfaction to customers.