Academy of Strategic Management Journal (Print ISSN: 1544-1458; Online ISSN: 1939-6104)

Research Article: 2019 Vol: 18 Issue: 2

A Study on the Effects of Glass Ceiling & Organizational Commitment on Corporate Women's Turnover Intentions

Mansi Tiwari, ABS, Amity University, Gwalior (M.P)

Garima Mathur, PIM, Gwalior (M.P)

Suvijna Awasthi, Jiwaji University, Gwalior (M.P)


This study explores how gender discrimination can be turned into a lack of organizational commitment & high turnover intentions among Indian working women in corporate settings. Result from the survey indicates that there is positive & significant relationship between the mentioned variables, but all such issues could be sorted out with proper imprecision of women empowerment supportive environment. The result also suggests that there is an effect of glass ceiling over the organizational commitment in terms of loyalty towards the employer. Women are found to be efficient at their positions, either being on superior position or medium level position, but perceived as an inefficient employee who is burdened with lot of responsibilities other than workplace. This kind of notion results in an environment which makes workplace male dominated surrounding in which women develop their intentions to quit with weak commitment towards their organization. 


Glass Ceiling, Organizational Commitment, Turnover Intentions and Working Women.


In corporate world, glass ceiling is like a metaphor like an invisible barrier which imminent the women’s growth & advancement at higher level positions (Dimovski et al., 2010, & Bolat et al., 2011) & this also creates problems in seeking them a good working opportunities in corporate world (Kolade & Kehinde, 2013). Specifically, it is an unseen and unreachable barrier that impedes minorities and women from moving to the upper levels of the corporate ladder, regardless of their qualifications or achievements (Glass Ceiling Commission, 1995). Glass ceiling making tough for the women to forward movement for superior positions & prevents them from entering into male controlled or dominated occupations. Gender difference could be seen at every level in the form of lack of promotion opportunities, pay rates gap, under representation of women’s at leading positions, lack of career progress etc. All such mentioned notions prevents working women’s in reaching higher level in corporate ladder. There should be equal opportunities to be given to employees to prove themselves. Regarding the agenda mentioned above the paper is deeply focusing on working women employees in terms of factors like organizational commitment, turnover intentions due to the glass ceiling issues at work place.

Organizational Commitment

Discrimination on the basis of gender has an unfavorable effect over organizational commitment of working women which led to increase in their intentions to quit from the organization. Further it could also be seen as adverse effect over employee’s performance which further led to reduction in organizational performance. Organizational commitment is defined by Mowday et al. (1982) as comparative potency of the recognition and identification of employees with their organization. Organizational commitment plays a vital role for any organization success. As found by Dost & Tariq (2012) glass ceiling and gender discrimination affect employee’s commitment towards the organization negatively. This type of barrier decreases organizational commitment on part of an employee and also decreases job satisfaction level.

Turnover Intentions

Employee turnover is the most critical problem on the part of organization & for human resource management department also. It is important to think over it as it affects the relationship between employer & employee since starting from recruitment, selection, placement & not the least training & development which incur huge cost in it. If any of the employees decided to leave the organization it’s not only the organization & the particular employee who is going to be affected but also the roles & duties of other employees also get affected.

As we all know employees are spending their maximum time at their workplace so somehow it becomes also important for the employer to provide them the conductive working environment to increase employees efficiently. In sustainability of employee job satisfaction plays a very important role due to which employees enjoy long term relationship with their employers & feels very strongly committed for their workplace which led to reduction in the intention to quit from workplace from employee’s side.

Why Women taken as Focal Point

The working women has taken in study as the major respondent because now a day’s every corporate talks about equality where they forget about minor difference between gender equality & gender sensitivity while allocating targets or assignments due to which women are being allotted with work load in comparison to other fellow male colleagues. For this the corporate always try to justify their unfair decisions with the gender equality. This is being faced by almost every woman who works in corporate setting where they are targeted just because they are female & also over shadow by the male bosses or colleagues even after putting 100% efforts to their jobs.

To through the light on this issue in era of equality how women are being treated which led to affect their intentions for turnover & their commitments towards their employer or work place.

Literature Review

Relationship of Glass Ceiling & Organizational Commitment

It has been discovered the close relationships between the above glass ceiling related factors and the organizational commitment of female employees which the higher levels of corporate glass ceiling effects lead to the lower level of organizational commitment of female employees (Khuong & Chi, 2017) also the same issue is addressed by the authors like Dost et al. (2012) found moderate level of relationship between glass ceiling and organizational commitment. Therefore, employee commitment towards organization is fairly affected by the glass ceiling. Organizations should develop policies to minimize the glass ceiling practices. They should give proper career advancement opportunities to females in order to retain highly skilled and qualified professional. As quoted by Jawahar & Hemmasi (2006) when organizations do not give proper career advancement opportunities to women employees, they have to face unavoidably loss of competent, capable, skilled, experienced and knowledgeable professionals. Similarly, female employee shows decreasing organizational commitment when they work in the environment which is highly dominated by the gender bias and men stereotypes (Korabik & Rosin, 1991). This shows that gender biasness has an adverse effect on the commitment of female employees towards organization. Glass ceiling factors have influence on women career development (Bombuwela & Alwis, 2013). Glass ceiling barriers with gender stereotype and prejudices have discriminatory factors that prevent women from earning equal salaries as that of men, which lead to a gender wage gap (Cabeza et al., 2011).

Relationship of Organizational Commitment & Turnover Intentions

Conversely to the previous results, employees who are more satisfied with the training programs offered by their organizations, such employees are more expected to leave the organization (Sheng, 2003). Therefore turnover may be costly to the organizations whereas commitment is commonly used as desirable skills that might increase in employees. Satisfaction is positively associated to organizational commitment and negatively related with employee turnover intentions (Lane, 1993) suggests that organizational commitment is negatively correlated to employee turnover intentions (Jehanzeb et al., 2013). Organizational commitment focuses on the employee’s attachment to the organization as a whole, regardless of the position. Organizational commitment is the result of the organizational support employees receive. More precisely, it is “a condition in which an individual identifies with his or her organization and its goals, and wishes to maintain membership in it” (Ghazzawi & Smith, 2009). Particularly for women, organizations that fail to support their advancement face inevitable turnover of qualified and experienced professionals (Jawahar & Hemmasi, 2006). Prior to turnover, withdrawal behaviors and reduced feeling of any obligation to remain loyal to the organization are likely to occur when employees perceive a lack of support. Rosin & Korabik (1991) state women’s decreasing organizational commitment as a potential result of a work environment dominated by male values, biases and controls.

Relationship of Glass Ceiling & Turnover Intention

Turnover intentions are divided into two categories: voluntary turnover and involuntary turnover (Albattat & Som, 2013; Lam et al., 2003). Voluntary turnover intention is the decision of an employee to leave the organization. Involuntary turnover intention, on the other hand, is the departure of an employee initiated by the employer (Lam et al., 2003). The reasons of employee turnover can generally be divided into three categories as work-related factors (e.g. job satisfaction, wage, performance, and organizational commitment), individual factors (e.g. age, education, gender, tenure) and external factors (e.g. unemployment rate, perceptions of employment, presence of trade union (Foreman, 2009). It can be concluded that this situation is a result of the role and responsibilities assumed for the female employees within their families and the limited career opportunities. Griffeth et al. (2000) indicated that this situation is a consequence of the primary responsibilities of women as traditional household chores and child care, and that childbearing requires women to leave their paid employment. While other researchers who study this issue report that this result stems from the responsibility of women in their families (Keith & McWilliams, 1995; Sicherman, 1996), the availability of limited opportunities to women for improvement (Stroh et al., 1996) and the poor commitment to their jobs (Chaudhury & Ng, 1992) & also concluded by (Emiro?lu et al., 2015 ).

Problem Statement & Significance of the Study

Preceding discussions indicates that earlier research findings on the relationship of Glass ceiling, organizational commitment & turnover intentions of working corporate women have been inconclusive. Further hardly any researches have been done in Madhya Pradesh (India) especially only on working females. Thus there is a need to pursue more researches in the mentioned context. Thus the following hypothesis was proposed for this study:

H1: There is a positive and significant relationship between glass ceiling and organizational turnover intention.

H2: There is a positive and significant relationship between organizational commitment and turnover intentions.

H3: Glass ceiling will influence significantly organizational commitment.

This study will help in raising the issue like glass ceiling which is being faced by mostly working women at their work places where they are being discriminated which results in stress, weal organizational commitment & increase their turnover intentions. The significance of the study is that the corporate should avoid the practices of glass ceiling when it comes to deal with working women & they should be more gender sensitive.

Material & Methods

The aim of this paper is to explore & access how glass ceiling is linked with the organizational commitment & turn over intentions among working women in corporate world. To reach the above research area there has been considerable evidences related to glass ceiling association with organizational commitment & turnover intentions. The framework is below in the form of diagram (Figure 1).

Figure 1.Framework Of Organizational Commitment.

The research conducted on women an employee who works in different organizations of Gwalior region. The major focus was on variables like glass ceiling, organizational commitment & turnover intentions. This study was done by using an electronic survey method for data collection through which questionnaire was sent to working women’s in different organizations at the level of senior & executive positions. Questionnaire was included with the questions related to: 1) glass ceiling with 27 questions; 2) organizational commitment with 8 questions; & 3) turnover intentions with 6 questions.

The population for the particular research performed in Gwalior city especially on working women from different organizations of sample of 100 working women in numbers at different positions. The sampling method used for the research is purposive sampling technique & for the data collection survey tool questionnaire is used by providing & distributing the list of statements to all responding women. So, the total numbers of questions were used in the study were 41 questions (Table 1). All the questions were measured on 5 point Likert scales ranging from strongly disagree to strongly agree. The questions were based on the reference of researchers named Meyer & Allen (2007), Turnover Intention Scale (TIS-6) by Chris F.C. Bothma Gert Roodt (2013), & Shalini Suryanarayan (2015) for Glass ceiling. The reliability of the scale was checked through the application of Cronbach’s Alpha. Information & data was collected by using the purposive sampling method. The Statistical Package for Social Sciences (SPSS-16th Edition) is used to analyze the data which is collected from sample. Regression and Descriptive statistics are applied on the data.

Table 1: Construct
Variable Name No. of Items
Glass Ceiling 27
Organizational Commitment 8
Turnover intention 6

Empirical Findings

Reliability Check

Scale reliability is checked through cronbach’s alpha which is given below (Table 2).

Table 2: ?Reliability Statistics
Variable Name Cronbach’s Alpha N of Items
Glass Ceiling 0.896 27
Organizational commitment 0.777 8
Turnover Intention 0.801 6

The cronbach’s alpha is more that the acceptable range which means it shows the internal consistency for all the scales.

In Table 3, the value adjusted R square is 0.263 that indicates 26.3% variances is explained by independent variables (Glass Ceiling & Organizational commitment). In other words, indicates that (independent variable) contributes 26.3% to dependent variable.

Table 3: ?Model Summary
Model R R Square Adjusted R Square Std. Error of the Estimate Change Statistics
R Square Change F Change df1
1 0.527a 0.278 0.263 2.650 0.278 18.688 2
a. Predictors: (Constant), TOC, TGC b. Dependent Variable: T TI.

From the above regression Table 4 the value of F-value is 18.688 which is significant 0% level of significance which indicates that model is highly predictable.

Table 4: Anovab
Model Sum of Squares df Mean Square F Sig.
1 Regression 262.512 2 131.256 18.688 .000a
Residual 681.278 97 7.023    
Total 943.790 99      
a. Predictors: (Constant), TOC, TGC.
b. Dependent Variable: T TI.

From the Table 5 indicates that the value of t for Glass ceiling is 2.601 which is at 0.011 level of significance. Whereas, the value of t for organizational commitment is -3.216 at 0.002 level of significance. This shows that organizational commitment is having more strong influence over the dependent variable turnover intention in comparison to glass ceiling. In overall nut shell the value of t is 6.667 at 0% level of significance, which reveals that yes there is a positive & significant effect of both the independent variable over dependent variable. So, with this it can be seen with the results of above tests that findings supports both H1 & H2 hypotheses.

Table 5: Coefficientsa
Model Unstandardized Coefficients Standardized Coefficients T Sig.
B Std. Error Beta
1 (Constant) 21.881 3.282   6.667 0.000
TGC 0.057 0.022 0.268 2.601 0.011
TOC -0.239 0.074 -0.331 -3.216 0.002
a. Dependent Variable: T TI.

For analyzing the “H3: Glass ceiling will influence significantly organizational commitment” & the following results shown in Table 6 where researcher tried to see the influence of glass ceiling over organizational commitment. The regression was applied which is mentioned below.

Table 6: Model Summary
Model R R Square Adjusted R Square Std. Error of the Estimate Change Statistics
R Square Change F Change df1
1 0.546a 0.298 0.291 3.609 0.298 41.601 1
a. Predictors: (Constant), TGC

Form the above Table 6 it can be clearly understood that glass ceiling (independent variable) explains the 29.8% variance for organizational commitment (dependent variable) as the value of R-square is 0.298.

From the above Table 7, where F-value is 41.601 which is at 0% significance level which indicates that yes there is a positive & significant influence of glass ceiling over organizational commitment also revealed that model is highly predictable.

Table 7: Anovab
Model Sum of Squares df Mean Square F Sig.
1 Regression 541.898 1 541.898 41.601 .000a
Residual 1276.542 98 13.026    
Total 1818.440 99      
a. Predictors: (Constant), TGC.
b. Dependent Variable: TOC.

In above Table 8, the value of t is -6.450 at 0% significant level which shows that the linear regression was applied between Glass ceiling (independent variable) and organizational commitment (dependent variable). The result of regression indicates the dependent variable job negatively has impact on dependent variable. This reveals that to increase the organizational commitment there should be decrease in glass ceiling practices.

Table 8: Coefficientsa
Model Unstandardized Coefficients Standardized Coefficients T Sig.
B Std. Error Beta
1 (Constant) 39.900 1.932   20.655 0.000
TGC -0.162 0.025 -0.546 -6.450 0.000
a. Dependent Variable: TOC.

From the overall results of the analysis it has been clear that there is an effect of biased practices in the form of glass ceiling over commitment towards the organization which also led to develop intentions to quit from the organization especially on the part corporate women (Table 9).

Table 9: Summary Of Results
Statements Status
H1 There is a positive and significant relationship between Glass ceiling and organizational turnover intention. Supported
H2 There is a positive and significant relationship between Organizational commitment and turnover intentions. Supported
H3 Glass ceiling will influence significantly Organizational commitment. Supported


This study aim was to determine the influence of Glass ceiling & organizational commitment over corporate women turnover intentions in professional working environment. The effect of above mentioned variables among corporate working women’s found to be at significant level. As per the findings of results it has been concluded there is consistent relationship between the mentioned variable (glass ceiling & organizational commitment over turnover intentions) of working females. The concluded results are also supported by other researchers in case of H1 supported by researchers (Stroh et al., 1996), in case of H2 (Lam et al., 1993) & (Jawahar & Hemmasi, 2006) supported it. For H3 (Korabik & Rosin, 1991; Jawahar & Hemmasi, 2006 and Dost & Tariq, 2012).


The study demonstrated that females working in corporate develop high intentions to quit from the job due to the lack of advancement in career, promotional opportunities, biasness in treatment & allocation of work which increase the glass ceiling. So it can be easily taken as if there is more male domination in workplace setting then female will definitely develop their intentions to quit or may quit also.

In the above study it is identified that if organizational commitment is weak among working females then it also affect significantly to the turnover intentions. The weak commitment towards the employer or the organization will takes place in situation due to lack of advancement opportunities for women, lack of support in dealing with social & family obligation, growth & advancement etc. for women employees so they perceive high intentions to quit from the current job & search for the other alternatives. Similarly, glass ceiling has a positive & strong significant relationship & influence organizational commitment. Due to the gender biasness in recruitment, promotion, opportunities allocation, gender stereotypes which exists at professional working environment where domination of male fellows & colleagues is high for females it has been seen that it affect their commitment, loyalty for their current employer or job which in long run converts into quitting from the job. The higher the perceived organizational support of individuals, the less intention to seek alternative jobs and probability of accepting these jobs. Human resources practices that recognize the contributions of employees and investing in them (e.g. career opportunities, awards, participation in decision making) contributes to an improvement in employees perceptions of organizational support.

Further, there are many factors which affect the turnover intentions of employees at work place. So it would not be wrong to say that not only glass ceiling or organizational commitment affect the turnover intentions of working women. There could be demographic factors like education level of women employee, service tenure of women employee, age of women employee, marital status of women employee, position held within the organization etc. which could also be considered under scope of this research. Hence these factors could also be analyzed for further research over working women especially in the different states of India.


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