Staying committed in the face of clientelism : A case study on the Serbian educational sector
Abstract: Clientelism is a form of informal relations between political parties and other agents, based on the exchange of benefits and favors in return for political support and loyalty. It is a legacy from the socialist era that has been shaping Serbian economic and political life for decades. These clientelistic practices could have a harmful impact on organizations if it affects employees’ organizational commitment negatively. Teachers are especially important for the economy of a country since the quality of teaching has an impact on future generations of individuals who will work, live, and contribute to the local communities and the society. The aim of this study is therefore to find out if and how teachers in the public sector perceive clientelism and how this affects their organizational commitment. A case study was made on one prominent school in Serbia, where interviews were held with eight teachers. The findings suggest that clientelism affects teachers’ organizational commitment negatively in some cases, indicating that the impact of clientelism on teachers’ organizational commitment is person specific. Clientelism does not have a direct impact on teachers’ organizational commitment but impacts commitment through proxies, i.e. antecedents to organizational commitment.
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