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Central Life Interests and Job Involvement: An Exploratory Study in the Developing World

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This paper explores the relationship between central life interest and job involvement among professionals in two cultures in the developing world, Nigeria and Trinidad. It also examines the impact of sociodemographic factors such as age, marital status, locale of early socialization, size of household, number of children, education and length of service on the above relationship. Data were collected from high school teachers in both Nigeria and Trinidad through a field survey questionnaire. Item analysis, reliability test, descriptive statistics, correlations and subgroup analysis were used for the purposes of data analysis. The instruments revealed satisfactory levels of internal consistency reliability. The results indicated a significant positive relationship between central life interests in work and job involvement in both cultures. However, the subgroup analysis provided clear evidence of cross-cultural differences within the developing world. The findings supported the observation that theoretical constructs such as central life interests and job involvement from the developed world can indeed be useful in studying organizational phenomena in the developing world, provided the measures are culturally sensitive, contextually relevant and carefully operationalized. At the same time the cross-cultural differences evident in this study will warn researchers against treating the developing world as an undifferentiated mass in organizational inquiry.


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