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Investigating Employee Turnover in the Construction Industry: A Psychological Contract Perspective

Investigating Employee Turnover in the Construction Industry

Ying-Yi Chih, Kohyar Kiazad, Lian Zhou, Alessandra Capezio and Simon Restubog

Employee turnover has long been, and will continue to be, a significant concern to the construction industry. Consequently, organizations that can retain skilled employees will have a stronger competitive advantage.

In two independent studies in China and Philippines, this paper investigated the role of psychological contract breach in predicting employee turnover in the construction industry. The results reveal that psychological contract breach resulted in emotional exhaustion, which in turn predicted employees’ turnover intentions (Study 1) and actual turnover (Study 2).

The results further suggest that younger as opposed to older construction workers who experienced psychological contract breach are more likely to report greater levels of emotional exhaustion and exit their organizations. Accordingly, to retain skilled workers, construction organizations should understand and continuously manage employees’ psychological contract expectations and provide more support to younger workers.

This paper also offers significant theoretical contributions as it is one of the few in the construction literature that examine both employee turnover intentions and actual turnover from a psychological contract perspective.

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Updated:   18 February 2017 / Responsible Officer:  Dean, Business & Economics / Page Contact:  College Web Team