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Employee intention to leave a job: A case of Malaysian fast food industry

This thesis explores the determinants of employees‟ turnover intentions in the fast food industry of Peninsular Malaysia and uses as determining variables items related to ‘job stressors’, ‘job stress’, ‘job satisfaction’ and ‘commitment’. This thesis also created one additional variable, ‘Job feeling‟ which was designed to include items relating to Malaysian’s cultural context such as the practice of religion at the workplace. Data derived from a self completed questionnaire comprises the major part of this thesis, and this was distributed to employees working in Peninsular Malaysia’s fast food industry. In addition, the interviews were completed with Managers at the Head offices and ten employees were also interviewed to gather information on job stress issues. The analysis of survey was done using SPSS 14.0 while interviews were translated and transcribed manually. The sample comprised 806 respondents from major international fast food chains operating in Malaysia, and the research is restricted to these companies and does not cover hawkers who also provide fast food in the market places and alleys of Malaysia. As in other countries, the workforce is generally young and it is recognised that not all wish to pursue a career in the fast food industry. Yet even so, on evidence derived from the managers at head offices, the labour turnover rates exceed 100 percent, and thus the issue of labour turnover is one of significance. The results of this thesis indicated that among the determinants, scores on job stress items provides evidence that permits a prediction of employees’ intention to leave a job in the Peninsular Malaysia fast food industry as based on data derived from multiple regression statistical techniques. Further, results found a ‘feeling of being burnt-out’ had the strongest correlation with employee intention to leave. These employees have thought of leaving their present job because they felt stress that, it is thought, arose from factors such as frequent customers’ contact and work pressure. In terms of correlations with socio-demographic variables, the overall results suggest that there were few significant differences between stressors, stress, feeling about the job and satisfaction and commitment, and where statistical significant findings emerged, it was found that, in absolute terms, the differences were minimal and generally derived from the same part of the scale (e.g. there existed a tendency to agreement or disagreement with items. The role of gender, age, marital status or length of employment appears therefore to be a minor discriminating factor. On the other hand the findings suggest that managers could pay attention to features of peer group adherence within the young employees, as some findings suggest that even workers who have few complaints might think more often of leaving their job if members of their ‘crew’ are of that opinion. From a managerial perspective, this study shed light by providing information about employees’ intention to leave a job in the Peninsular Malaysia fast food industry. As this study is the first such study in the Malaysian context, the findings, it is hoped will help the managers at the Head offices to better monitor their employees before they actually leave. The results from this study potentially may identify characteristics of those who may be susceptible to having a higher intention to leave. From a conceptual perspective, the study shows that many of the findings found in the literature derived from the English speaking world are applicable to Malaysia, but in part this may be because current management practices tend to respect Islamic beliefs and thus this did not emerge as an issue. However, the attention to peer groups has not been generally picked up in that literature that does exist with reference to labour turnover in the fast food industry. The limitations that exist within the study that inhibit possible generalisation relate to not only the geographical restriction to Peninsular Malaysia, but also primarily to the fact that the sample were all currently working within the industry. A lack of resources and time might be highlighted that it was not possible to address questions to those who had already left the industry, but it might be claimed that management are primarily concerned with current rather than past employees.
Type of thesis
Ghazali, H. (2010). Employee intention to leave a job: A case of Malaysian fast food industry (Thesis, Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)). University of Waikato, Hamilton, New Zealand. Retrieved from https://hdl.handle.net/10289/4113
University of Waikato
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