EXPATRIATE TURNOVER TENDENCIES IN SAUDI ARABIA: AN EMPIRICAL EXAMINATION

Shahid N. Bhuian, Ibrahim M. Al‐Jabri
1996 The International Journal of Organizational Analysis  
The authors explore turnover tendencies among expatriate employees in Saudi Arabia. They: (1) discuss the novelty of expatriates in Saudi Arabia; (2) review the literature on employee turnover tendency and its correlates-job satisfaction and employee characteristics; (3) hypothesize a negative relationship between extrinsic job satisfaction and expatriate turnover tendencies, a negative relationship between general job satisfaction and expatriate turnover tendencies, no relationship between
more » ... ionship between intrinsic job satisfaction and expatriate turnover tendencies, and no relationship between expatriate characteristics and expatriate turnover tendencies, and (4) empirically test the hypotheses with a sample of expatriate employees. Results provide strong support for most of the hypotheses except "pay", one of the extrinsic job satisfaction variables, and "job feedback", one of the intrinsic job satisfaction variables. EXPATRIATE TURNOVER TENDENCIES IN SAUDI ARABIA: AN EMPIRICAL EXAMINATION Expatriate employee turnover is a major concern for managers in Saudi Arabia (Ben-Bakr et al., 1994) . Due to shortages of indigenous manpower, firms in Saudi Arabia hire employees from a wide variety of countries. A high percentage of these expatriates do not perform effectively and are returned home or dismissed early. The resulting high turnover rate causes significant direct and indirect costs to companies (Bhuian and AbdulMuhmin, 1995; Yavas, Luqmani and Quraeshi, 1990) . The literature has consistently reported that employee turnover tendency, that precedes the actual turnover, presents the single best turnover predictor (Bluedorn, 1982; Donnelly and Ivancevich, 1975; Hom and Griffeth, 1987; Mobley, Horner and Hollingsworth, 1978; Price and Mueller, 1981) . Past research has identified three categories of determinants of employee turnover tendency: work-related attitudes, personal characteristics, and external environmental factors (Cotton and Tuttle, 1986; Tyagi and Wotruba, 1993) . Once an employee is hired, it is the work-related variables (e.g., job satisfaction and organizational commitment) that can be controlled by the organization and, therefore, an understanding of the nature of the relationship between employee turnover tendency and work-related variables can be quite useful in effectively managing expatriate employees (Lee and Mowday, 1987; Naumann, 1993) . Likewise, personal variables (e.g., age, education, and experience) can be controlled through employee selection processes and, after hiring, through training programs. Finally, external environmental variables (e.g., organizational climate, management practices and supervisory behaviors) are usually unchangeable in the short run. Shahid N. Bhuian is an Assistant Professor of Marketing at King Fahd University of Petroleum & Minerals and holds a Ph.D. from Texas Tech University. His primary research areas are international marketing and management theories and practices. Dr. Bhuian is the author/coauthor of over twenty journal articles, conference proceedings, and trade journals on market orientation, country-of-origin effect, and employee commitment/turnover/job satisfaction.
doi:10.1108/eb028858 fatcat:b2jyhy2wbbgvhg3gbw2xqgw6vq