Does job embeddedness predict turnover intentions in SMEs?
International Journal of Productivity and Performance Management
Alan Coetzer is a senior lecturer in strategic human resource management in the School of Business and Law at Edith Cowan University, Western Australia. Alan has delivered several conference papers and published many scholarly articles in international peer-reviewed journals. His research interests include HRM in small and medium-sized enterprises with a special focus on employee learning and development. Chutarat Inma is a research consultant in the School of Business and Law at Edith Cowan
... w at Edith Cowan University. She works as a statistician advising higher degree research students on several multidisciplinary research projects. Her research interests are in business format franchising, human resource management and occupational safety and health. Chutarat has also worked as an educator for a state government occupational safety and health regulator for several years. Paul Poisat teaches in the field of HRM at the Nelson Mandela University Business School. He is a member of the South African Board for Personnel Practice and former chair of the Institute of People Management. He actively engages with industry and is a preferred HR, Labour Relations and Industrial Relations advisor, programme developer and course presenter to several large companies and government departments. His research achievements include several studies conducted for multinational organisations on the topic of employee engagement. Janice Redmond has a significant background in the education and government sectors including working in areas of Human Resource Management with responsibility for recruitment, retention and case management. Janice is a professional member of the Australian Human Resource Institute. She is currently involved in a number of collaborative projects with local and international partners. These projects include: small business owners' preparation for retirement; HRM issues, and digital entrepreneurship. Craig Standing studied at Lancaster University, University of Manchester, and the University of Western Australia. He has published in the top ten Information Systems journals and has presented at many international conferences. He has obtained significant research funds including the prestigious Australian Research Council Awards. Craig has authored several books on information systems that have been adopted by university courses in information systems. Does Job Embeddedness Predict Turnover Intentions in SMEs? Abstract Purpose: There is an absence of research examining job embeddedness in SMEs. Results of job embeddedness studies may not apply to SMEs, because the process of managing a SME differs from that of the large firm. The purpose of this study was to examine relationships between (a) on-the-job embeddedness, as well as each of its sub-dimensions, and turnover intentions; and (b) group cohesion, on-the-job embeddedness and turnover intentions. Design/methodology/approach: Data were collected from 147 employees in SMEs located in Perth, Western Australia and 350 employees from SMEs operating in four business centres in South Africa. After invariance testing, data from the two countries were combined to increase statistical power of the analysis. Findings: On-the-job embeddedness and each sub-dimension were negatively related to turnover intentions. Group cohesion was positively related to composite on-the-job embeddedness. Findings suggest that while group cohesion on its own does not reduce turnover intentions, it does contribute to development of on-the-job embeddedness that, in turn, reduces turnover intentions. Research limitations/implications: Future research should control for the effects of external influences on turnover intentions. Findings imply that managerial actions related to antecedents of group cohesion could foster the on-the-job embeddedness of employees. Originality/value: This study is perhaps the first that tests the operation of on-the-job embeddedness in SMEs located in two countries. The conceptual arguments for links between each of the subdimensions of on-the-job embeddedness and turnover intentions are based on distinctive characteristics of SMEs and can serve as a theoretical foundation for future research on embeddedness in SMEs.