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Effects of family encouragement on migrant workers’ return-to-hometown intention and turnover: The moderating role of career-related concerns

Guoliang Li (Guangxi University, Nanning, China)
Yanran Fang (University of Florida, Gainesville, Florida, USA)
Yifan Song (Temple University, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA)
Jingqiu Chen (Shanghai Jiao Tong University, Shanghai, China)
Mo Wang (University of Florida, Gainesville, Florida, USA)

Career Development International

ISSN: 1362-0436

Article publication date: 6 December 2019

Issue publication date: 19 March 2020

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Abstract

Purpose

Given migrant workers’ critical role in the Chinese economy, the increasing number of migrant workers who leave their organizations and return to their hometown has caused severe socioeconomic issues in China. The purpose of this paper is to contribute to migrant worker literature by revealing the micro-mechanism underlying migrant workers’ return-to-hometown intention and turnover.

Design/methodology/approach

Data were collected from a convenience sample from seven Chinese companies that employed migrant workers (n=147). The authors used path analysis to test the hypotheses.

Findings

Migrant workers’ family encouragement of returning to hometown was positively related to their return-to-hometown intention, which subsequently predicted their turnover decision in six months. Further, migrant workers’ perceived career sacrifice associated with returning to hometown weakened the effect of family encouragement to return.

Practical implications

For organizations that need to retain migrant workers, the findings indicate that it is particularly important to take migrant workers’ family needs and their career-related concerns into account. For migrant workers, the study highlights the importance of assessing gains and losses in the process of making turnover-related decisions.

Originality/value

This study contributes to migrant worker literature by investigating psychological processes underlying migrant workers return-to-hometown intention and the subsequent turnover from a micro perspective.

Keywords

Acknowledgements

This research was supported in part by Grant No. 71571118 awarded to Jingqiu Chen from the National Natural Science Foundation of China. This research was also supported in part by Grant No. 15FGL004 awarded to Guoliang Li from Guangxi philosophy and social science project: The study on the career choice of Guangxi new-generation migrant workers in the process of urban-rural integration.

Citation

Li, G., Fang, Y., Song, Y., Chen, J. and Wang, M. (2020), "Effects of family encouragement on migrant workers’ return-to-hometown intention and turnover: The moderating role of career-related concerns", Career Development International, Vol. 25 No. 2, pp. 165-185. https://doi.org/10.1108/CDI-01-2019-0023

Publisher

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Emerald Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2019, Emerald Publishing Limited

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