Perceived job quality, work-life interference and intention to stay

Zhiming Cheng (Social Policy Research Centre and Centre for Social Research in Health, University of New South Wales, Sydney, Australia) (Department of Management and the Centre for the Health Economy, Macquarie University, Sydney, Australia)
Ingrid Nielsen (Deakin University, Melbourne, Australia)
Henry Cutler (Centre for the Health Economy, Macquarie University, Sydney, Australia)

International Journal of Manpower

ISSN: 0143-7720

Publication date: 1 April 2019



The purpose of this paper is to examine the relationship between aged care employees’ perceived job quality and intention to stay in current aged care facilities, mediated by work-life interference.


This paper uses the nationally representative employee–employer matched data from the 2012 National Aged Care Workforce Census and Survey in Australia. It applies the theoretical lens of the Job Characteristics Model and a mediation analytical model that controls for a rich set of employee, employer and regional characteristics.


This paper finds that higher perceived job quality positively correlates with greater intention to stay and that work-life interference mediates the relationship between perceived job quality and intention to stay.

Research limitations/implications

This paper cannot make inference about causal relationship. Future studies on the aged care workforce should collect longitudinal data so that time-invariant unobservables can be eliminated in econometric modelling.

Practical implications

Efforts by the aged care sector to design quality jobs are likely to have significant positive correlation with the intention to stay, not only because employees are less likely to leave higher quality jobs per se, but also because higher quality jobs interfere less in the family lives of aged care workers, which itself is associated with greater intention to stay.


The results add to a small literature that has investigated how work-family variables can mediate between interventions that organisations put in place to improve work-life balance, and employee outcomes.



Zhiming Cheng, Ingrid Nielsen and Henry Cutler (2019) "Perceived job quality, work-life interference and intention to stay", International Journal of Manpower, Vol. 40 No. 1, pp. 17-35

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