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Article
Publication date: 3 August 2015

Phuong Nguyen, Jörg Felfe, Insa Fooken and Ho Thuy Ngoc

The purpose of this paper is to investigate the nature of commitments of local employees to a parent company and a local operation in comparison to the nature of…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to investigate the nature of commitments of local employees to a parent company and a local operation in comparison to the nature of commitment of Western expatriates to the two foci.

Design/methodology/approach

Data were collected by questionnaire from 532 local employees and 471 Western expatriates currently working for the subsidiaries of multinational companies (MNCs) in Vietnam. Hypotheses were tested using exploratory factor analyses, confirmatory factor analyses, correlation analyses, t-test, generalized linear models and hierarchical regression.

Findings

The results confirmed two distinct commitment foci and revealed that the commitment to the local operation was stronger than the commitment to the parent company for local employees. Remarkably, retention and absenteeism are more driven by local operation commitment than by parent company commitment for the local employees. In contrast, these outcomes are more driven by parent company commitment for the Western expatriates. Working conditions (job autonomy, job variety, transformational leadership and remuneration) positively predicted affective commitment to the local operation for both groups; particularly job variety and leadership were better predictors for local employees than for Western expatriates.

Practical implications

The comparison shows effective and specific ways to sustain and reinforce the commitments of each employee group with regard to two foci. This information may help to reduce the rate of turnover intention and absenteeism in MNCs.

Originality/value

By using a multifaceted approach, this study provided a comparison of dual organizational commitment for different categories of employees working in MNCs. Second, this study shows that the stronger commitment focus has a stronger influence on related outcomes (i.e. retention and absenteeism). If so, MNCs can focus on reinforcing the selected commitment focus in order to reduce the costs of management. Third, the study has initially pointed out that some work factors exert a specific influence on different commitment foci in the two groups. Controlling these work conditions is recommended to sustain and develop commitment levels of the two groups.

Details

Evidence-based HRM: a Global Forum for Empirical Scholarship, vol. 3 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 2049-3983

Keywords

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Article
Publication date: 14 October 2014

Phuong Nguyen, Jörg Felfe and Insa Fooken

The purpose of this paper is to first, examine the role of multi-dimensional commitments of western expatriates to a local operation in sustaining retention in…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to first, examine the role of multi-dimensional commitments of western expatriates to a local operation in sustaining retention in international assignments. Second, the study also attempts to investigate the work conditions in which dimensions of local operation commitment are more effective in predicting retention.

Design/methodology/approach

Data were collected by questionnaire from 471 western expatriates currently working for the subsidiaries of multinational companies in Vietnam, and from this, five hypotheses were formulated and tested using hierarchical regression, moderated regression analyses and plots of two-way interaction effects.

Findings

The results indicated that all three components of local operation commitment (affective, normative, and continuance commitment) positively predicted retention. The findings also revealed that job autonomy, leader support, and remuneration were found as moderators, which increase the effects of the three components of local operation commitment on retention.

Practical implications

By understanding and managing the multi-dimensional nature of expatriate commitment to a local operation as well as their working conditions (job autonomy, leader support, and remuneration), multinational companies can reduce the rate of premature return for western expatriates. It is the interaction between local operation commitment and these factors that most positively influences retention.

Originality/value

The first contribution of this research is the identification of the important role of multi-dimensional commitments to a local operation in predicting retention. Second, the moderating effects of work conditions found in this study partially explain why the relationship between local operation commitment and retention is reported unstable in previous studies. Therefore, controlling work conditions is recommended to enhance the local commitment-retention relationship.

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