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Article
Publication date: 6 December 2019

Guoliang Li, Yanran Fang, Yifan Song, Jingqiu Chen and Mo Wang

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…

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.

Details

Career Development International, vol. 25 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1362-0436

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