The Influence of Career Adaptability and Work Happiness on ICT Professionals' Intention to Leave

The Influence of Career Adaptability and Work Happiness on ICT Professionals' Intention to Leave

Safiah Omar (Faculty of Business & Accountancy, University of Malaya, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia)
DOI: 10.4018/IJHCITP.2018010102


Studies on intention to leave are important to distinguish between stayers and leavers in the organization. This article assesses whether career adaptability and work happiness can be the factors that may have influence on intention to leave among ICT professionals in Malaysia. Samples consist of 393 participants who work in ICT related companies and data were analyzed using structural equation modelling (SEM). The results indicate that individual will have lower level of intention to leave due to higher level of career adaptability and work happiness.
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Studies on employee intention to leave have been one of important field for employment research including within the Information and Communication Technology (ICT) industry (Cho & Xu, 2012; Hoonakker, Carayon, & Schoepke, 2006; Joseph, Ng, Koh, & Ang, 2007; Rouse, 2001; SamGnanakkan, 2010). Intention to leave is worth investigating apart from the real turnover as it reflects the employees’ behavioral outcomes because of its relation to actual leaving behavior of an individual (Sommer & Haug, 2010). As according to the theory of reasoned action (Azjen, Czasch, & Flood, 2009; Fishbein & Azjen, 1975), having intention to engage in a behavior can directly influence an individuals’ decision to engage in that behavior. This indicates that assessing intention may reflect individuals’ actual future behavior.

In ICT industry, the rate of employment turnover is increasing due to high competitions among rivals (TINYpulse, 2016). Particularly in South East Asia, the turnover rates for ICT is expected to be high starting from year 2016 due to the sheer number of opportunities available to qualified candidates (MichaelPage, 2016). Resulting from the high growth of technological advancement around the world, the impact causes the industry to face such shortages in skill supplies because the human skills growth related to ICT is slower as compares to the technological growth itself (McLaughlin et al., 2012).

In order to investigate such turnover issues, assessment on intention to leave would be relevant for researchers as it can be one of the determinant for actual leaving (Azjen et al., 2009; Manlove & Roe, 1997). Although several criticisms argued that intention to leave will not necessarily end up with the real turnover (Firth, Mellor, Moore, & Loquet, 2004), studies on intention to leave can benefits in determining the current state of individual who is working at the particular organizations. This is due to previous findings that found individual with high level of intention to leave often have lower level of work performance and high level of absenteeism (Hayes et al., 2006; Kivimaki et al., 2007).

Many studies have been conducted related to factors that contribute to intention to leave and the most factors investigated are job satisfaction (Creed & Supeli, 2016; Muhammad Masroor Alam & Jamilha Fakir Mohammad, 2010; Tett & Meyer, 1993; Wright & Bonett, 2007), and organizational commitment (Cho & Xu, 2012; Ponnu & Chuah, 2010; Yalabik, Swart, Kinnie, & Van Rossenberg, 2016). Apart from that, there are other antecedents for intention to leave such as higher performance work systems (Kundu & Gahlawat, 2016), psychological contract (Behery, Abdallah, Parakandi, & Kukunuru, 2016), working conditions and psychological states (Neve & Devos, 2016). In this research, the assessment for the factors of intention to leave are within the work nature of ICT industry.

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