, Volume 27, Issue 3, pp 423-443

Organisational determinants of employee turnover for multinational companies in Asia

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Abstract

High employee turnover rates among multinational companies (MNCs) in Asia have become an organisational issue, which cannot be sufficiently addressed at the individual level. In this paper, we examine the issue of employee turnover at the organisational level. A group of organisational variables (e.g., training, size, age, industry, percentage of expatriate managers and headquarters’ national base) were tested, using a sample of 529 MNCs in six Asian countries. The standard multiple regressions show that training, size, the length of operation in local subsidiary and nature of industry are significantly related to turnover. An effect of the percentage of expatriate managers present in the local subsidiary on employee turnover appears to be moderate. These results fill a research gap by identifying organisational variables (as opposed to individual characteristics) and contribute to better explanation of employee turnover at firm level. Implications to MNCs in the greater Chinese region and Asia are discussed.

We thank Professor David Ahlstrom (Senior Editor) for his guidance and valuable comments in refining this paper. Professor Johngseok Bae’s helpful comments on earlier versions of the paper are also acknowledged.