Journal of Occupational Rehabilitation

, Volume 24, Issue 4, pp 725–731 | Cite as

Factors Related to Employers’ Intent to Hire, Retain and Accommodate Cancer Survivors: The Singapore Perspective

  • Angela Ka Ying MakEmail author
  • Shirley S. Ho
  • Hyo Jung Kim


Purpose Despite the growing importance of cancer and return-to-work issues in occupational rehabilitation literature in the last decade, academic discussion is largely limited to survivors’ perspectives and some exploratory studies from the employer side. This paper applies two classic theoretical models—Theory of Planned Behavior and Social Cognitive Theory—and key measures from previous studies to identify explicit relationships that explain employer factors to hire and retain cancer survivors. Methods Data were collected from online surveys with senior management executives and senior human resource specialists from various organizations in Singapore, with a total of 145 responses. The 72-item survey instrument included a series of independent variables: (1) Attitudes toward cancer and cancer survivors; (2) Employers’ efficacy; (3) Perceived moral obligation; (4) Employers’ experience; (5) Outcome expectations; (6) Employment situation; (7) Social norms; and (8) Incentives, and dependent variables: (a) Employers’ intention to hire cancer survivors; and (b) Employers’ intention to retain cancer survivors. Results Regression analyses showed that the top three factors related to employers’ intention to retain cancer survivors are perceived moral obligations (β = .39, p < .001), followed by attitudes toward cancer (β = .25, p < .01), and employment situation (β = .17, p < .05). Employers’ efficacy was associated with intention to hire (β = .22, p < .05), coupled with attitude toward cancer survivors (β = .22, p < .01). The findings also indicated the important role of existing relationship between an employer and an employee when it comes to retaining cancer survivors and government incentives for hiring cancer survivors in the workforce. Conclusions The present study provided an avenue to implement the proposed model—a potential study framework for the management of cancer survivors at work. Findings revealed that different messages should be tailored to employers toward hiring and retention issues and provided useful guidelines for employer education materials.


Cancer survivor Employers Hiring Retaining Return to work 



We thank Colleen Chua, Joyce Leong, Rosalinda Yapit, Philemon Foo, Lim Pei Yi and Irwin Tan for their invaluable contributions to the study. This work was supported via the Singapore Cancer Society grant 2010.

Conflict of interest

The authors declared no conflicts of interest with respect to the authorship and/or publication of this article.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  • Angela Ka Ying Mak
    • 1
    Email author
  • Shirley S. Ho
    • 2
  • Hyo Jung Kim
    • 2
  1. 1.School of Media Film and JournalismMonash UniversityMelbourneAustralia
  2. 2.Wee Kim Wee School of Communication and InformationNanyang Technological UniversitySingaporeSingapore

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