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Factors Affecting Turnover Intention among Academician
in the Malaysian Higher Educational Institution


Factors Affecting Turnover Intention among Academician
in the Malaysian Higher Educational Institution

Saraih, U. N., Zin Aris, A. Z., Sakdan, M. F., Razli, A. (2016)

Article Review

Turnover intention (TI) can be defined as intentions or thoughts about leaving a job.
(Simon, Müller, & Hasselhorn, 2010). There is a reason to make a distinction between whether
the turnover is initiated by the organization or the employee. Involuntary turnover is initiated by
the organization and often includes low performers and therefore the organization may generate
better organizational performance after the dismissal. On the other hand, voluntary turnover is
initiated by the employee and would cost the organization in the form of employee replacement
cost for advertising for a new employee search. According to Cohen & Golan (2007), TI is
defined as a tendency of an individual to stop their services in the current organization. TI can
also be defined as a purpose of intended departure of an individual from an organization (Price
& Mueller, 1986).
The intention to leave is an indicator of actual turnover (Radzi et al., 2009). Based on a
study by Perryer et al., (2010), TI paves the way for further investigations and immediate
remedial solutions. Past researchers found that TI linked to several consequences such as
lateness, absenteeism, poor work performance, and declining productivity (Griffeth et al., 2000).
Viator (2001) measured TI by using 8-items. The scale focused on “thinking about
leaving the firm” and “the probability of looking for another job.” Sample the the items are “I
often think about leaving my public accounting firm” and “I will probably look for a job outside
of this firm within the next 3 years”. Wayne et al.,(1997) measure turnover intention using 3-
items such as “As soon as I can find a better job, I will leave the organization”, “I am actively
looking for a job outside the organization”, and “I am seriously thinking of quitting my job”.
According to Organ (1988), Organizational Citizenship Behavior (OCB) is defined as
“individual behavior that is discretionary, not directly or explicitly recognized by the formal
reward system, and in the aggregate promotes the effective functioning of the organization.
Simplified, OCB is a behavior that goes above and beyond the routine duties prescribed by the
employee’s job description. (Bateman and Organ, 1983). OCB is a voluntary behavior that goes
beyond job requirement as stipulated in the job agreement.
Based on a research by Lam et al., (2009), OCB reduces the rate of employee turnover.
Employees with a tendency towards OCB show better work performance and actively participate
in organizational activities (Chen et al., 1998). OCB characteristics such as willing to tolerate,
cooperative, and supportive suggest a more constructive attitude and strong sense of
organizational attachment. OCB also signals an employees’ sense of belonging.

OCB was measured by 5-items as adapted from Podsakoff and Mackenzie (1994).
Samples of the items are “Sportsmanship – Consumes a lot of time complaining about trivial
matters”, “Civic Virtue – Attends functions that are not required but help the agency/company
image”, “Helping - Is willing to take time out of his or her own busy schedule to help with
recruiting or training new agents”, “Altruism- Willingly gives of his or her time to help other
agents who have work-related problems”, and “Courtesy – “Touches base” with others before
initiating actions that might affect them”. OCB can also be measured using an 8-items scale
adapted from Saks (2006), but originally developed by Lee and Allen (2002). Sample items
include “I willingly give my time to help others who have work-related problems” and “I offer
ideas to improve the functioning of the organization”.
Organizational Commitment (OC) is defined as the influence of an employee’s
identification and engagement with a certain organization (Newman et al., 2011). Caught et al.
(2000) defined OC as the employees’ state of being committed to assist in the achievement of
the organization’s goals, and involves the employees’ levels of identification, involvement, and
loyalty. OC has been defined as a psychological state that binds an employee to an organization,
thereby reducing the incidence of turnover (Meyer & Allen, 1990). OC is a mindset that takes
different forms and binds an individual to a course of action that is of relevance to a particular
target (Meyer & Herscovitch, 2001).
As stated by Kreitner and Kinicki (2012), OC reflects the degree to which a person
recognizes organization and tied to its goals. OC has positive impact on employees’ dedication
and loyalty. Meyer and Allen (1991) concluded that an employees’ commitment reflected a
desire, need and obligation to maintain membership in an organization.
OC was measured by 8-items scale developed by Allen and Meyer (1990) which are “I
would be very happy to spend the rest of my career with this organization”, “I enjoy discussing
my organization with people outside it”, “I really feel as if this organization’s problems are my
own”, “I think that I could easily become as attached to another organization as I am to his one”,
“I do not feel like ‘part of the family’ at my organization”, “I do not feel emotionally attached
this organization”, “This organization has a great deal of personal meaning for me”, and “I do
not feel a strong sense of belonging to my organization”. Yamazakia, Y. & Petchdee, S. (2015)
used 6-items to measure OC. The six items included “I talk up this organization to my friends as
a great organization to work for”, “I find that my values and the organization’s values are very
similar”, “This organization really inspires the very best in me in the way of job performance”,
“It would take very little change in my present circumstances to cause me to leave this
organization (a reverse question)”, “I am extremely glad that I chose this organization to work
for over others I was considering at the time I joined”, and “For me, this is the best of all possible
organizations for which to work”.
Organizational Justice (OJ) is a personal evaluation about the ethical and moral standing
of managerial conduct. (Cropanzano et al, 2007). As stated by Sunday, Mfon and Gomiluk
(2015), OJ is one’s perception of justice based on the practices in the organization. OJ is

concerned with the ways in which employees determine if they have been treated fairly in their
jobs and the ways in which those determinations influence other work-related variables
(Moorman, 1991).
Past studies frequently shows that employee’s behavior is affected by their perception on
OJ (Colquitt, 2001). Employee’s perception of being fairly rewarded and treated will determine
their contributions in the organization. Fostering a climate of justice in the workplace encourages
desired attitudes and behaviors.
OJ is measured by 10-items scale as developed by Price and Muller (1986). Samples of
items are “I am rewarded fairly for the amount of effort that I put in”, “I am rewarded fairly
considering the responsibilities I have”, and “I am not rewarded fairly in view of my
experience”. OJ can also be measured with a 5-item scale developed by Neihoff and Moorman
(1993), such as “My work schedule is fair”, “I think that my level of pay is fair”, “I consider my
workload to be quite fair”, “Overall the rewards I receive here quite fair”, and “I feel that my job
Past studies had explained that turnover intention is one of the biggest predictors and an
immediate sign of employees’ turnover (Griffeth, Hom & Gaertner, 2000). The high levels of
OCB, OC and perceived OJ among academicians were presented in this study. Results indicated
that OC is the only variable that negatively associated with turnover intention. The other
variables such as OCB and OJ are not associated with turnover intention.

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