Impact of demographic variables on voluntary labour turnover in South Africa
International Journal of Human Resource Management
Gordon Institute of Business Science, University of Pretoria, Sandton, South Africa
This paper demonstrates the relevance of employee demographic variables as extended factors in the voluntary turnover process since these models currently do not sufficiently explain the factors impacting the turnover decision. Over 1000 managers and knowledge workers were surveyed using a cross-sectional questionnaire to identify potential similarities in demographic variables in the decision to leave the organisation. Findings indicate that various demographic variables (age, race and gender) influence whether pull or push factors are cited in the turnover process. In addition, it is found that the level of education has a stronger relationship to employee mobility than race, which contradicts the current sentiment in the South African labour market. Furthermore, it is concluded that demographic variables of employees should be considered in the extension of contemporary turnover models. The findings have implications for human resource management practices in organisations that are more dependent on knowledge workers. Consequently, the findings have implications for current prevailing theory on voluntary turnover research. © 2012 Copyright Taylor and Francis Group, LLC.