hologyThe International Journal of Human Resource Management, Vol. 21, No. 1, January 2010, 144–162
The use of the psychological contract to explain turnover intentions in the hospitality industry: a research study on the impact of gender on the turnover intentions of highly educated employees
R.J. Blommea*, A. van Rheedeb and D.M. Trompb
Center of Leadership and Personal Development, Business University Nyenrode, Breukelen, The Netherlands; bKenniskring Human Resource Management, Hotelschool The Hague, The Hague, The Netherlands
The subject of this study is the psychological contract approach to the employment relationship within the hospitality industry with special reference to highly educated employees. The purpose was to research the differences in the psychological contract and its relation to the intention to leave between highly-educated male and female employees. The research study conducted among this speciﬁc group worldwide provided a corpus of 247 respondents. The results show that psychological contract measures, and in particular job content, can explain why there is a substantial amount of variance among highly-educated employees regarding their intention to leave an organization, especially if the mediating role of affective commitment is taken into account. Moreover, it would appear that for women in particular, promotion opportunities and work-family balance were related to turnover intentions while for men the clarity of the job description was an important predictor for leaving. We suggest that the results of this study should be considered when developing genderspeciﬁc HRM policies to retain highly-educated staff. Considering the limitations of this study, we suggest that it be followed by research studies which concentrate on the job aspects which may be related to employee turnover. A longitudinal study concentrating on the relation between the psychological contract, turnover intentions and actual turnover behaviour should also be carried out.
Keywords: affective commitment; gender; job content; psychological contract; turnover intentions
One of the major challenges of the hospitality industry is the retention of highly educated employees. In this research study the hospitality industry refers to a broad variety of service industries including hotels, food service, casinos and tourism. We deﬁne highly educated staff as employees who have followed a higher education programme at a bachelor’s or master’s level successfully (e.g., Hoque 1999a, 1999b; Reijnders 2003; Blomme 2006). After graduation people in this category of employees often start as assistant-supervisors and spend approximately 3 years working in this capacity. Most of them have the opportunity to progress to middle-management and the most successful ones to higher management positions such as those which give them ultimate responsibility for a hotel or cluster of hotels.
Research studies suggest that the turnover of highly-educated employees is growing rapidly (Reijnders 2003; Blomme 2006). One research study among alumni of the
*Corresponding author. Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
ISSN 0958-5192 print/ISSN 1466-4399 online
q 2010 Taylor & Francis
The International Journal of Human Resource Management
Hotelschool The Hague (Blomme 2006) who are working worldwide has shown that within 6 years after graduation about 70% of all graduates from the Hotelschool The Hague leave the organization in which they are working. The Hotelschool The Hague offers a 4-year programme that confers a Bachelor of Business Administration degree or a Master of Business Administration degree in Hospitality Management. Most students start the programme of study between the ages of 18 and 20. To be eligible for this study programme students must have the necessary qualiﬁcations for admission to higher professional education. A more widely set-up research...
References: Anderson, N., and Schalk, R. (1998), ‘The Psychological Contract in Retrospect and Prospect’,
Journal of Organizational Behavior, 19, 637– 647.
Barney, J.B. (1986), ‘Organizational Culture: Can it be a Source of Sustained Competitive
Advantage?’ Academy of Management Review, 11, 791– 800.
Barney, J.B. (1991), ‘Firm Resources and Sustained Competitive Advantage’, Journal of
Management, 17, 99 – 120.
Barney, J.B. (1992), ‘Integrating Organizational Behavior and Strategy Formulation Research: A
Resource-based Analysis’, in Advances in Strategic Management 8, eds
Baron, R.M., and Kenny, D.A. (1986), ‘The Moderator-mediator Variable Distinction on Social
Psychological Research: Conceptual, Strategic and Statistical Considerations’, Journal of
Personality and Social Psychology, 51, 1173– 1182.
Bem, S.L. (1981), ‘Gender Schema Theory: A Cognitive Account of Sex-typing’, Psychological
Review, 88, 354– 364.
Blomme, R.J. (2003), ‘Alignement: een studie naar organiseerprocessen en alignement tussen
individuele en Organisatiecompetenties’, PhD thesis, Utrecht University, Faculty of Social
Blomme, R.J. (2006), ‘Eindrapportage Associate Degree’, The Hague: Hotelschool The Hague.
Booth, S., and Hamer, K. (2006), ‘Labor Turnover in the Retail Industry: Predicting the Role of
Individual, Organizational and Environmental Factors’, International Journal of Retail and
Charlesworth, S. (1994), Productivity in the Hospitality Industry: A Consultative Approach to the
Development of Performance Indicators, Canberra, Australia: Commonwealth department of
Coff, R.W. (1997), ‘Human Assets and Management Dilemmas: Coping With Hazards on the Road
to Resource-based Theory’, Academy of Management Review, 22, 374– 402.
Coyle-Shapiro, J.M-A. (2001), ‘Managers: Caught in the Middle of a Psychological Contract Muddle’,
paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the Academy of Management, Washington, DC.
Craig, D.D., and Tetrick, L. (1999), ‘Psychological Contracts and Temporary Workers: The
Assumption of the Transactional Contract’, presented at the Annual Meeting of the Society for
Deery, M.A., and Iverson, R.D. (1996), ‘Enhancing Productivity: Intervention Strategies for
Employment Turnover’, in Productivity Management in Hospitality and Tourism, ed
Deery, M.A., and Shaw, R.N. (1999), ‘An Investigation of the Relationship between Employee
Turnover and Organizational Culture’, Journal of Hospitality and Tourism Research, 23, 4,
Frone, M.R., Yardley, J.K., and Markel, K.S. (1997), ‘Developing and Testing an Integrative Model
of the Work – family Interface’, Journal of Vocational Behavior, 50, 145– 167.
Gaspersz, J., and Ott, M. (1996), Management van Employability, Assen: Van Gorcum/Stichting
Guest, D.E. (1998), ‘Is the Psychological Contract Worth Taking Seriously?’ Journal of
Organizational Behavior, 19, 649– 664.
Hall, D.T., and Mirvis, P.H. (1995), ‘Careers as Lifelong Learning’, in The Changing Nature of
Hall, D.T., and Richter, J. (1990), ‘Career Gridlock: Baby Boomers Hit the Wall’, Academy of
Management Executive, 4, 3, 7 – 22.
Hall, E.J. (1993), ‘Smiling Deferring, and Flirting’, Work and Occupations, 20, 4, 452–471.
Hammer, L.B., Allen, E., and Grigsby, T.D. (1997), ‘Work– family Conﬂict in Dual Earner Couples:
Within Individual and Crossover Effects of Work and Family’, Journal of Vocational Behavior,
Hanappi-Egger, E. (2006), ‘Gender and Diversity from a Management Perspective: Synonyms or
Complements?’ Journal of Organisational Transformation and Social Change, 3, 2, 121–134.
Hancer, M., and George Thomas, R. (2003), ‘Psychological Empowerment of Non-supervisory
Employees Working in Full-service Restaurants’, International Journal of Hospitality
Harris, L. (1995), Women: The New Providers, New York: Families and Work Institute.
Herriot, P., Manning, W.E.G., and Kidd, J.M. (1997), ‘The Content of the Psychological Contract’,
British Journal of Management, 8, 151– 162.
Herriot, P., and Pemberton, C. (1996), ‘Contracting Careers’, Human Relations, 549, 757– 790.
Hillmer, S., Hillmer, B., and McRoberts, G. (2005), ‘De echte kosten van personeelsverloop: lessen
van een Callcenter’, Human Resource Select, 1, 19 – 30.
Hiltrop, J.M. (1996), ‘Het veranderde psychologisch contract: HR-functie staat voor grote
uitdaging’, HRM-Select, 8, 31 – 47.
Hinkin, T., and Tracey, B. (2000), ‘The Cost of Turnover’, Cornell Hotel and Restaurant
Adminstration Quarterly, 14, 14 – 21.
Hojgaard, L. (1997), ‘Working Fathers; Caught in a Web of the Symbolic Order of Gender’, Acta
Sociologica, 40, 245–261.
Hoque, K. (1999a), ‘New Approaches to HRM in the UK Hotel Industry’, Human Resource
Management Journal, 9, 64 – 76.
Hoque, K. (1999b), ‘Human Resource Management and Performance in UK Hotel Industry’, British
Journal of Industrial Relations, 37, 3, 419– 443.
Lado, A.A., and Wilson, M.C. (1994), ‘Human Resource Systems and Competitive Advantage: A
Competency-based Perspective’, Academy of Management Review, 18, 4, 699– 727.
Laws, J.L. (1979), The Second X: Sex Role and Social Role, New York: Elsevier.
Leidner, R. (1991), ‘Serving Hamburger and Selling Insurance: Gender, Work, and Identity in
Interactive Service Jobs’, Gender and Society, 5, 2, 154– 177.
Lester, S.W., Turnley, W.H., Bloodgood, J.M., and Bolino, M.C. (2002), ‘Not Seeing Eye to Eye:
Differences in Supervisor and Subordinate Perceptions and Attributions for Psychological
Lewis, S. (1996), ‘Rethinking Employment: An Organizational Culture Change Framework’, in The
Work Family Challenge, eds
Lewis, S. (1997), ‘Family Friendly Policies: A Routine to Organizational Change or Playing About
the Margins’, Gender, Work and Organization, 4, 13 – 23.
Lucas, R., and Deery, M. (2004), ‘Signiﬁcant Developments and Emerging Issues in Human
Resource Development’, Hospitality Management, 23, 459– 472.
Lyness, K.S., and Thompson, D.E. (1997), ‘Above the Glass Ceiling? A Comparison of Matched
Please join StudyMode to read the full document