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Challenges of Employee Turnover Intent of Workplace Environment in Emerging Technologies

Paper Type: Free Essay Subject: Employment
Wordcount: 4322 words Published: 23rd Sep 2019

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Proposed Topic

“The Challenges of Employee Turnover Intent of Workplace Environment in Emerging Economies: A Case of the Textile Manufacturing Industry in Pakistan”

Table of Contents

1.0 Introduction

1.1 Rationale

1.2 Aim, Objectives and Questions

1.2.1 Title

1.2.2 Aim

1.2.3 Objectives

1.2.4 Contributory Questions

2.0 Preliminary Literature Review

2.1 Employee Turnover

2.2 Impact of Quality Workplace Environment

3.0 Methodology

List of figures

Figure 1: Impact of Work Environment on Employee Retention

Figure 2; Quality Work Environment for Organisational Productivity

List of tables

Table 1: Gantt chart

1.0           Introduction

A research is proposed to examine the probable challenges the Textile Manufacturing Industry (TMI) is facing in creating a workplace environment that minimises turnover and fosters motivation to perform. Empirical evidences are considered as imperative from Pakistan, which is facing challenges from different quarters, specifically social and political domains.

1.1        Rationale

Gubman (2009) notes that people resourcing, performance management, retention and human resource costs always remain concurrent challenges for human resource practitioners. As such people resourcing, employee motivation for performance, workplace environment, and retention are the most discussed, researched and practiced areas in human resource management domain (Armstrong, 2015). This is not just because they are multiple connected workplace practices (Taplin and Winterton, 2007) but also that such practices minimise turnover intent and contribute to organisational growth (Guest et al, 2012) in particular and nations economy in general (Massoudi and Hamid, 2017).

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Prior studies (Hom and Ellis, 2018; Scott et al, 2013 and Delfgauw, 2007) empirically demonstrated the relationship between workplace environment, employee motivation and their impact on employees turnover. However, literature making empirical evidences within this domain of human resource management in emerging economies is limited. In emerging economies, traditional forms of business operations, which are mostly influenced by the familial types of management leadership, have limited human resource practices to take proactive measures (Chandrashekar, 2016). As people are organisational key human capital (Guest et al, 2012), and play an important role in the attainment of organisational goals and objectives, and more importantly gain competitive advantage in the market they operate (Armstrong and Kotler, 2014).

In view of the above, it is considered as imperative to examine the need and importance of creating a quality workplace environment that fosters motivation to perform and minimise any probable turnover intent. Such evidences are drawn for the proposed research from the Textile Manufacturing Industry in Bangladesh. The RMG industry in Pakistan is the fastest growing industry and has emerged as the mainstay of the country’s economy (Memon, 2018).

1.2        Aim, Objectives and Questions

1.2.1      Title

“The Challenges of Employee Turnover Intent of Workplace Environment in Emerging Economies: A Case of the Textile Manufacturing Industry in Pakistan”

1.2.2      Aim

The proposed research aims to examine the impact of workplace environment in fostering employee motivation to perform and minimise the intent of turnover.

1.2.3      Objectives

      To assess the need of quality workplace environment in Pakistani RMG industry

      To identify contemporary motivational strategies that minimise employees turnover intent in emerging economies

      To evaluate the relationship between workplace environment and employees turnover intent

      To examine the challenges faced by the Pakistani RMG industry in creating a quality workplace environment

1.2.4      Contributory Questions

  1. How effective are the contemporary employee motivation strategies that are mostly cited in Academic Literature?
  2. What are the most probable motivational strategies applicable to the RMG industry in Pakistan that can minimise employee’s turnover intent?
  3. How does quality work environment help the RMG industry in Pakistan  to foster motivation? If yes. How? If not. Why?
  4. Does quality work environment help the RMG industry to minimise turnover intent of employees? If yes. How? If not. Why?
  5. What strategic people management initiatives of motivation the Pakistani RMG industry need to promote? What are its benefits and drawbacks?
  6. What strategic initiatives the Pakistani RMG industry need to take to create a quality work environment? How will this benefit the industry?

2.0           Preliminary Literature Review

The proposed research is of the view that the current stature of the RMG industry in Pakistan has either reached a stagnancy stage and that it’s in a challenging environment to foresee sustainable competitive advantage (Pakistan Textile Industry Overview, 2018). To overcome the current scenario, the industry by laying specific emphasis on developing a quality workplace environment, it can motivate the people to perform (Hvid and Hasle, 2018), which otherwise would minimise turnover intent of the employees (Cottini, 2012); and when employees foresee building a career in the industry, the industry can further to grow and attain sustainable competitive advantage (Armstrong and Kotler, 2014). 

2.1        Employee Turnover

Employee turnover is the rate at which people leave the firm (Armstrong, 2015 p.198). People are organisational key human capital (Guest et al, 2012). People resourcing as such is not just an integral part of an organisational human resource practices but is also an important functioning of the human resource practitioners i.e. human resource managers (Armstrong, 2015). However, Gubman (2009) notes that the HR practitioners challenges in the past, current and most probably in future encounter challenges in resourcing and retention. It is as such imperative that the people who are resourced by the organisations are retained as far as possible.

Employee turnover intentions have “disproportionate impact on the business” (Armstrong, 2015 p.199). For example the HR Guide (2016) in a study notes that on average organisations incur costs of £8,500 to £12,000 when an employee leaves the firm. The HR costs of employee turnover are huge, direct and indirect. To replace an employee the business needs to initiate the process of people resourcing of recruitment, selection, induction, training, and more importantly time that could be otherwise used for other activities (Van Breukelen et al 2014).

Studies on employee turnover are strategically assessed and evaluated by high performance work systems to ensure that key human capital is restored. Initiatives of the organisational HR practices like workplace environment, job satisfaction, fairness in performance management, motivation and reward management minimise employee turnover intent (Min, 2017). However such strategic initiatives are hardly practiced in Pakistan (Iqbal, 2015)

Turnover intent can be 1) Voluntary Turnover (discharge turnover and downsize turnover) and/or 2) Involuntary Turnover (avoidable turnover and unavoidable turnover) (Iqbal, 2015). In Pakistan, of the total manufacturing industry, the textile manufacturing industry contributes 46%. 36% of the labour forces employed in manufacturing industry are employed in textile manufacturing industry. 9% of the nation’s GDP (Gross Domestic Product) is contributed by this industry. The industry meets 9% of the global textile needs and is ranked at 10th position in manufacturing clothes, and amount to US$ 5.2 billion (Pakistan Textile Industry Overview, 2018).

However, the industry is facing tough competition from its other countries in Asia, especially from Bangladesh. Socially, there is a change in people perspective of the industry leading to shift of people to other industries (Fibre2Fashion, 2018).   

Reflective to the HR challenges of employee retention and the industry example from Pakistan, a comprehensive research is considered as imperative. The proposed research identifies workplace environment as a key construct in overcoming turnover intent. 

2.2        Impact of Quality Workplace Environment

The work environment as informed by Armstrong (2015) is a set of policies, practices and creation of tangible and intangible elements in the place of work. This includes and not limited to the designing of the jobs that are to be performed by the employees, the system defined for the work, the conditions created by the management for the employees to work, and more importantly the treatment employees receive from the co-workers and the managers.

For example, Foldspang et al (2017) examining the case of Nordan, noted that the company was able to achieve quality work environment, which helped the company to counter turnover. Some of the key organizational initiatives of Nordan, as argued by the author are that Nordan determines the wellbeing of the employees by taking into account of all the needsof the people concerned and by designing the jobs and the related work. By laying specific emphasis on the wellbeing of people, of the managerial behavior, how people are treated, how people are helped to achieve work-life balance, helping them to cope with issues of stress and curbing any type of bullying and harassment.

Examining the impact of work environment in fostering retention Raziq and Raheela (2016) identified a range of factors that determine work environment and employee retention and build a conceptual framework (figure-1).

Figure 1: Impact of Work Environment on Employee Retention

Source: Raziq and Raheela (2016, p. 721)

In academic literature each of the above factors under work environment and employee retention are argued to be contributing to the overall productivity of the company in particular and the industry in general (Raziq and Raheela 2016). Evidence to the workplace practices as noted by Foldspang et al (2017) can be seen in theoretical model of Becker & Huselid (2008) how workplace environment contributes to productivity (figure-2).

Figure 2; Quality Work Environment for Organisational Productivity

Source: Foldspang et al (2017, p. 19)

Reflective to the above theoretical perspectives and empirical evidences, this study considers it as imperative to examine the workplace environments of the RMG industry in Pakistan that fosters employee motivation to perform and foster retention for productivity.

3.0           Methodology

In the context of evaluating the probable impact quality work environment has on motivating the employees to perform and to infuse retention (or) overcome turnover intent on employees for the productivity of the textile industry in Pakistan – the propose research considers quantitative methods of data collection and analysis, which will be at the core of the methodological design of the research (Saunders et al, 2012).

Reflective to the intended quantitative methods of data collection and analysis, the research identifies positivism as the appropriate philosophical base for the research (Flowers, 2009). The positivist paradigm is anticipated to facilitate the research to apply scientific methods for the research. The scientific methods will result in law like generalisation in the conclusions and recommendations of the research (Bryman, 2009). Reflective to the positivist philosophy, the proposed research accordingly identifies ‘Deductive Method’ as the research logical base, ‘Survey Strategy’ for collection of Primary Data through ‘Questionnaire’ as the data collection instrument, and ‘Inferential Statistics’ as the data analytical tool.

Primary data for the research is collected by conducting a survey among the textile manufacturing industry in Bangladesh. Such people are employed using ‘Non-Probability’ ‘Convenience’ Sampling. In all about 500 employees are surveyed. The participants being large in number ‘Questionnaire’ is used as data collection tool (Yin, 2011).

As the proposed research involves humans as research participants, it is further imperative that the research identifies any possible ethical issues. Such ethical issues as identified by the researcher include: ‘Harm to Participants’, ‘Invasion of Privacy’, ‘Informed Consent’ and ‘Deception’. The researcher will take all possible care to mitigate the ethical issues. For example, to overcome the ethical issue of invasion of privacy, the researcher will give ‘participants information sheet’ to each of the participants. The information sheet will inform the participants of the research purpose, participant’s role and rights, including how confidentiality of the information provided by them is maintained by the researcher’ (Bell and Bryman, 2011).

The research is anticipated to be completed in 31 months, including pilot study. An overview of the same is presented in the following table:

Table 1: Gantt chart

Time in quarters and year




























Defining topic, preliminary literature review, defining methodology and proposal submission

C1: Introduction

C2: Literature Review

C3: Methodology

Questionnaire and Interview Question development and Pilot study

Necessary modifications in the project

Primary data collection (Interview and Survey Questionnaire)

C4: Data findings and analysis

C-5: Conclusions, recommendations, further research

Draft dissertation

Proof reading and final submission


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