Ph.D Knowledge Sharing - 'The Impact of Human Resource Strategies on the Retention of Engineers in Malaysian

Written by Siti Aisyah Abdul Rahman on . Posted in News & Event Hits: 5237

Assalamu'alaikum and Happy Ramadan to all.

Dear Staff and Postgraduate Students,

You are cordially invited to this knowledge sharing session. The details are as below:

Date : 17 Julai 2013 (Rabu)
Time : 9.30 - 10.30am
Venue : Bilik Mesyuarat, Level 1, Faculty of Management (T08).
Title : Ph.D Knowledge Sharing- 'The Impact of Human Resource Strategies on the Retention of Engineers in Malaysian firms'
Speaker : Dr. Rabeatul Husna bte Abdull Rahman


Excessive external labour mobility – overseas, to Singapore, and inter-firm-by knowledge workers, particularly engineers, is thought to be hampering Malaysia’s drive for knowledge economy status. The role of firms’ human resource practices in addressing this problem is explored by analysing the factors that could contribute to improved professional engineer retention, based on firm-level partnership in knowledge-creation. In Western Human Resource Management (HRM) literature, employee retention is defined as one of the key firm-level strategic (SHRM) goals. The challenge in knowledge worker retention however is the ‘pull’ of firm-external occupational labour markets, in which careers often called ‘protean’ (self-directed), or ‘boundaryless’, are pursued in order to remain valuable by building expertise. ‘Push’ factors are added when engineers do not perceive firms as providing organisational support (POS) for career development, or the
mutual exchange that creates a ‘psychological contract’ (PC). Through a mixed-method design based on a survey of engineers as well as interviews with HR practitioners and engineers, the study combines ‘top-down’ and  ‘bottom-up’ perspectives on the factors shaping engineers’ turnover intentions and their causes. Interviews with HR staff and engineers reflect a mechanistic/operational rather than a strategic role of HR departments in Malaysian engineering firms, with employee development regarded as costly, and in some cases little sense of partnership or reciprocity. The survey results indicate significant links among the quantity and quality of HR programs available, POS, PC, and engineer’s intention to stay (ITS). Career development opportunity and skills training emerge as the HR strategies most likely to influence ITS, meeting engineers’ self-efficacy needs. Despite engineers’ pragmatism, the sense of a mutually-satisfying relationship with employers emerges as a retention factor. Interviews reveal the influence of HR policies and practices in engineers’ complex career mobility decisions.