Ma, RWY 2018, 'Psychological contracts, work behaviour and turnover intention in the Hong Kong telecommunications industry', DBA thesis, Southern Cross University, Lismore, NSW.
Copyright RWY Ma 2018
Telecommunications services in Hong Kong were deregulated in 1995 upon expiry of the franchised license of Hong Kong Telephone Company Limited. Since 1995, many telecommunications services companies have been established and by 2014 over 107 telecommunications carrier licenses had been issued for various kind of services. The deregulation of telecommunications services in Hong Kong not only provides business opportunities for companies but also provides many career development opportunities for employees.
Previous research in the telecommunications industry in Hong Kong has focused mainly on consumer protection and telecommunications market competition, and research has seldom been done on the human resources issues in this industry. This research investigates the informal relationship between employees and employers in the telecommunications industry in Hong Kong. The informal relationships between employees and employers referred as psychological contracts in this research. The relationships between psychological contracts, work behaviour and turnover intentions were the focus of this study. This research aims to answer the following research questions.
RQ1: What is the psychological contract profile between employers and employees in the telecommunications industry in Hong Kong?
RQ2: What is the relationship between psychological contract, work behaviour and turnover intention?
RQ3: Is work behaviour a mediator between psychological contract and turnover intention?
Four key hypotheses were developed based on the literature reviews, and a quantitative research methodology was used in this research by surveying employees of telecommunications services companies in Hong Kong. A total of 227 valid responses were received, and the data were carefully checked and prepared for quantitative analysis. The validity, reliability and normal distribution were checked before the hypothesis tests were conducted by Partial Least Squares Structural Equation Modelling (PLS-SEM).
The research concluded that there are significant relationships between psychological contracts (in terms of relational, transactional and transitional) and turnover intention (H1.2, H1.3 & H1.4). The psychological contracts (in terms of balanced and transactional) positively influence the employee’s work behaviours in terms of altruism (H2.1& H2.5). The psychological contracts (in terms of balanced and transitional) also positively influence the employee’s work behaviours in terms of generalised compliance (H2.2 & H2.8). There is no significant relationship between work behaviours and turnover intention found (H3.1 & H3.2); and the relationships between psychological contacts and turnover intention are mainly a direct effect, only the employee’s work behaviour in terms of altruism has a partial competitive mediation effect between balanced psychological and turnover intention (H4.1). It also found that the psychological contract, compared with work behaviour, is a better predictor of turnover intention.
The findings of this research provide a better understanding of the psychological contracts between employees and employers in the telecommunications industry in Hong Kong. Business managers can leverage this finding to develop better plans and approaches to deal with work behaviour and turnover intention issues. The outcomes also provide empirical evidence to validate the psychological contract inventory developed by Rousseau (2000) for the telecommunications industry in Hong Kong. This research fills a knowledge gap in this area and also provides a solid foundation for future research.