Factors Influencing Turnover Intention among Malaysian Unskilled Workers in Oil Palm Plantation

  • Amran Arifin Malaysian Palm Oil Board (MPOB)
  • Humaira Mat Taib Malaysian Palm Oil Board (MPOB)
  • Zaki Aman Malaysian Palm Oil Board (MPOB)
  • Abdul Rahman Abdul Rahim Universiti Teknologi MARA
Keywords: turnover intention, employees, oil palm plantation, demographics, motivation factors


The turn over intention has dramatically caused high turnover among Malaysian unskilled workers in oil palm industry. Therefore, this study was to determine the level of local unskilled workers perception of turnover intention and provide additional insight for the industry players and policy maker to identify the needs and characteristics of the Malaysian employees to them to work in the oil palm plantation in future. This research used quantitative approach and cross- sectional method to address the current scenario in the oil palm plantation. Data were obtained from a field survey of 347 oil palm plantation employees all over Malaysia. A descriptive and cross-tab analysis was used to analyse the data. Findings of the research revealed the workers’ demographic characteristics namely age, gender and work tenure have the intention to leave. This research described that majority of respondents (58.5%) has intentions to leave from present job to another industry. Finding also found higher salary and allowance and free health service are keys to higher motivations. It was also suggested that employers should provide an attractive benefits package as a strategy to attract and retain workers.

Abstract views: 35 , PDF downloads: 23


Download data is not yet available.


Aarabi, M. S., Subramaniam, I. D., and Akeel, A. B. A. A. B. (2017). Relationship between motivational factors and Job performance of employees in Malaysia service industry. Asian social Science, 9(9), 301-310.

Akova, O., Gurel Cetin, G. and Ibrahim Cifcic, I., (2015). The relation between demographic factors and the turnover intention in pre-opening hotel businesses. Procedia - Social and Behavioral Sciences, 207: 377 – 384.

Azman, I. (2014). The effect of labour shortage in the supply and demand of palm oil in Malaysia. Oil Palm Industry Economic Journal, 13(2): 15-26.

Aziz, M. (2004), Role stress among women in the Indian information technology sector. Women in Management Review, 19(7), 356-363.

Baum, T. (2006). Human resource management for the tourism, hospitality and leisure: An international perspective. London: Delmar Thomson Learning.

Boles, J. S., Ross, L., and Johnson, J. (1995). Reducing employee turnover through the use of pre-employment application demographics: An exploratory study. Journal of Hospitality & Tourism Research (19): 19-30.

Bouckenooghe, D., Raja, U. and Butt, A. N. (2013). Combined effects of positive and negative affectivity and job satisfaction on job performance and turnover intentions. The Journal of Psychology, 147(2): 105-123.

Boudreau, J. W. (1992). Utility analysis for decisions in human resource management. In M. D. Dunnette & L. M. Hough (Eds.), Handbook of industrial and organizational psychology (2nd ed., Vol. 2, pp. 621-745). Palo Alto, CA: Consulting Psychologists Press

Christina, L. K. (2012). What factors attract and motivate dairy farm employees in their daily work? Journal of Prevention, Assessment and Rehabilitation, 41(1): 5311-5316.

Chen, Z. X., and Francesco, A. M. (2000). Employee demography, organizational commitment, and turnover intentions in China: Do cultural differences matter? Human Relations, 53(6), 869–887.

Choong,Y, O., Keh,C, G.,Tan,Y,T., Chun-Eng Tan,C,E (2013). Impacts of demographic antecedents toward turnover intention amongst academic staff in Malaysian Private Universities. Australian Journal of Basic and Applied Sciences, 7(6): 46-54.

Cohen, G., Blake, R. S., and Goodman, D. (2015). Does turnover intention matter? Evaluating the usefulness of turnover intention rate as a predictor of actual turnover rate. Review of Public Personnel Administration, 26(3): 1 –24.

Cotton, J. and Tuttle, J. (1986). Employee turnover: A meta-analysis and review with implication for research. Academy of Management Review, 11(1): 55-70.

David, F. R. (2011). Strategic management: Concept and cases. New Jersey: Pearson Education.

Dodd-McCue, D. and Wright, G. (1996). Men, women, and attitudinal commitment: The effects of workplace experiences and socialization. Human Relations, 49: 1065-1091.

Farber, H. S., (1999), Mobility and stability: The dynamics of job change in labor markets in Henry S. Farber (eds.), Handbook of Labor Economics, vol 3, Part B, Elsevier.

Fielden, S. L., and Davidson, M. J, (2001). Stress and gender in unemployed female and male managers. Applied Psychology, 50(2): 305–334.

Fishbein, M. and Ajzen, I. (1975). Belief, attitude, intention and behavior: An introduction to theory and research. Reading, MA: Addison Wesley.

Gianakos, I. (2001). Predictors of career decision-making self-efficacy. Journal of Career Assessment, 9(2): 101–114.

Griffeth, R. W., Hom, P. W. and Gaertner, S. (2000). A meta-analysis of antecedents and correlates of employee turnover: Update, moderator tests, and research implications for the next millennium. Journal of Management, 26: 463-488.

Hayes, T. M. (2015). Demographic characteristics predicting employee turnover intentions. Walden University. Phd Thesis.

Hidayati, A. and Fadilah, P. (2015). Determinants of turnover intention among employees. Journal of Administrative, 12(2): 1-12.

Hokanson, C., Sosa-Fey, J., & Vinaja, R. (2011). Mitigating the loss of knowledge resulting from the attrition of younger generation employees. International Journal of Business & Public Administration, 8, 138-151.

Hussain, I. A., Yunus, N., Ishak, N. A., and Daud, N. (2013). The influence of intention to leave towards employee engagement among young bankers in Malaysia. International Journal of Business and Management, 8(14); 89 -97.

Ippolito, R. A. (1987). Why federal workers don’t quit. Journal of Human Resources, 22, 281-299.

Jacobs, E. and Roodt, G. (2007). The development of a knowledge sharing construct to predict turnover intentions. Aslib Proceedings: News Information Perspectives 59(3): 229-248.

Johnston, M. W., Griffeth, R. W., Burton, S., and Carson, P. P. (1993). An exploratory investigation into the relationships between promotion and turnover: A quasi-experimental longitudinal study. Journal of Management, 19: 33-49.

Kabungaidze, T. and Mahlatshana, N. (2013). The impact of job satisfaction and some demographic variables on employee turnover intentions. International Journal of Business Administration, 4(1), 54-65.

Kushairi, A., Loh, S, K., Azman, I., Hishamuddin, E., Melina Ong, A., Izuddin, Z. B. M. N., Razmah, G.,

Shamala, S. and Ahmad Parveez, G. K. (2018). Oil palm economic performance in Malaysia and R&D Progess in 2017. Journal of Oil Palm Research, 30(2): 163-195.

Lashley, C. (2000). Hospitality retail management: A unit manager’s handbook: Butterworth Heinemann, Oxford.

Lee, S. Y., and Hong, J. H. (2011). Does family-friendly policy matter? Testing its impact on turnover and performance. Public Administration Review, 71, 870-879.

Lee, S. Y. and Whitford, A. B. (2007). Exit, voice, loyalty, and pay: Evidence from the public workforce. Journal of Public Administration Research and Theory, 18: 647-671.

Lewis, G. B. (1991). Turnover and the quiet crisis in the federal civil service. Public Administration Review, 51: 145-155.

Lim, I. (2001). Work Cultural values of Malays and Chinese Malaysian. International of Cross Cultural Management, 2(2): 209-226.

Lindner, J. R. (1998). Understanding Employee Motivation. The Journal of Extension, 36(3): 1-8.

Luthans, F., Baack, D. and Taylor, L. (1987). Organizational commitment: Analysis of antecedents. Human Relations, 4: 219-236.

Maden, C. (2014). Impact of fit, involvement, and tenure on job satisfaction and turnover intention. The Service Industries Journal, 34(14): 1113-1133.

Maertz, C. P., Griffeth, R. W., Campbell, N. S. and Allen, D. G. (2007). The effect of perceived organizational support and perceived superior support on employee turnover. Journal of Organizational Behaviour, 28(8): 1059-1075.

Menefee, J. A., and Murphy, R. O. (2004). Rewarding and retaining the best: Compensation strategies for top performers. Benefits Quarterly, 20: 13-20.

Moore, J. E. (2000). One road to turnover: An examination of work exhaustion in technology professionals. Management Information Systems Quarterly, 24(1): 141-168.

Nazirah, C. J., Norsida, M., Alaudin, A. L., Zaki, A., and Ramle, M. (2019). Relationships between job satisfaction and job factors among extension agents in the Malaysia’s oil palm industry. Oil Palm Industry Economic Journal, 19(1): 30-36.

Ng, T., W, H., and Feldman, D, C. (2013). Does Longer Job Tenure Help Or Hinder Job Performance? Journal Of Vocational Behavior, 83 (30): 305-314.
Pallant, J. A. (2011). Step by step guide to data analysis using IBM SPSS. 5th edition McGraw-Hill Education.

Porter, L. W. and Steers, R. M. (1973). Organizational, work, and personal factors in employee turnover and absenteeism. Psychological Bulletin, 80: 151-176.

Price, J., (2001). Reflections on the determinants of voluntary turnover. International Journal of Manpower, 22(7): 600-624.

Salahudin, S. N., Alwi, M. N. R., Sarah, S. B. and Idayu, N. A. (2016). Generation Y: Organizational commitment and turnover intention. The European Proceedings of Social & Behaviour Sciences: 449-456.

Sarminah, S. (2006). The contribution of demographic variables: Job characteristics and job satisfaction on turnover intention. Journal of International Management Studies, 1(1): 1-12.

Sousa- Poza, A. (2007). The effect of Job satisfaction on labour turnover by gender. An analysis for Switzerland. The Journal of Socio-economic, 36: 895-913.

Sekaran, U., and Bougie. (2013). Research methods for Business. A skill Building Approach. 5th Edition John Wiley & Sons Ltd.

Spector, P. E. (1985). Measurement of human service staff satisfaction: Development of the job satisfaction survey. American Journal of Community Psychology, 13, 693-713.

Siti Fardaniah, A, A. (2004). Hubungan Kualiti kehidupan Bekerja dengan Kecenderungan Pusing Ganti Pekerja: Kajian Tinjauan ke atas Operator Pengeluaran di Kilang Celestica, Johor. Msc Thesis.

Susan, M., H. (2019). 8 ideas on how to inspire motivation in the workplace. Human Resources.

Szamosi, L. T. (2006). Just what are tomorrow's SME employees looking for? Education + Training, 48(8/9): 654-665.

William, L. J. and Hazer, J. T. (1986). Antecedents and consequences of satisfaction and commitment in turnover models: A re-analysis using latent variable structural equation methods. Journal of Applied Psychology, 71: 219-231.

Xu, Y. J. (2008). Gender disparity in STEM disciplines: A study of faculty attrition and turnover intentions. Research in Higher Education, 49(7): 607-624.

Yim, K. P. W., Wong, I. A., Weng, H. K. (2014). Student career prospect and industry commitment: The roles of industry attitude, perceived social status, and salary expectations. Journal of Tourism Management, 40: 1-14.

Zaki, A., Abdul Rahman A. R. and Ahmad Kushairi, D. (2015). Generation Y perceptions of employment in the plantation sector. International Journal of Recent of Advances in Organization Behaviour and Decisions Sciences, 1(4): 605-616.
How to Cite
Arifin, A., Mat Taib, H., Aman, Z. and Abdul Rahim, A. R. (2021) “Factors Influencing Turnover Intention among Malaysian Unskilled Workers in Oil Palm Plantation”, Malaysian Journal of Social Sciences and Humanities (MJSSH), 6(9), pp. 374 - 381. doi: https://doi.org/10.47405/mjssh.v6i9.1002.