This research is an exploration of how various practices, conditions and psychological states could influence fresh graduates’ retention. The conducted critical and narrative literature review on the retention of fresh graduates provided the foundations for the development of an initial conceptual framework which comprises six main components. These are (1) individual differences (2) core job dimensions (3) psychological states (4) labor market conditions (5) personal and work outcomes and (6) labor market outcome.
The empirical stage of the study was developed through a cross-sectional study based on a mix of quantitative and qualitative data to explore the effect of individual differences, core job dimensions, psychological states, labor market conditions and resulting personal/work outcomes on the retention of fresh graduates in their local labor market. Quantitative data were first collected from Lebanese fresh graduates through an exploratory structured questionnaire followed by qualitative data that were collected from employers through semi-structured interviews. The collected quantitative data were analyzed via using the SPSS program (Statistical Package for the Social Sciences) version 21.0 and the collected qualitative data were analyzed via the template technique. Results were compared and contrasted with the initial conceptual framework and the relevant literature.
The research findings from the quantitative research suggest that the main components of the framework affect the fresh graduates’ retention. The empirically validated conceptual framework reflects an in-depth exploration of the individual differences, core job dimensions, experienced psychological states, labor market conditions along with personal/work outcomes affecting fresh graduates’ retention. More particularly, core job dimensions are positively related to personal/work outcomes subscales. Experienced psychological states are strongly related to core job dimensions as predicted by the model. They also are very highly significantly related to personal/work outcomes. Besides, results showed that for the core job dimensions which affect all personal/work outcomes, it is verified that experienced psychological states mediate between core job dimensions and personal/work outcomes. Labor market conditions predict personal/work outcomes and most labor market conditions achieve moderate to high levels of statistical significant correlations with personal/work outcomes with correlations varying from negative to positive. Furthermore, it was confirmed that personal/work outcomes maximize in the presence of labor market conditions and all five experienced psychological states. Individual differences moderate the relationships between core job dimensions and experienced psychological states and between experienced psychological states and personal/work outcomes. And finally, fresh graduates retention is impacted by four (Internal Motivation, Growth Satisfaction, Work Effectiveness and Work Commitment) out of five Personal/Work Outcomes.
According to the interviews’ findings, the variety of steps considered by employers as being the most essential for retaining their fresh graduates met with most of the fresh graduates’ expectations. The findings of these interviews are in line with the findings of the quantitative study and are considered as a contribution to knowledge (to literature and theory). Employers were able to perceive the importance of core job dimensions and labor market conditions along with individual differences as a stimulus to maximize fresh graduates’ stay at their organizations through the development of multiple personal/work outcomes which confirms the quantitative research part of this study and adds to the literature review.
Finally, this study discusses the contribution to the fresh graduates’ retention field of study and the implications for both scholars and practitioners.
An Integrated Framework to Examine the Effects of Labor Market, Job and Personal Characteristics on the Retention of Fresh Graduates
- PhD thesis
- Labor market
- Original: Unic - Rules: RDA