Investigating the relationship between managerialist employment relations and employee turnover intention: the case of Nigeria

Emeka Oruh, Chima Mordi, Akeem Ajonbadi, Bashir Mojeed-Sanni, Mushfiqur Rahman

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    Purpose – This article investigates the relationship between managerialist employment relations and employee turnover intention in Nigeria. The study context is public hospitals in Nigeria, which have a history of problematic human resource management (HRM) practice, non-participatory workplace culture, managerialist employment relations and high employee turnover intention.

    Design/methodology/approach – Based on qualitative, interpretive approach, this paper investigates the process by which Nigerian employment relations practices trigger employee turnover intention of doctors using 33 semi-structured interviews with key stakeholders in public hospitals.

    Findings – This study found that Nigeria’s managerialist employment relations triggers employee turnover intention of medical doctors. Additionally, it was found that although managerialist employment relations leads to turnover intention, Nigeria’s unique, non-participatory and authoritarian employment relations system exacerbates this situation forcing doctors to consider leaving employment.

    Implications/limitation – Studies on the interface between managerialism and employment relations are still under-researched and underdeveloped. Issues associated with managerialist employment relations and HR practice including stress, burnout and dissatisfaction and their relationship with doctors’ turnover intentions, have significant implications for employment policies, engagement processes and HRM generally. Generalising the findings of this study is constrained by limited sample size and its qualitative orientation.

    Originality/value – This paper contributes to the dearth of studies emphasising employer-employee relationship quality as a predictor of employee turnover intention and a mediator between managerialist organisational system and turnover intention. The study further contributes to the discourse of employment relations and its concomitant turnover intention from developing countries’ perspective within the medical sector.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)52-74
    Number of pages23
    JournalEmployee Relations
    Issue number1
    Early online date1 Oct 2019
    Publication statusPublished - 6 Jan 2020


    • Managerialism
    • employment relations
    • employee turnover intention
    • Nigeria


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