Sze Hang YUEN

Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name

Master of Philosophy (MPHIL)



First Advisor

Prof. LUN Miu Chi, Vivian

Second Advisor

Prof. YEUNG Wai Lan, Victoria


Job hopping is about people changing jobs frequently. This concept is slightly different from normal turnover in terms of employees staying in the present company for a short period of time only before they move on to the next job. While there appears to be an increased level of acceptance of job hopping, the phenomenon has also been associated with different problems faced by organizations, such as retaining experienced and trained employees. Past research has been directed to examining the roles of various social (e.g., perceived job availability) and psychological (e.g., job satisfaction, turnover culture, values and attitudes) factors in job hopping behavior. One interesting line of these researches focuses on job hopping among the younger generation (i.e., the Millennials) which is suggested to be frequent job hoppers compared to the previous generations, and this observed generational difference in job hopping is due to the poorer work attitudes (e.g., being disloyal and valuing much on extrinsic rewards) held by young people. However, a research conducted in the U.S. (Twenge, 2010) showed that younger workers are actually similar to the older generation in the way that they are also willing to stay longer in the companies instead of hopping jobs if they are satisfied with their jobs. In this research, the job hopping phenomenon of Chinese workers in the Hong Kong context was examined. A qualitative study (Study 1) was conducted with 30 young, full-time Hong Kong Chinese employees from different industries to examine their conceptions and perceptions of job hopping. Results showed that job hopping is considered different from “usual turnover” in terms of its detrimental effects to one‟s record on the curriculum vitae (CV). Most interviewees preferred not to “job hop” unless they have an especially attractive alternative offer. Bad track record on the CV resulted from job hopping is something to be avoided by most interviewees. Based on part of the findings in Study 1, a quantitative survey research (Study 2) was conducted to further investigate the purported generational differences (Generations X and Y) in job hopping intention by using the Theory of Planned Behavior framework (Ajzen, 1991). Results showed that there were no differences in attitudes towards job hopping and subjective norms, but there were significant differences in perceived control and job hopping intention between Gen X and Y. Regardless of generational differences, the TPB predictors (i.e., attitudes, subjective norms and perceived control) accounted for additional variances in explaining job hopping intention when controlling for age, education level, average tenure and job satisfaction. Implication of the findings and future research directions are also discussed.

Recommended Citation

Yuen, S. H. (2016). Examining the generation effects on job-hopping intention by applying the Theory of Planned Behavior (TPB) (Master's thesis, Lingnan University, Hong Kong). Retrieved from

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Psychology Commons