Retention and attrition of experienced Malay male Architects in Malaysian architectural design consultant firms in the Klang Valley, Malaysia

Mohd Hisham Ariffin, Ismah Summayyah Mohd Amar


The Malaysian construction industry suffers from a high rate of talent attrition within architecture design consultant firms which hinders these firms from strategic nurturing of employees needed to sustain the firms’ involvement in the global market. This paper reports the findings of an investigation into the factors that contribute to employment retention and attrition of a purposive sample of ten male professional Malay Architects in Malaysian architecture consulting firms in the Klang Valley. These reasons were uncovered through analysis of interview transcripts with the sample cohorts. Qualitative data coding generated employment retention and attrition meaning units relevant with need categories in Alderfer’s ERG motivation theory which are existence needs (physiological, material security, convenience) relatedness needs (group belongingness, social needs, family obligations, friendship obligations, social obligations and social esteem), growth ( self esteem and self actualization) and intrinsic motives (choice, progress, competence and meaningfulness). All respondents remain in the firm when the employment provided convenience and self-esteem to them, and from a sense of group obligations for the firm. Yet they would seek employment elsewhere when the gratuities with the current employer cannot fulfill their physiological needs. They also leave when they do not fulfil self esteem needs. Thus, a possible theme within the responses is that high order (growth) needs and mid-order (relatedness) needs retain male professional Malay Architects while the failure to meet low order (existence) needs and high order (growth) needs motivate their employment attrition. Further investigations are warranted due to the limitations of the sampling methodology (249 words)


Architecture consulting firms, Attrition, Employment, Malaysia, Retention

Full Text:



Abdullah, N. Z., Arshad, R. A.; and Ariffin, M. H. (2013). Technical female graduates in the Malaysian construction industry : attrition issues. International Surveying Research Journal, 3(1): 33-43.

Adeokun, C. O. (2015). Exploring the link between motivation for course-choice and retention in the architectural profession: Student's perspectives, Mediterranean Journal of Social Science 6(6), 191-201.

Agarwal, R. N. (2015). Stress, job satisfaction and OB commitment’s relation with attrition with special reference to Indian IT sector. The 9th International Management Conference (IMAC9). November 5-6. Bucharest, Romania. Faculty of Management, Academy of Economic Studies. 720-731.

Al-Hawary, S. I. S., and Alajmi, H. M. A. (2017). Organizational commitment of the employees of the Ports Security Affairs of the state of Kuwait: The impact of HR management practices. International Journal of Academic Research in Economics and Managerial Sciences, 6(1): 52-78.

Allen, N. J., and Meyer, J. (1991). A three component conceptualization of organisational commitment. Human Resource Management review, 1(1): 61-89.

Amar, I. S. M. (2018). Employment attrition and retention of Malay male architects in architectural design firms in the Klang Valley, Malaysia. Unpublished dissertation, Masters in Integrated Construction Project Management, Universiti Teknologi MARA, Shah Alam, Malaysia.

Bhardwaj, S. and Singh, A. (2017). Factors affecting employee attrition among engineers and non-engineers in manufacturing industry. Business & IT, Vol. VII(2): 26-34.

CIDB (2015). Construction Industry Transformation Programme 2016-2020. Kuala Lumpur: Construction Industry Development Board Malaysia. Retrieved from on 2 February 2017.

Guillon, O. and Cezanne, C. (2014). Employee loyalty and organizational performance: A critical survey. Journal of Organizational Change Management, 27(5): 839-850.

Hofstede, G. (2018) Country comparisons: What about Malaysia. Hofstede Insights website. Retrieved at on 29 December, 2018.

Janssen, O. (2001). Fairness perceptions as a moderator in the curvilinear relationships between job demands, job performance and job satisfaction. Academy of Management Journal, 44(5): 1039-1050.

Jehanzeb, K., Rasheed, A., and Rasheed, M. F. (2013). Organizational commitment and turnover intentions: impact of employee's training in private sector of Saudi Arabia. International Journal of Business and Management, 8(8): 79-90.

Kannan, M. and Vivekanandan, K. (2013). Attrition factor analysis - with special reference to IT professionals in Chennai. (IEEE) International Conference: Information Communication and Embedded Systems (ICICES). February 22-23. Chennai: Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE). 517-523.

Ketchand, A. A., and Strawser, J. R. (2001). Multiple dimensions of organisational commitment: implications for future accounting research. Behavioural Research in Accounting, 33(1): 221-51.

Latif, F. D., & Saraih, U. N. (2016). Factors influencing employee turnover in private sector in Malaysia: a concept paper. Australian Journal of Basic and Applied Sciences, 10(7), 51-55.

Linz, S., Good, L. K., and Busch, M. (2015). Promoting worker loyalty: an empirical analysis. International Journal of Manpower, 36(2): 169-191.

Locke, E. A. (1976). Handbook of industrial and organisational psychology. Chicago: Rand McNally.

Loo, C., Yong, D., Ooi,B.H., Yoong H.W., Teh L. X., Azelan, N.W.N., and Manikam, K. (2017) The critical occupational list report 2016/2017, Petaling Jaya: Talent Corp. Retrieved from on 2 February 2017.

Lu, Y., Hu, X., Huang, X., Zhuang, X., Guo, P., Feng, L. et al (2017). The relationship between job satisfaction, work stress, work family, conflict, and turnover intention among physicians in Guangdong, China: A cross sectional study. BMJ Open, 7(5): 1-13.

Maslach, C. And Jackson, S.E. (1984). Burnout in organisational settings. Journal of Applied Social Psychology, 5, 133-153.

Nijhawan, S. P. and Nijhawan, D. P. (2014). New key to employee retention-intrinsic motivation: A study of private banking sector of India, Journal of Indian Research, 2(1): 90-95.

O'Reilly, C. A., and Chatman, J. A. (1986). Organisational commitment and psychological attachment: The effcts of compliance, identification, and internalization on prosocial behaviour. Journal of Applied Psychology, 71(3): 492-499.

Oplatka, I., and Mimmon, R. (2008). Women principals' conception of job satisfaction and dissatisfaction: An alternative view. International Journal of Leadership in Education, 11(2): 135-153.

Panahi, B., and Moezzi, E. (2016). Value conflicts and organizational commitment of internal construction stakeholders. Engineering, Construction and Architectural Management, 24(4): 554-574.

Queiri, A., Yusoff, W. F. W., and Dwaikat, N. (2015). Explaining generation-Y employees' turnover in Malaysian context. Asian Social Sciences, 11(10): 126-138.

Rashid, M.Z.A. and Ho, J.A. (2003), Perceptions of Business Ethics in a Multicultural Community: The Case of Malaysia. Journal of Business Ethics 43(1-2): 75–87.

Saiyadain, M. S. (1985). Personal characteristics and job satisfaction: India Nigeria comparison, International Journal of Psychology, 20(2): 143-153.

Santhanalakshmi, K., Prabhakar, K., and Kumar, N. S. (2014). Analytical study of values of business process outsourcing employees to address issue of attrition and suggestion of work life balance intervention. Asian Social Science, 10(15), 63-75.

Satiani B. and Prakash, S. (2017). Low career satisfaction and compensation disparities may contribute to vascular surgery assistant professor attrition. Journal of Vascular Medical Surgery, 5(1), 1-4.

Shankar, B. R. and Muneera, A. (2013). Employee attrition behaviour causes and consequences. Journal of Mathematical Archive, 4(12): 290-293.

Singh, S., Ganguli, S., and David, R. (2017) Women workforce attrition dynamics in Indian IT/ITES sector. The Qualitative Report, 22(5): 1211-1226.

Sinniah, S. and Kamil, N. M. (2017). The influence of human resource practices on turnover intention: the case of a telecommunication company in Malaysia, Malaysian Management Review, 52(1): 45-61.

Thomas, K. W., and Velthouse, B. A. (1990). Cognitive elements of empowerment an interpretive model of intrinsic task motivation. Academy of Management Review, 15(4): 666-681.

Uzair, M., Razzaq, W., Sarfraz, M., and Nisar, Q. A. (2017). Impact of HR practices on employee loyalty and commitment: Mediating role of job satisfaction, IJME 9(2): 1067-1073.

Xu, Y., Wang, D. and Liu, C. (2013). Factors affecting commitment and satisfaction of project managers in the construction industry. (IEEE) International Conference: Management Science and Engineering (ICMSE), 2072-2077, Harbin: Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE).

Zulbahari, N. H., and Alias, R. (2014). Malaysia's trend of employment turnover: study on generation Y. Journal of Modern Marketing Research, 3(11), 1-13.


  • There are currently no refbacks.