In contrast to the vast literature on voluntary turnover, the job embeddedness perspective explains why individuals choose to remain in their organizations. Since this perspective has been developed and tested in the USA, it is adequate to question whether it applies in other countries. The present study addresses this question in (large) Japanese organizations by drawing on semi-structured interviews with company representatives (n = 44), employees (n = 28), and executive-search consultants (n = 38). In line with the tenets in the job embeddedness perspective, the interviews indicate that many similar factors explain why individuals choose to stay in Japanese companies. However, the cultural and institutional settings were found to influence job embeddedness in Japanese companies. The interview findings are used to (1) extend the job embeddedness perspective with a set of research propositions, (2) add to nascent knowledge about retention in Japanese companies, and (3) demonstrate the challenges foreign companies face attracting high-quality work force in Japan.
Vesa Peltokorpi, Ph.D., is an assistant professor of the Management & Human Resources Department at the HEC School of Management, Paris. He has numerous publications in international peer reviewed journals, such as Review of General Psychology, the International Journal of Human Resource Management, and Journal of Management Studies. His current research concerns with various human resource management issues in Japan, especially voluntary turnover and retention.