Career orientations and turnover intentions of information systems professionals in South Africa

Master Thesis


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University of Cape Town

Managing Information Systems (IS) personnel has frequently been cited as a major challenge for organisations, particularly with respect to reducing and controlling the high rate of turnover that IS personnel have historically displayed. In the past, with demand for qualified IS personnel outstripping supply, alternative job openings were plentiful and organisations found it difficult to attract and retain sufficient staff. However, the last few years have seen significant cutbacks in IS spending, resulting in declining growth rates and a reduced demand for IS personnel. Although the South African IS job market does not appear to be as severely affected as in other parts of the world, and there are still pockets of high demand worldwide, it seems unlikely that the IS industry will return to its former glory in the foreseeable future. Despite these stringent market conditions, organisations continue to be plagued with high, and even more surprisingly, increasing turnover rates. This trend is particularly perturbing for organisations that are highly dependent on IS because of its negative implications. Employee turnover is costly and disrupting, often leading to delays in project completion, there is a loss of valuable expertise and productivity of the IS department is reduced. Although, this research project only considered IS personnel turnover at the individual level, there are many other factors related to the work and external environments that are believed to affect IS personnel turnover in South Africa. However, these factors which include organisational structure, perceived job market and government policy, are very difficult to measure and are often beyond the control of organisations endeavouring to reduce and control turnover; and as such were not explicitly studied.

Bibliography: leaves 93-103.