Understanding undergraduates' work values as a tool to reduce organizational turnover

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4 Citations (Scopus)


Purpose: The purpose of this research paper is to provide with a strategic approach to reduce organizational turnover by identifying undergraduates' work values. In order to do so, the research undertook two different studies. The first one focused on identifying undergraduates' work values, while the second one explored the alignment between undergraduates' work values and current human resources retention strategies. Design/methodology/approach: The research paper follows a mixed-method approach combining the Work Values Scale (EVAT) applied to 293 hospitality undergraduates of the bachelor's degree in Tourism and Hospitality Management and 30 semi-structured interviews along with 32 semi-structured interviews carried out to human resources professionals. Data was analysed using the EVAT methodology that classifies work values in (openness to change, conservation, self-enhancement and self-transcendence). Relationships between the four dimensions were tested using Pearson correlations and the student profile was analysed comparing the impact of the professional experience and gender in the dimensions. Findings: The results conclude that undergraduates' work values placed themselves under the categories of self-transcendence and openness to change. There is a significance level in the correlation between self-transcendence and openness to change and work values are influenced by previous professional experience and gender. Human resources professionals tend to overlook work values focusing their retention strategies in providing with training, feedback and promotions but not including practices to promote work–life balance and flexibility. Practical implications: Practical recommendations are provided for educators with examples of initiatives developed that can be applied in any educational institution. Originality/value: The research highlights the importance of work motivation based on values as a tool to generate retention strategies.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)445-459
Number of pages15
JournalEducation and Training
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 26 Apr 2022


  • EVAT
  • Employability
  • Higher education
  • Hospitality industry
  • Retention strategies
  • Undergraduates' work values


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