Extended internal orientation and its effect on employees behaviour: migrant workers in Chinese manufacturing industry

PhD Thesis

Hu, X. 2021. Extended internal orientation and its effect on employees behaviour: migrant workers in Chinese manufacturing industry. PhD Thesis Canterbury Christ Church University Business School
AuthorsHu, X.
TypePhD Thesis
Qualification nameDoctor of Philosophy

Manufacturers in China face a severe labour shortage as well as labour qualification, which have affected their product quality and productivity severely. One of the causing reasons for that is the new generation of migrant workers who are different from their parent's generation. The new generation of migrant workers seeks not only the right working environment, flexible working time, good salary but also the balance between work and life. The new phenomenon has challenged the way to manage workers in manufacturers in China.

This PhD project aims to explore how the application of the internal market orientation, a tool for satisfying the employees' needs while achieving the organisational objectives, can tackle these issues in China. The original internal market orientation construct only covers the needs and wants from the work aspect, this research extends the internal market orientation to include employees' needs and wants in life to achieve a better work-life balance among migrant workers. Following the social exchange theory, work-family border theory, and the theory of planned behaviour, the extended internal market orientation construct is proposed to affect the employees' attitude (employee morale and happiness), and the employees' behaviour (intention to stay and employee productivity). To achieve the proposed research objectives, this study first carried out in-depth interviews with migrant worker and their supervisors to develop new internal market orientation scales that are fit for the Chinese context. Interviews with migrant works are undertaken to identify their needs and wants, while interviews with supervisors are conducted to collect their opinions on the adoption of internal market orientation in the Chinese manufacturing industry. Followed this stage, the qualitative data is embedded in the design of the quantitative survey. The subsequent quantitative study is completed via online questionnaires to examine how the extended internal market orientation affects employees' attitude and behaviour.

These results of this study confirm that the extended internal market orientation is a second-order construct constituting internal information collection, internal information dissemination, and internal information responsiveness in work and life, respectively. The extended internal market orientation contributes to improving employee behaviour, in particular, employee productivity when there is a higher level of employee morale and happiness. The supervisor support has a moderating influence on the relationship between the extended internal market orientation and employee happiness rather than employee morale. This study suggests that the organisation should care for employee's psychological wellbeing, which conduces to improving the employees' behaviour and the management should provide and satisfy their needs not only in work but also in life.

KeywordsInternal market orientation; Employee behaviour; Migrant workers; Chinese manufacturing industry
File Access Level
Supplemental file
File Access Level
Publication process dates
Deposited22 Jun 2021
Permalink -


Download files

April Final Thesis.pdf
File access level: Open

  • 8
    total views
  • 29
    total downloads
  • 7
    views this month
  • 28
    downloads this month

Export as