Determinants of Military Turnover of Technical Air-force Specialists: An Empirical Case Analysis


  • Chengedzai Mafini Logistics Department, Faculty of Management Sciences, Vaal University of Technology
  • Job Dubihlela Faculty of Management Sciences, Vaal University of Technology. South Africa


Military turnover involving air force staff is a unique and rare phenomenon. Eyebrows were therefore raised when it was observed that there were hundreds of aircraft technicians who were ex-members of a particular government air force organisation, and were now concentrated in one geographic location, which was distant to their homes. This incident had to be empirically investigated, and the causes for the mass exodus explained. We explored antecedent factors contributing to the mass exodus of aircraft technicians from an air force in Southern Africa. Turnover occurring in military organisations is infrequent and does not often attain disturbing levels. Nevertheless, there was an alarming mass departure of aircraft technicians from a particular air force organisation; a development which merited an empirical investigation. It is important to understand the drivers of turnover in military organisations, as this facilitates the more effective planning of various human resource practices within that organisation. A cross-sectional survey design was applied on a convenient sample of aircraft technicians (n=231). Exploratory factor analysis (EFA) was applied to identify factors contributing to the Regression analysis was used to test relationships between the extracted factor. The mean-score ranking approach was used to examine the importance of the factors relative to each other. Six factors that accounted for 64.9% of the variance were extracted, namely job satisfaction, management style, job content, employment equity, individual cognition and personality, economic and employment opportunities. Inter-factor relationships and predictor variables were identified. Among these factors, job satisfaction was found to be the most important factor and internal equity was the least important factor that contributed to the attrition of aircraft technicians. To retain their specialist staff, managers in military organisations must pay special attention to the factors identified in this study. Optimisation of these factors is important in reducing the intention to quit among specialists in military organisations. The findings of the study are useful in the attraction, reward and remuneration, selection, development, placement and retention of critical employees in military organisations. The results are important for managers intending to retain scarce skills; they provide valuable pointers for designing effective retention strategies.

DOI: 10.5901/mjss.2013.v4n3p523


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How to Cite

Mafini, C., & Dubihlela, J. (2013). Determinants of Military Turnover of Technical Air-force Specialists: An Empirical Case Analysis. Mediterranean Journal of Social Sciences, 4(3), 523. Retrieved from