ISSN 1671-3710
CN 11-4766/R

心理科学进展 ›› 2022, Vol. 30 ›› Issue (9): 1955-1967.doi: 10.3724/SP.J.1042.2022.01955

• 研究构想 • 上一篇    下一篇


陈景秋(), 范清月, 黄敏妍   

  1. 上海交通大学安泰经济与管理学院, 上海 200030
  • 收稿日期:2021-11-25 出版日期:2022-09-15 发布日期:2022-07-21
  • 通讯作者: 陈景秋
  • 基金资助:

The withdrawal behaviors of rural migrant workers: A perspective from multiple embeddedness and identity strain

CHEN Jingqiu(), FAN Qingyue, HUANG Minyan   

  1. Antai College of Economics & Management, Shanghai Jiao Tong University, Shanghai 200030, China
  • Received:2021-11-25 Online:2022-09-15 Published:2022-07-21
  • Contact: CHEN Jingqiu


2.9亿农民工的工作退缩行为——为减少工作和组织角色而有意采取的行为(回避工作和降低努力、迟到缺勤、离职等)影响重大。为此, 本研究以资源保存理论作为“伞”理论, 整合了多重嵌入和身份压力的视角, 构建了一个全面预测农民工的工作退缩行为的模型。在该模型中, 提出了同时包含隐性和显性的工作退缩行为的测量指标体系; 构建了农民工在城市和家乡的多重嵌入对不同工作退缩行为的预测关系, 以及“农村人”和“城市人”的双重身份压力经由农民工在城市的多重嵌入对工作退缩行为的间接预测效应。本研究基于农民工样本的特异性, 构建了一个“背景化”的全面预测工作退缩行为的理论模型, 不仅弥补了微观层面农民工研究的理论空白, 也丰富了身份、多重嵌入和工作退缩行为领域的理论和文献。

关键词: 农民工, 工作退缩行为, 身份压力, 多重嵌入


The 290 million rural migrant workers in China make up more than one third of its urban labor force. They however often exhibit withdrawal behaviors that tend to reduce their participation in their work roles, such as work avoidance, reduced work effort, lateness, absenteeism, and turnover, etc., which undermines the productivity of Chinese enterprises. In fact, given the importance of rural migrant workers, their experience of withdrawal behaviors jeopardizes the normal functioning of cities, modernization and urbanization in China, as well as obstructs work resumption in the context of the global COVID-19 epidemic. Therefore, under the umbrella of COR theory, we propose to comprehensively predict the factors behind work withdrawal behaviors among rural migrant workers by integrating the multiple embeddedness and identity strain perspectives and the data from three successive studies which we carry out. In Study 1, we establish an indicator system for work withdrawal behaviors in rural migrant workers by including both explicit and implicit indicators. Furthermore, we examine the association between implicit work withdrawal behaviors and three explicit work withdrawal behaviors—turnover within a same career, career-changing turnover, and returns to hometown among rural migrant workers. In study 2, we investigate the negative effects of rural migrant workers' multiple embeddedness in their host city (as a “pushing” force) on work withdrawal behaviors, and how this is moderated by rural migrant workers' hometown community embeddedness (as a “pulling” force). In study 3, we further examine whether rural migrant workers' dual identity strain stemming from their dual identities as “countryman” and “urbanist” has indirect effects on their work withdrawal behaviors mediated by their multiple embeddedness in their host city. Our research has a number of theoretical implications as follows:

First, our research makes up for gaps in the micro-level research on rural migrant workers. The literature on rural migrant workers is dominated by macro-level research, and it is the rare research that focuses on micro-level concerns such as the physical and psychological well-being of rural migrant workers. Further, what micro-level research exists is often descriptive and qualitative, which provides limited implications regarding the psychological process inherent in rural migrant workers' decision to engage in work withdrawal behaviors. From this perspective, our research seeks to theoretically predict rural migrant workers' work withdrawal behaviors based on the framework of conservation of resources.

Second, our research investigates the relationship between explicit and implicit work withdrawal behaviors among rural migrant workers, as well as the different processes by which the two types of withdrawal behaviors may develop. Previous literature rarely examines both explicit and implicit work withdrawal behaviors within the same study. Furthermore, based on the specialty of rural migrant workers, we include three types of turnover as explicit work withdrawal behaviors—turnover within a same career, career-changing turnover, and returning to hometown. In fact, it is not usual to simultaneously observe such three types of turnover in other urban working samples.

Third, our research, via its correspondence to the call for “contextual research”, contributes to work withdrawal theories by providing special antecedents and psychological mechanisms, which is not easily observed in common working samples other than rural migrant workers. In particular, based on rural migrant workers' Hukou” situations and migration nature, we propose their dual identity strain stemming from their “urbanist” and “countryman” identities, as distal antecedents of potential work withdrawal behaviors, and propose their multiple embeddedness in their host city and hometown as proximal antecedents of work withdrawal behaviors.

Furthermore, we also establish a relationship between dual identity strain and work withdrawal behaviors which is mediated by multiple embeddedness and we show that our established proximal and distal antecedents differently predict different types of work withdrawal behaviors among our sample of Chinese rural migrant workers. Thus, our model contributes to the theoretical framework of identity strain, multiple embeddedness and conservation of resources.

Finally, our research also has practical implications for Chinese enterprises in the manufacturing industry and other industries which widely recruit rural migrant workers.

Key words: rural migrant workers, withdrawal behavior, identity strain, multiple embeddedness