Turnover and Retention in Nonprofit Employment: The Korean College Graduates’ Experience

Chulhee Kang, Sooyeon Huh, Sangmi Cho, Erica Yoonkyung Auh

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

21 Scopus citations


Korea’s nonprofit sector has undergone a sudden expansion in the last decade and its nonprofits experienced high employee turnover. This study is the first in Korean literature to examine workforce shifts in nonprofit organizations and explore influential factors that explain job changes from the nonprofit sector to other sectors. Using a three-wave panel data set of community college/university graduates, the Graduates Occupational Mobility Survey, we conducted a discrete-time survival analysis with the dependent variable of actual turnover. Our findings indicate that over half of employees left nonprofits within a year, and the majority found a new job in for-profit organizations. Different factors predicted turnover to for-profits, government agencies, and educational or research institutes. Age, wage level, employment type, and the size of nonprofit organizations explained employee shifts. Satisfaction with one’s overall job, job content, social reputation, and opportunities for career development were significant predictors. Implications for nonprofit organizations are discussed.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)641-664
Number of pages24
JournalNonprofit and Voluntary Sector Quarterly
Issue number4
StatePublished - 28 Aug 2015

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
The author(s) declared receipt of the following financial support for the research, authorship, and/or publication of this article: This work was supported by the National Research Foundation of Korea Grant funded by the Korean Government (NRF-2013S1A3A2055114).

Publisher Copyright:
© 2014, © The Author(s) 2014.


  • Korea
  • job satisfaction
  • nonprofit organization
  • turnover


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