Employability and job search behavior: A six-wave longitudinal study of Chinese university graduates

Yizhong Xie, Zhibin Lin, Yevhen Baranchenko, Chi Keung Lau, Andrey Yukhanaev, Hailing Lu

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

    39 Citations (Scopus)
    23 Downloads (Pure)


    Graduate employability is a key concern for many observers particularly at a time when education is increasingly available for the masses. The purpose of this study was to examine the impact of graduate perceived employability on job search by integrating theory of planned behavior and to identify how job search self-efficacy, subjective norms, intention and intensity change over time. Data were collected from a six-wave survey study with a sample of Chinese university graduating students. Results show that perceived employability has a positive and significant effect on job search self-efficacy, attitude, intention and intensity; and that all the repeated measuring variables (except job search attitude) decreased over time. The study is useful for educators, employers and prospective students. It prompts discussion of reforms in the curriculum to increase graduate awareness of the complexity of the job search process and existing opportunities. The study could also help to explain how job search behavior changes over time. The findings carry implications for both higher education research and the measures of improving graduate employability. The study fills the gap in the literature by integrating employability and the theory of planned behavior into one framework in order to analyze the process of Chinese university graduates’ job search behavior.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)223-239
    JournalEmployee Relations
    Issue number2
    Publication statusPublished - 13 Feb 2017


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