Sri Lanka is experiencing migration of skilled workers, which has been on the increase over the years. Graduates are one of the most valuable skilled worker groups that Sri Lanka produces and it is clear that some of them are leaving the country to secure employment overseas. Yet it is unclear why these individuals leave or whether their decision to leave is consistent with their objectives while at the university. This paper used the theory of planned behaviour (TPB) to understand the behavioural intention to pursue overseas employment by identifying the relevant antecedent factors and assessing whether the actual behaviour is facilitated by the perceived behaviour towards overseas jobs. The study involved collection of data from 200 undergraduates of, and 397 graduates (201 migrated graduates, 196 graduates in Sri Lanka) who graduated from the University of Peradeniya, Sri Lanka. Data were analyzed using the hierarchical multiple regression analysis and hierarchical logistic regression analysis. Findings showed that the attitudes and self-efficacy fully contributed while the subjective norms partially contributed to the prediction of behavioural intention towards an overseas career. Both perceived behavioural control and behavioural intention had contributed to predict the actual behaviour.
Tropical Agricultural Research Vol. 26 (1): 94 – 108 (2014)