The Antecedents, Consequences, and Mediating Role of Workload among Chinese Courier Drivers

Haitao Wen, Hongduo Sun, Sebastian Kummer, Benjamin Farr-Wharton, David Martin Herold

Publication: Scientific journalJournal articlepeer-review


The growth of e-commerce in China can be regarded as a significant factor in the increase in occupational stress and the voluntary turnover of courier drivers. This paper aims to investigate selected occupational stress factors behind the turnover intentions of Chinese courier drivers. Using data from 229 couriers employed at the largest delivery companies in China, this study applies structural equation modelling to investigate not only the direct relationships between job-stress factors and turnover intentions but also the extent to which workload indirectly mediates turnover intentions among couriers. The results indicate that a combination of high workload with social stressors leads to turnover intentions. In particular, it was found that workload completely mediated the relationship between both the independent variables and the intention to leave the industry, suggesting that when workloads are high, the net effect of negative work experiences with regard to verbal aggression and ambiguous customer expectations increases the likelihood of an intention to leave the industry. Although restricted to China, this is one of the first studies investigating the effects of courier drivers’ job stressors which highlights the importance of delivery companies working with staff to mitigate job stressors to reduce turnover intention.
Original languageEnglish
Issue number14015
Publication statusPublished - 2021

Austrian Classification of Fields of Science and Technology (ÖFOS)

  • 502052 Business administration

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