Antecedents of turnover intent: The role of social relationships in job embeddedness
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Voluntary turnover is an important organizational issue with costs beyond monetary losses (Morrow & McElroy, 2007). Subsequently, the detrimental effects have engendered extensive research that has led to multiple turnover models attempting to unite antecedents to maximize the variance in predicting turnover and turnover intent (Griffeth et al., 2000). However, current models have omitted important aspects of an employee’s working experience. This dissertation addresses that gap; namely, the need to incorporate relational forces at work that keep individuals at their current organizations. The study integrates social relations and the traditional turnover model (Mobley, 1977) to examine the unique and joint effects of social relations in predicting turnover intent. An empirical study of two independent samples of full-time working individuals (N = 318; N = 235) endorsed a mixed methods approach to expand the measurement of social relations by examining social network content, strength, structure, and influence. Select work personality traits, work characteristics, and turnover outcomes were assessed via an online questionnaire. The results demonstrate that expressive link defection (i.e., friends leaving the organization), instrumental normative pressure to stay (i.e., advisors wanting employees to stay), and instrumental strength (i.e., frequency of contact with advisors) predict significant variance in turnover intent beyond traditional predictors. In addition, expressive link defection and instrumental normative pressure to stay had stronger relationships with turnover intent for longer tenured employees than shorter tenured employees.