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Who stays and who leaves? Social dynamics surrounding employee turnover

Shevchuk, Iryna (2008) Who stays and who leaves? Social dynamics surrounding employee turnover. Doctoral Dissertation, University of Pittsburgh. (Unpublished)

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My dissertation consists of two essays that examine employee turnover as an independent and a dependent variable. In my first essay I examine the relationship between job-related attitudes, such as job satisfaction and organizational commitment, and employee turnover behavior. In a sample of over 6,000 teachers in 200 public elementary schools, I found significant variability across employee and organizational characteristics in the strength of the relationship between job attitude ratings and turnover. I attribute this variability to two sources: (a) systematic differences in attitude thresholds, i.e. the minimum acceptable level of a job attitude necessary to remain with the organization; and (b) systematic response biases in attitude ratings. I develop a model to determine which characteristics relate to significant differences in attitude thresholds and/or response biasing factors and found that both individual and organizational attributes are distinguishing factors. In my second essay I present findings from three inter-related studies investigating human and social capital as mechanisms that may determine whether and why employee retention is associated with organizational performance. In a sample of public schools I found a linear relationship between employee retention and organizational performance. Further, this positive association is fully mediated by human capital and partially mediated by social capital. In addition, I examined human and social capital at the individual level of employees who remain with the organization versus those who leave. I found that organizational performance suffers most when the employees who leave have high levels of both human and social capital. Finally, I distinguished human and social capital losses based on their specificity: organization-specific versus task-specific. As predicted, the losses of task-specific human and social capital were more deleterious to organizational performance than the losses of organization-specific forms of capital.


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Item Type: University of Pittsburgh ETD
Status: Unpublished
CreatorsEmailPitt UsernameORCID
ETD Committee:
TitleMemberEmail AddressPitt UsernameORCID
Committee ChairLeana, Carrie Rleana@katz.pitt.eduLEANA
Committee MemberRousseau, Denise
Committee Member Masters, Marick
Committee MemberMoreland, Richard Lcslewis@pitt.eduCSLEWIS
Committee MemberMittal,
Date: 29 September 2008
Date Type: Completion
Defense Date: 29 July 2008
Approval Date: 29 September 2008
Submission Date: 27 August 2008
Access Restriction: No restriction; Release the ETD for access worldwide immediately.
Institution: University of Pittsburgh
Schools and Programs: Joseph M. Katz Graduate School of Business > Business Administration
Degree: PhD - Doctor of Philosophy
Thesis Type: Doctoral Dissertation
Refereed: Yes
Uncontrolled Keywords: employee turnover; human capital; job attitudes; social capital
Other ID:, etd-08272008-130405
Date Deposited: 10 Nov 2011 20:01
Last Modified: 15 Nov 2016 13:49


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