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The End is Just the Beginning: Turnover Events and their Impact on those Who Remain

ISI: The End is Just the Beginning: Turnover Events and their Impact on those Who Remain

LYONEL LAULIÉ C., FREDERICK MORGESON.

2020 - Forthcoming - Personnel Psychology

Abstract

Turnover is not only the ending of an employment relationship, it is also the potential beginning of a new reality for those who remain in the organization. The impact of voluntary and involuntary turnover events on organizational “stayers” represents an unfortunate gap in extant turnover theory. Conceptualizing turnover as a beginning rather than an ending suggests the possibility that turnover events may increase, decrease, or have no effect on cognitions, decisions, and behaviors of those who remain in the organization. Yet, despite this possibility, we know very little about what happens to organizational members after turnover events occur. To address this gap, we develop Turnover Event Theory (TET). TET is a middle-range, event-centered theory that describes how turnover events first activate stayers’ attention and then are subject to a distinctive psychological interpretation process. By describing the processes that follow a turnover event, TET provides a needed explanation of how a turnover event may cause or derail downstream turnover events and change stayers’ behaviors and cognitions. We develop specific propositions to better understand this phenomenon and offer guidelines for future theoretical and empirical research.

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