The turnover process of IT Professionals: Applying the Unfolding Model of Voluntary Turnover to Visma Consulting
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Voluntary turnover can be costly and disruptive to organizations. Companies that successfully retain the best and brightest employees save money and protect their intellectual capital. Despite decades of research, traditional turnover models based on job satisfaction and general job availability only explain a small percentage of turnover. The unfolding model of voluntary turnover substantially deviates from the traditional models and identifies distinct turnover pathways that are independent of job satisfaction and availability. The model introduces “a shock to the system” as the immediate cause of turnover. A shock is a distinguishable event that leads individuals to re-evaluate their current employment with their organization. This thesis applies the unfolding model to understand the turnover process of IT professionals, investigating the influence of job satisfaction, shocks and job search on turnover decisions. The results are based on a survey of all leavers from Visma Consulting between 2011 and August 2015 and suggest that leavers follow a common process. All leavers do some job search and evaluate job alternatives before leaving, and no matter what started the process of leaving, almost everyone waits to leave until they either have a new job or feel certain they will get one. A shock was the the driving force behind the decision to leave for over half the leavers, and of these shocks, an unsolicited job offer was by far the most common. Job dissatisfaction and job search only played minor parts in most decisions to leave.