Research Handbook on Employee Turnover

Research Handbook on Employee Turnover

New Horizons in Management series

Edited by George Saridakis and Cary L. Cooper

Covering the period of the financial crisis, this Research Handbook discusses the degree of importance of different driving forces on employee turnover. The discussions contribute to policy agendas on productivity, firm performance and economic growth. The contributors provide a selection of theoretical and empirical research papers that deal with aspects of employee turnover, as well as its effects on workers and firms within the current socio-economic environment. It draws on theories and evidence from economics, management, social sciences and other related disciplines.

Chapter 1: Introduction: the state of employee turnover

George Saridakis and Cary L. Cooper

Subjects: business and management, human resource management, organisational behaviour


Employee turnover can be viewed as an indicator of stability. In the current adverse economic and investment climate, as well as in the increasingly competitive working national and international environment for firms operating in both private and public sectors, employee turnover becomes a timely and relevant topic for academics, policy makers and other stakeholders (Bowles and Cooper, 2012). On the one hand, current economic conditions generate job uncertainty and can contribute to deterioration of working conditions (for example, low pay, promotion and reward prospects and less job training and human capital investment) and employee health (for example, through less health investment, higher stress levels and feelings of organizational injustice) (see, e.g., De Witte, 1999; Cheng and Chan, 2008; Dale-Olsen, 2006; Cottini et al., 2011; O’Halloran, 2012; He et al., 2015). This in turn affects levels of job satisfaction and organizational commitment and therefore, firms’ financial performance and employees’ productivity (see Levy-Garboua et al., 2007; Bockerman and Ilmakunnas, 2009; Robertson and Cooper, 2010). On the other hand, it also generates opportunities for innovative organizational changes and human resource practices (for example, new ways of communication, recruitment and resourcing practices; flexible working arrangements; encouraging teamwork and leadership spirit; enhancing employee engagement and voice) and stimulates search for alternative employment (or even moving to self-employment) that may generate higher career and earnings returns and job security than current job offers (see Lai et al., 2015; Saridakis and Cooper, 2013; Black and Lynch, 2004; Taylor, 1999).