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 16: High-performance human resource practices and voluntary employee turnover

Inmaculada Beltrán Martín

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


Despite the high number of studies addressing voluntary employee turnover, this is still a relevant issue for organizational researchers. The vast majority of existing empirical studies focus on analysing why individuals voluntarily leave organizations (Maertz and Campion, 2004). In particular, many studies have focused on the relationship between human resources (HR) practices and voluntary employee turnover. However, most empirical studies to date treat the set of HR practices as a unidimensional index, which prevents analysis of the differential impact of specific HR practices on employee turnover (Gardner et al., 2011). This chapter draws on the AMO (workforce ability, motivation and opportunity) model (Bailey et al., 2001) in an attempt to examine the extent to which skill-enhancing HR practices, motivation-enhancing HR practices and opportunity-enhancing HR practices affect voluntary employee turnover. Furthermore, in Macky and Boxall’s (2007: 539) words, ‘there is clearly a need for further research into the existence of synergistic interaction effects among the HR practices involved in an HPWS [high-performance work system]’. The internal fit among HR practices is a critical issue in the human resource management (HRM) literature, but to date few studies have examined its relevance for explaining employee turnover.

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