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Ian R. Gellatly and Leanne M. Hedberg

In this chapter the authors examine the implications of organizational commitment for withdrawal behaviors, in particular employee turnover and absenteeism (and presenteeism). They trace the evolution of both turnover and absenteeism theories and highlight in these models where employee commitment is likely to play a substantive role. While all three forms of organizational (affective, continuance, normative) commitment have been found to predict withdrawal cognition and turnover across studies, a slightly different story emerges when profiles of these components are considered. Recent advances within turnover theory, in particular identifying the importance of proximal withdrawal states, promise to enable further integration of turnover and commitment theories. The authors also speculate what proximal withdrawal states might mean for current views of absenteeism and presenteeism. Finally the efficacy of various firm-level ‘commitment-enhancing’ management practices, aimed at strengthening commitment and reducing employee withdrawal, are examined. Throughout the chapter the authors suggest avenues for theoretical development and empirical research.