Research Handbook on Employee Turnover
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Research Handbook on Employee Turnover

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.
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Chapter 15: Employee turnover and the expansion and contraction of employers

Mario Bossler and Richard Upward


In this chapter we consider the relationship between employee turnover and job turnover, both at the level of the firm1 and at the aggregate level. By ‘employee turnover’ we mean the entry and exit of individuals into and out of the firm, or hires and separations. By ‘job turnover’ we mean the creation and destruction of jobs by the firm. In practice, it is not possible to precisely identify and follow a job over time (whereas employees can be identified and followed), and so job turnover is typically measured by firm-level employment growth. The relationship between employee and job turnover sheds light on the cyclical behaviour of the labour market, in particular the extent to which recessions should be characterized as periods of increased separations (inflows into unemployment) or reduced hiring (outflows from unemployment). The relationship also tells us about the causes of employee turnover: to what extent is employee turnover caused by the creation and destruction of jobs, and to what extent is it caused by the reallocation of labour between existing jobs? Patterns of employee and job turnover therefore also tells us about the speed with which employees and jobs can be reallocated to more efficient matches. Finally, the behaviour of employee turnover as firms grow and shrink is informative as to the role of employment protection legislation and other labour market institutions.

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