Electronic Theses and Dissertations





Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy


Business Administration



Committee Chair

David G. Allen

Committee Member

Charles A. Pierce

Committee Member

Frances Fabian

Committee Member

Ron Landis


Job affect, mobility, and labor market conditions have long been studied as predictors of employee turnover. While these relations have been strongly supported, there are a number of other factors that have not been considered within the turnover literature. In particular, the means by which individuals develop labor market perceptions via referent others and how this influences turnover have not been examined.This dissertation explores employee turnover by integrating the social contagion literature with that of social networks, examining the effects that network characteristics, such as number of ties, degree of closeness with ties, and frequency of communication with ties, have on the development of individual perceptions of mobility and available job alternatives, and subsequently how this influences job affect and intentions. Furthermore, it contributes to the turnover literature by employing a longitudinal repeated-measures design with four time points, providing access to the dynamic learning processes outlined by Steel (2002), as well as exploring the importance of "gateways" such as resource substitution in the employee turnover decision.In a sample of 338 healthcare professionals, results suggest that referent others in the workplace to matter in the development of labor market perceptions. Friends at work appear to influence objective labor market perceptions rather than subjective perceptions suggesting that work friends are not as likely to discuss their job search processes until a concrete offer has been made. Furthermore, the longitudinal nature of this data provided an opportunity to track affect over time. Results provide evidence that dynamic learning occurs as individuals engage in job search behaviors, as commitment changes over time. Finally, results from this study suggest that resource substitution at Time 1 has a significant positive relationship with turnover intentions at Time 4. Additionally, a moderated regression analysis indicates that, while resource substitution does not directly influence job search behavior, it does moderate the commitment-job search relationship, subsequently weakening the relationship, making it less negative. This suggest that individuals who do not have access to additional financial resources may not be inclined to engage in job search behavior unless the experience a decrease in affect, specifically commitment, to the organization.


Data is provided by the student.

Library Comment

dissertation or thesis originally submitted to the local University of Memphis Electronic Theses & dissertation (ETD) Repository.