General Description of Research:
This work examines how a shock that affects an entire unit influences the pattern of collective turnover. It introduces the importance of accounting for a potential delay in the turnover response and a disruption phase characterized by abnormal turnover, and it studies how the pattern of collective turnover changes because of characteristics of the shock and its context. This work is important for better pinpointing events that spur collective turnover and understanding and making predictions about how and when shocks affect collective turnover in the unit – not just the total turnover expected in the unit.
This work provides a theoretical explanation for the mechanisms that can drive collective turnover in response to a unit-level shock by applying event systems theory to collective turnover. Specifically, we recognize the importance of modeling a disruption phase following a shock, the social mechanisms that influence the collective turnover response, and boundary conditions on the impact of the shock on the collective turnover response. We examine collective turnover following 239 general manager departures in a large U.S. retailer from 2012 to 2014 to observe how a unit-relevant shock affects the collective turnover response across time. In doing so, we identify and explain a potential delay before the disruption phase and the cumulative abnormal voluntary turnover that occurs in the disruption phase following a unit-level shock.
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