Human Resource Practices, Job Embeddedness and Intention to Quit

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The current issue and full text archive of this journal is available at www.emeraldinsight.com/0140-9174.htm

Human resource practices, job embeddedness and intention to quit Erich B. Bergiel
Management Department, Richards College of Business, University of West Georgia, Carrollton, Georgia, USA

Human resource practices

205

Vinh Q. Nguyen
Department of Business Administration and Economics, Coe College, Cedar Rapids, Iowa, USA

Beth F. Clenney
Management Department, Richards College of Business, University of West Georgia, Carrollton, Georgia, USA, and

G. Stephen Taylor
Department of Management and Information Systems, Mississippi State University, Starkville, Mississippi, USA Abstract
Purpose – The purpose of this paper is to test the whether job embeddedness is a mediator of the relationship between human resource practices and employees’ intention to quit. The study presented here used job embeddedness, a new construct, to investigate its mediation effect on the relationship between employees’ intentions to leave and four areas of human resource practices: compensation, supervisor support, growth opportunity and training. Design/methodology/approach – A questionnaire was given to employees at a state department of corrections asking their attitudes about their job, their place of employment, and the agency as a whole. The results of this questionnaire were analyzed utilizing the four-step method for mediation analysis. Findings – Job embeddedness fully mediated compensation and growth opportunity, partially mediated supervisor support, and did not mediate training in relation to employees’ intention to quit. Research limitations/implications –A self-reported, cross-sectional questionnaire was used to collect all measures. Additionally, this study used a single sample. Future research needs to obtain more diversified samples and continue to expand current research by examining additional areas of human resource practices. Practical implications – Managers can utilize several strategies and tactics from a variety of human resource practices in order to build deeper links, make a better fit, and create greater potential sacrifices for employees should they decide to look for or pursue other employment opportunities. Originality/value – This paper presents one of the first studies to examine how job embeddedness develops, and what factors cause employees embedded in their jobs to keep them from leaving the organization. Keywords Human resource strategies, Employee turnover, Employee behaviour, Employee development, United States of America Paper type Research paper

Introduction The effective management of employee turnover has long been a crucial issue for organizations. Not only are the economic costs of turnover very high, but unmanaged departure of employees disrupts social and communication structures and decreases cohesion and commitment among those who stay (Mobley, 1982; Staw, 1980). Thus, it is

Management Research News Vol. 32 No. 3, 2009 pp. 205-219 # Emerald Group Publishing Limited 0140-9174 DOI 10.1108/01409170910943084

MRN 32,3

206

hardly surprising that employee retention continues to be of great interest both to practicing managers and organizational researchers. The questions that challenge researchers and practitioners, therefore, are ‘‘Why do people leave?’’ and ‘‘Why do they stay?’’ Leaving aside the issue of whether these are conceptually distinct questions, over the years researchers at best have developed only partial answers to them (Mitchell et al., 2001). The current thinking is that people stay if they are satisfied with their jobs and committed to their organizations, but leave if they are not. However, work and job-related attitudes play only a relatively small role in employee retention and leaving (Hom and Griffeth, 1995; Griffeth et al., 2000). Consequently, factors other than job satisfaction and organizational commitment are important for understanding...
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