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In good company: The impact of perceived organizational support and positive relationships at work on turnover intentions

Laura Madden (Department of Management, East Carolina University, Greenville, North Carolina, USA)
Blake D. Mathias (Department of Management, University of Tennessee - Knoxville, Knoxville, Tennessee, USA)
Timothy M. Madden (Department of Management, Old Dominion University, Norfolk, Virginia, USA)

Management Research Review

ISSN: 2040-8269

Article publication date: 16 March 2015



This paper aims to explore the relationships among perceived organizational support, positive relationships at work and intent to turnover through a social exchange theory lens. The main contribution of this paper is the investigation of different types of positive workplace relationships on employee withdrawal behaviors.


A 49-item survey was developed through a review of literature related to positive workplace relationships and intent to turnover. Surveys were made available to 200 healthcare employees; 73 surveys were accurately completed and used to test a mediated model of positive relationships at work.


Positive relationships at work were found to have a mediating effect between perceived organizational support and intent to turnover. Additionally, perceived organizational support was found to have direct and indirect effects on intent to turnover.

Practical implications

Managers can affect employees’ intentions to turnover by improving practices that provide support to employees and encouraging positive relationships with coworkers. Additional literature related to our variables of interest suggests that employees perceive more support when their organizations offer commensurate rewards, opportunities for growth and participation in decision making.


This study speaks to those researchers and managers interested in employees’ motivations for staying in or leaving from their organizations. Turnover and related withdrawal behaviors are expensive for organizations, so discovering the factors that members value offers organizations the ability to affect their members’ intentions to turnover. Additionally, the exploration of relationships between perceived organizational support and positive relationships at work suggests that different support mechanisms play different roles in affecting organizational and individual outcomes.



The authors thank Anne Smith and Stephanie Bohon for their helpful comments and suggestions on earlier drafts of this article. They are also grateful to the editor and two anonymous reviewers for their valuable and constructive feedback.


Madden, L., Mathias, B.D. and Madden, T.M. (2015), "In good company: The impact of perceived organizational support and positive relationships at work on turnover intentions", Management Research Review, Vol. 38 No. 3, pp. 242-263.



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