Insights from vocational and career developmental theories: their potential contributions for advancing the understanding of employee turnover

Research in Personnel and Human Resources Management

ISBN: 978-0-85724-125-2, eISBN: 978-0-85724-126-9

ISSN: 0742-7301

Publication date: 7 June 2010

Abstract

This chapter applies three of the most prominent theories in vocational and career psychology to further illuminate the turnover process. Prevailing theories about attrition have rarely integrated explanatory constructs from vocational research, though career (and job) choices clearly have implications for employee affect and loyalty to a chosen job in a career field. Despite remarkable inroads by new perspectives for explaining turnover, career, and vocational formulations can nonetheless enrich these – and conventional – formulations about why incumbents stay or leave their jobs. To illustrate, vocational theories can help clarify why certain shocks (critical events precipitating thoughts of leaving) drive attrition and what embeds incumbents. In particular, this chapter reviews Super's life-span career theory, Holland's career model, and social cognitive career theory and describes how they can fill in theoretical gaps in the understanding of organizational withdrawal.

Citation

Hom, P.W., Leong, F.T.L. and Golubovich, J. (2010), "Insights from vocational and career developmental theories: their potential contributions for advancing the understanding of employee turnover", Liao, H., Martocchio, J.J. and Joshi, A. (Ed.) Research in Personnel and Human Resources Management (Research in Personnel and Human Resources Management, Vol. 29), Emerald Group Publishing Limited, Bingley, pp. 115-165. https://doi.org/10.1108/S0742-7301(2010)0000029006

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Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2010, Emerald Group Publishing Limited

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