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This chapter applies three of the most prominent theories in vocational and career psychology to further illuminate the turnover process. Prevailing theories about…
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.
M. Ronald Buckley holds the JC Penney Company Chair of Business Leadership and is a professor of management and a professor of psychology in the Michael F. Price College of Business at the University of Oklahoma. He earned his Ph.D. in industrial/organizational psychology from Auburn University. His research interests include, among others, work motivation, racial and gender issues in performance evaluation, business ethics, interview issues, and organizational socialization. His work has been published in journals such as the Academy of Management Review, Personnel Psychology, Journal of Applied Psychology, Organizational Behavior and Human Decision Processes, and the Journal of Management.