Analytical mindsets in turnover research

Authors

  • David G. Allen,

    Corresponding author
    1. Department of Management, Fogelman College of Business and Economics, University of Memphis, Memphis, Tennessee, U.S.A.
    • Correspondence to: David G. Allen, Department of Management, Fogelman College of Business and Economics, University of Memphis, Memphis, Tennessee 38152, U.S.A. E-mail: dallen@memphis.edu

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  • Julie I. Hancock,

    1. School of Business, Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey, Camden, New Jersey, U.S.A.
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  • James M. Vardaman,

    1. Department of Management, College of Business, Mississippi State University, Mississippi State, Mississippi, U.S.A.
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  • D'lisa N. Mckee

    1. College of Business and Management, University of Illinois Springfield, Springfield, IL, U.S.A.
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Summary

We propose that there is a dominant analytical mindset (DAM) influencing employee turnover scholarship. We broaden the conceptualization of analytical mindsets to incorporate elements of research design, data collection, and measurement in addition to analytical strategies, and we argue that analytical mindsets are manifested in the methodological choices scholars make as shown in the research published in influential management journals. We content analyze the methods and theory of 447 empirical turnover studies over the past 52 years to uncover these mindsets and find evidence supporting the existence of a DAM. We further argue that, analogous to a physical dam, this DAM may be slowing theoretical progress in at least two ways: by constraining the conceptualization of research questions, variables, and relationships and by encouraging research practices that constrain explanatory power. We provide specific recommendations for shifting analytical mindsets to facilitate the flow of new perspectives in employee turnover research. Copyright © 2013 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.

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