A Simulation Study of Administrators' Behavior Toward Employees Who Receive Job Offers1


  • 1

    This research was supported by Grant GS-3171 from the National Science Foundation to the second author. The authors wish to thank Kenneth Gergen for his comments on this study.

Requests for reprints should be sent to Gerald Leventhal, Department of Psychology, Wayne State University, Detroit, Michigan 48202.


Subjects received descriptions of hypothetical employees who received job offers from another company. Employees who received more attractive job offers were given higher counteroffers by subjects, who also attributed higher inputs to them. Subjects' treatment of nonproductive employees depended on organizational personnel policy. Those who were told to follow a policy of weeding out nonproductive employees gave low counteroffers to such employees, presumably to encourage them to quit. When permitted t o follow their own discretion, male subjects behaved as if they wanted to be rid of nonproductive employees, whereas female subjects behaved as if they wanted to retain such employees. The results indicate that administrators may perceive job offers to employees as either a threat to organizational stability or an opportunity to rid themselves of unwanted employees.