Testing Models of Turnover Intentions with University Faculty1


  • 1

    This research was conducted as part of a laboratory project in the Industrial Psychology class of winter 1987. The assistance of the students in this class is greatly appreciated. We would like to thank Mary D. Zalesny, Kevin McCaul, Scott Tindale, David Vollrath, Har-riette McCaul, John L. Cotton, and Mary Roznowski for their comments on earlier drafts of this manuscript. We would like to express our gratitude to Mary L. Hendrickson for coding the faculty members' reasons for staying or leaving the university. Preparation of this manuscript was facilitated by grants to the first author from the NSF-EPSCoR Project to Advance Science Excellence in North Dakota (ASEND #4170 and #4351).

  • Leissa Nelson is now enrolled in the graduate program at the Department of Psychology, University of Minnesota.

Correspondence regarding this article should be sent to Verlin B. Hinsz, Department of Psychology, North Dakota State University, Fargo, ND 58105–5075.


Four models of turnover intentions were competitively tested for their effectiveness in predicting the intentions to search for alternative positions and intentions to resign from current positions among a sample of university faculty. Faculty at an upper Midwest university completed a survey developed to measure the components of the four models. All four models (intermediate linkages, expanded Mobley, reasoned action, and planned behavior) significantly predicted intentions to search and intentions to resign. The reasoned action model was found to be more effective and parsimonious than the other models. Attitude toward the turnover action and subjective norm concerning the turnover action appear to be the critical factors influencing the faculty members' turnover intentions. Implications of these findings for turnover research and related concepts such as organizational commitment are discussed.