Factors Affecting Stayers’ Job Satisfaction in Response to a Coworker Who Departs for a Better Job1


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    The authors thank Abe Tesser, Rick Mowday, Peter Salovey, Lance Sandelands, and two anonymous reviewers for their helpful comments on an earlier version of the manuscript.

Correspondence concerning this article should be addressed to Joel Brockner, Graduate School of Business, Columbia University, New York, NY 10027.


Two studies examined the consequences of turnover, by investigating factors affecting the job satisfaction of people who remain (i. e., stayers) in response to a coworker (i. e., leaver) who departed for a better job. Consistent with Tesser and Campbell's (1983) self-esteem maintenance model, three factors were found to influence the job satisfaction level of stayers: (a) the extent to which they compared their job situation to the leaver's new one, which was negatively related to stayers’ level of satisfaction, (b) the relevance of the leaver to the stayer for social comparison purposes, which was negatively related to the stayers’ level of satisfaction, and (c) the stayers’ trait self-esteem, which was positively related to the stayers’ level of job satisfaction. Theoretical implications, limitations, and future research directions are discussed.