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Job scope, affective commitment, and turnover: The moderating role of growth need strength



Using a sample of business alumni from multiple organizations (= 230), we examined the relationships of job scope to actual turnover, measured 15 months later, as mediated by affective commitment and moderated by growth need strength (which was operationalized through learning goal orientation, need for achievement, and proactive personality as first-order factors). Moderated mediation analyses (Edwards & Lambert, 2007, Psychol. Methods, 12, 1–22) revealed that: (1) job scope's relationship to commitment was stronger at high levels of growth need strength; (2) the indirect effect of job scope on turnover was stronger at high levels of growth need strength; and (3) growth need strength had a residual, positive relationship to turnover. We discuss the implications of these findings for our understanding of how motivation-related individual difference variables combine with job characteristics and commitment in explaining turnover decisions.

Practitioner points

  • Organizations should provide challenging job characteristics to employees with high growth need as this may lead to increased affective commitment and lower turnover rates.
  • For employees with weak growth needs, organizations may build climates for learning, achievement, and self-initiative as this may create the conditions for the emergence of commitment and reduce turnover.