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Withdrawal Behaviors Among Hospital Employees
Miller, Howard Everett
Department of Study
Degree Granting Institution
University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
This research was focused on four interpretations of the relations among measures of psychological states, absence behavior, and turnover behavior. The four interpretations were cast as models, and differed in their complexity and in the relations expected among certain key variables. Complete data were gathered from 992 employees distributed among numerous job functions across five hospitals in central Illinois. Measures of psychological states were gathered in written surveys, and included estimates of job attitudes, desirability of turnover and absence, intentions regarding job search, turnover, and absence, and ease of engaging in turnover and absence. Incidental absence and turnover behaviors were monitored for five months subsequent to survey assessment.
The first model--that absence and turnover behavior ought to be modeled separately--was rejected with these data because common psychological roots were identified for both behaviors. The second model--that absence represents an early form of withdrawal behavior leading to final separation from the work role via turnover--was rejected with these data because the necessary positive relation between absence and turnover behaviors was not observed. The third model--that absence and/or turnover behavior may result from negative job attitudes, depending on the relative ease of engaging in these behaviors--was marginally supported in that weak, but statistically reliable interdependence was observed between ease of turnover and desirability of turnover to predict subsequent termination. The fourth model--that absence behavior serves primarily to help market-testing for alternate employment prospects--was found to be most consistent with the data, although the absolute magnitude of support was very low.
The general conclusion from this research was that the four normative models derived from the literature did not account for these data well. It was suggested that future research focus on functionally similar classes of behavior in terms of how the behavior influences the source of dissatisfaction.