Sociological Perspectives [Article]

Catherine Taylor, Karl Pillemer
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Employee turnover is of broad interest, and we focus on turnover in an occupational group that is appropriate for our theoretical approach: nursing home staff. Using a large and representative sample, we apply conceptual work in the area of social exchange by Lawler and colleagues to examine the role of affect toward the organization on employee turnover as well as antecedents of that affect. We use previous research and survey data to demonstrate that nursing home staff work in the conditions under which Lawler's theories of social exchange apply. We use longitudinal survey data to test whether nursing home staff turnover can be predicted by the level of affective attachment of the individual staff members to the nursing home, controlling for factors related to nursing home turnover. We find that lower nursing home staff turnover at Time 2 is predicted by affective attachment to the nursing home at Time 1.


Taylor, Catherine, and Karl Pillemer. “Using Affect to Understand Employee Turnover: A Context-Specific Application of a Theory of Social Exchange.” Sociological Perspectives, vol. 52, no. 4, 2009, pp. 481–504.