Terry Mitchell (part 1): The Unfolding Model of Turnover

In this interview, Terry Mitchell talks about research he and Tom Lee have conducted in examining voluntary turnover. In contrast to the conventional wisdom that people quit because they are dissatisfied with their jobs, their research has discovered that this is just one of four reasons why people leave their jobs. He discusses pre-emptive actions managers can take to combat voluntary turnover.

Terry Mitchell

Dr. Mitchell is the Edward E. Carlson Distinguished Professor in Business Administration at the University of Washington Business School in Seattle. He is a fellow in both the Academy of Management and the Society for Industrial-Organizational Psychology, and was chosen as a charter member in the Academy of Management’s Hall of Fame. He received his Ph.D. in psychology from the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign.

Recommended further readings:

  • Holtom, B. C., Mitchell, T. R., Lee, T. W., & Inderrieden, E. J. 2005. Shocks as causes of turnover: What they are and how organizations can manage them. Human Resource Management, 44: 337-352.
  • Lee, T. W, Maurer, S. D. 1997. The retention of knowledge workers with the unfolding model of voluntary turnover. Human Resource Management Review, 7: 247-275.
  • Lee, T. W, Mitchell, T. R, Wise, L., & Fireman, S. 1996. An unfolding model of voluntary employee turnover. Academy of Management Journal, 39: 5-36.

Michael Johnson

Michael Johnson is an Assistant Professor in Department of Management and Organization at the University of Washington. He can be reached via mdj3@u.washington.edu