Turnover, Voluntary Turnover, and Organizational Performance: Evidence from Municipal Police Departments

By Hur, Yongbeom | Public Administration Quarterly, Spring 2013 | Go to article overview

Turnover, Voluntary Turnover, and Organizational Performance: Evidence from Municipal Police Departments


Hur, Yongbeom, Public Administration Quarterly


INTRODUCTION

A traditional assumption of turnover studies is that turnover is an important organizational problem, and therefore, it should be reduced (Staw, 1980, p. 254). According to the human capital theory (G. Becker, 1962; Schultz, 1961), specific knowledge may impose particular costs on the employer if employees with specific knowledge quit. In the public sector, human resources and their expertise have also been emphasized for producing better organizational performance (Ingraham & Selden, 2002). A government that does not have the right people and expertise at the right time is likely to produce ineffective organizational performance (Government Performance Project Final Assessment, 2003, p. 9). (1)

Based on the traditional assumption about turnover effects, most turnover studies have focused on why employees quit and how to prevent employee turnover, regardless of the sectors (e.g., Fields, Dingman, Roman, & Blum, 2005; Herrbach, Mignonac, & Gatignon, 2004; William H. Mobley, 1982; Price, 1977; Tourangeau, Cummings, Cranley, Ferron, & Harvey, 2010; Wagner, 2007). In fact, turnover had not been a big concern in the public sector until the "brain drain" issue was raised in federal agencies when baby boomers began to retire. Since then, most of the turnover studies have focused on identifying reasons regarding why employees quit, to prevent further resignation in the public sector (e.g., Lewis, 1991; McCabe, Feiock, Clingermayer, & Stream, 2008; Whitaker & DeHoog, 1991; Wilson, 1994).

In the private sector, however, researchers have investigated the actual consequences of turnover (e.g., Alexander, Bloom, & Nuchols, 1994; Dalton, Krackhardt, & Porter, 1981; Johnston & Futrell, 1989; J. Shaw, Gupta, & Delery, 2005), based on the question that traditional assumption of turnover effects may be wrong (Abelson & Baysinger, 1984; Staw, 1980). No turnover-effect research on public sector was carried out until Meier and Hicklin (2008), and possible reasons for this neglect of turnover effects include difficulty in both measuring performance (H. Hatry, and Fisk, D., 1992; H. Hatry & Fisk, 1980) and agreeing upon performance measures in the public sector (Meier & Hicklin, 2008, p. 574), and lack of available data as a result. While employee turnover has been an issue in the U.S. in the past decade, not much is known about the turnover effects. Instead of taking the traditional assumption about turnover effects and trying to reduce turnover rates as much as possible, it is necessary for managers to understand how organizational performance will be affected by employee turnover before taking managerial actions to deal with turnover issues. If we just try to maintain turnover at a minimum level, it may cost too much to organizations due to high retention costs that include higher pay and better benefits, like high turnover rates would cost too much to organizations due to high replacement costs that include recruiting and training costs (e.g., Abelson & Baysinger, 1984; Glebbeek & Bax, 2004).

The present study probes turnover effects on organizational performance in the public sector and tests the traditional assumption of turnover effects in law enforcement contexts. More specifically, this study focuses on the effects of turnover among sworn officers in municipal police departments after differentiating voluntary and involuntary turnover based on a suggestion of the turnover literature. According to the turnover studies (e.g., Abelson & Baysinger, 1984; McElroy, Morrow, & Rude, 2001; William H. Mobley, 1982; Price, 1977; J. D. Shaw, Delery, Jenkins, & Gupta, 1998), voluntary turnover needs to be differentiated from involuntary turnover before being examined, because treating these two kinds of turnover equally would result in overlooking their different etiologies and consequently mislead.

TURNOVER EFFECTS

The human capital theory can be a theoretical foundation for a traditional assumption about turnover effects, and for examining the relationship between turnover and organizational performance (J. …

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA 8, MLA 7, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Note: primary sources have slightly different requirements for citation. Please see these guidelines for more information.

Cited article

Turnover, Voluntary Turnover, and Organizational Performance: Evidence from Municipal Police Departments
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Help
Full screen
Items saved from this article
  • Highlights & Notes
  • Citations
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

matching results for page

    Questia reader help

    How to highlight and cite specific passages

    1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
    2. Click or tap the last word you want to select, and you’ll see everything in between get selected.
    3. You’ll then get a menu of options like creating a highlight or a citation from that passage of text.

    OK, got it!

    Cited passage

    Style
    Citations are available only to our active members.
    Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA 8, MLA 7, APA and Chicago citation styles.

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

    1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

    Cited passage

    Thanks for trying Questia!

    Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

    Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

    Buy instant access to save your work.

    Already a member? Log in now.

    Search by... Author
    Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

    Oops!

    An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.