Understanding voluntary turnover during the uncertain times of mergers and acquisitions : a descriptive case-study


Salary.com (2009) found that despite the sinking economy, 57 % of U.S. employees will increase their search for a new job in the next three months. They also reported that it costs approximately twenty-one thousand dollars to replace an employee due to turnover, across industries. Thus, for half a century, research has been conducted to better understand voluntary turnover in organizations. Given the sharp rise in merger and acquisition activity in organizations over the past two decades, it is important to understand the reasons for voluntary turnover among employees facing the uncertainty typically experienced during a merger or acquisition. The current study examined the psychological perceptions of employees who voluntarily left a major multi-conglomerate firm during a period of time where a division of the company was placed up for sale. Seventy-four archival exit interview surveys were obtained, and information coded in order to describe the types of reasons why employees left, the relative frequency and numbers of these reasons, the relations among supervisor and job satisfaction and various turnover reasons, and possible retention factors. Turnover reasons were grouped into five types: nonwork, job/task, work/unit, company and motivation. Findings show company reasons were the most frequently cited reasons for leaving and that career opportunities were the most highly cited as possible ways employees could have been retained. Supervisor satisfaction was inversely related to the number of job, work, and company reasons for leaving, and the reasons for leaving differed between employees reporting high and low levels of supervisor satisfaction. Findings are intended to provide insight about the perceptions of employees going through a merger or acquisition in order to better equip businesses who are losing star employees and facing tremendous costs in training new employees during a divestiture.


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Thesis Completion





DeChurch, Leslie


Bachelor of Science (B.S.)


College of Sciences

Degree Program



Dissertations, Academic -- Sciences;Sciences -- Dissertations, Academic







Access Status

Open Access

Length of Campus-only Access


Document Type

Honors in the Major Thesis

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