On the Next Decade of Research in Voluntary Employee Turnover

T.W. Lee
P.W. Hom
M.B. Eberly, University of Washington Tacoma
J.L.I. Jason
T.R. Mitchell


At least 2,000 articles on voluntary employee turnover have been published in the past 100 years. In turn, numerous authors have reviewed the theory and research on employee turnover. Our intent with this paper is therefore not to provide a comprehensive literature review, as excellent ones are available elsewhere. Instead, the purpose of this article is to summarize major contributions in the present and provide our perspectives on the future directions of turnover research. Following a relatively terse review of the turnover literature, we elaborate on how organizational scholars can further enhance the understanding of turnover by (a) probing the turnover process with a better consideration of time, (b) studying the role of volitional control on employees’ leaving/staying, (c) further investigating how the context in which employees reside influences leaving, and (d) opening up the “black box” of the collective turnover process. © Academy of Management Perspectives.