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Delving Deeper into the Commitment Process: Pre-Employment Factors, Initial-Entry Commitment, and Turnover Open Access

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While decades of research have explored different models of turnover, most turnover models focus on the role of situational variables and either exclude personality variables or do not identify distinct theoretical hypotheses regarding how personality acts to influence decisions to stay or leave the organization. The current study adopts a commitment-based model of turnover to explore the role of personality and other pre-entry individual characteristics in turnover decisions. The importance of considering commitment as a dynamic variable that develops over time (Weiss, 2006) is contrasted with the literature suggesting a stable component of commitment (Farkas & Tetrick, 1989; Thompson & Van de Ven 2002) to suggest the importance of studying initial-entry commitment, a point in the commitment process where personality is likely to have the greatest influence. Specific hypotheses regarding the relationships between personality factors (i.e. Emotional Stability, Conscientiousness, Agreeableness, and Nondelinquency), commitment propensity, initial-entry commitment, and later turnover were tested using a military sample. Path analytic results lend some support for the proposed model. This study advances current turnover models from a theoretical perspective and begins to address practical needs of hiring and retaining individuals who have a greater propensity to be committed to the organization.

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