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An Exploratory Investigation of the Relationship between Turnover Intentions, Work Exhaustion and Disengagement among IT Professionals in a Single Institution of Higher Education in a Major Metropolitan Area Open Access

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Abstract Recent studies have shown that turnover is a major issue in IT environments (Armstrong & Riemenschneider, 2011; Carayon, Schoepke, Hoonakker, Haims, & Brunette, 2006; Moore, 2000a; Rigas, 2009). In fact, the research literature in IT and the popular press suggest that IT professionals are particularly vulnerable to burnout (Armstrong & Riemenschneider, 2011; Kalimo & Toppinen, 1995; McGee, 1996; Moore, 2000a). Using the Job Demands-Resources Model of Burnout as a framework, this study investigated the relationship between disengagement, work exhaustion and turnover intentions among IT professionals in a single university in a major metropolitan area. This study employed a non-experimental, cross-sectional survey research design using a Web-based survey questionnaire to collect data from a population (N=287) of university IT employees in a major metropolitan area. Two instruments were employed in the study: the Oldenburg Burnout Inventory (OLBI) measures work exhaustion and disengagement as developed by Demerouti et al. (2001); the Michigan Organizational Assessment Questionnaire Job Satisfaction Subscale (MOAQ-JSS) measures turnover intentions. The findings from this research indicated that disengagement consistently showed a statistically significant, positive correlation with turnover intentions. The most important conceptual implication of the study is that future investigations of disengagement, work exhaustion and turnover intentions among university IT employees must account for the unique work environment and how those workplace characteristics predict disengagement, work exhaustion and subsequent thoughts about quitting.Keywords: turnover intentions, turnover, work exhaustion, disengagement, job burnout

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