Factor 4: Withdrawal states - Changing perceptions and behaviours

The shift in work attitudes and perceptions, whether it follows a significant work or nonwork event or takes place gradually over time, is a critical component of the turnover process, as work attitudes (e.g., organizational commitment) typically lead to a cognitive state of intention - the intention to withdraw or engage in the job/organization (Hom et al., 2012; see Figure 21.3). Cognitive states of withdrawal include preferences to leave, thoughts of quitting and intentions to leave. Withdrawal behaviours may take the form of interruptions at work, lateness and/or absences. For example, employees who perceive conflict between their different life domains (e.g., work and family) may show signs of withdrawal by allowing the family to interrupt their work time (Hammer, Brauer & Grandey, 2003).

The reasoned action approach (Ajzen & Fishbein, 1980) to behaviour posits that people’s behaviours follow on reasonably from their beliefs, attitudes and intentions. Therefore, cognitive states of withdrawal or engagement are thought to translate into behavioural reactions that vary for stayers and leavers (Hom et al., 2012). A cognitive state of withdrawal is likely to result in negative work behaviours, including withdrawal (e.g., absences), job searching and/or counterproductive work behaviours. For instance, the employee who has negative perceptions of leadership (Holtz & Harold, 2013), organizational justice or ethical climate (Chernyak-Hai & Tziner, 2014) may engage in counterproductive work behaviours. Conversely, a cognitive state of engagement is likely to result in positive workplace behaviours, such as organizational citizenship behaviours (Dalal, Baysinger, Brummel & LeBreton, 2012). Withdrawal states and behaviours are represented as factor 4 in Figure 21.3.

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