Push and Pull Motivations for Quitting: A three-wave investigation of predictors and consequences of turnover

Semmer, Norbert K.; Elfering, Achim; Baillod, Jürg; Berset, Martial; Beehr, Terry A. (2014). Push and Pull Motivations for Quitting: A three-wave investigation of predictors and consequences of turnover. Zeitschrift für Arbeits- und Organisationspsychologie, 58(4), pp. 173-185. Hogrefe 10.1026/0932-4089/a000167

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We report a new analysis of data from a multi-year study, some of which were previously published in the current journal. A longitudinal sample of 380 computer specialists was followed over two years, yielding three measures each of job satisfaction, organizational commitment, and turnover intentions, as well as actual turnover, and reasons for leaving, at Times 2 and 3. Career paths were more diverse than the classical distinction between stayers and leavers implies. Furthermore, although the largest single group of leavers cited “push” reasons, conforming to the classical withdrawal model, a sizable number were attracted to another job (“pull
motivation”). In a three-wave structural equation model, job (dis)satisfaction predicted turnover, while organizational commitment exerted its influence only via its association with job satisfaction. As expected, however, attitudes predicted turnover only for participants with push motivation. Quitting, in turn, predicted an improvement in both satisfaction and commitment, indicating that it paid off for the individual. The necessity to study consequences of turnover and to distinguish between different subgroups of stayers and leavers is emphasized.

Item Type:

Journal Article (Original Article)


07 Faculty of Human Sciences > Institute of Psychology > Work and Organisational Psychology

UniBE Contributor:

Elfering, Achim


100 Philosophy > 150 Psychology
300 Social sciences, sociology & anthropology








Diana Cristina Romano

Date Deposited:

25 Mar 2015 11:46

Last Modified:

02 Mar 2023 23:26

Publisher DOI:






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