Do Employees Leave Just Because They Can? Examining the Perceived Employability-Turnover Intentions Relationship

J Psychol. 2016 Jul 3;150(5):666-83. doi: 10.1080/00223980.2016.1160023. Epub 2016 Apr 4.


The relationship between perceived employability and turnover intentions seems much more complicated than what the common sense would suggest. Based on the reviewed literature, it was expected that job satisfaction, affective commitment, and perceived job security would moderate this relationship. Using a sample of working individuals from different occupations and sectors (N = 721), it was found that employees who perceived themselves as highly employable were more likely to have turnover intentions when their affective commitment was low and perceived job security was high; and the relationship was negative for employees with shorter tenures. Understanding the conditions under which perceived employability is associated with turnover intentions may help organizations design human resource policies that allow them to retain an educated and competent workforce.

Keywords: affective commitment; employability; management paradox; turnover intentions.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Employment / psychology*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Intention
  • Male
  • Personnel Turnover*
  • Self Concept*