Date of Award

Summer 1992

Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)




Industrial/Organizational Psychology

Committee Director

Donald D. Davis

Committee Member

Robert M. McIntyre

Committee Member

Peter J. Mikulka

Committee Member

Thomas M. Ruddy


A causal model of the antecedents of turnover functionality was developed and tested in a national field study of sales representatives from a Fortune 50 company. Turnover functionality was defined in terms of the difference between the performance levels of leavers and stayers in the host organization. Questionnaire data were collected from 1,732 salespeople, and it was predicted that the hypothesized model would be confirmed by the obtained data. Several forms of supporting evidence for the model were obtained. First, the hypothesized model provided a better, more parsimonious fit to the obtained data than did two plausible alternative models. Second, fit indices indicated acceptable overall fit for the hypothesized model. Third, 10 of 12 hypothesized paths in the model were supported. Fourth, exploratory analyses failed to improve upon the overall model fit. However, the model accounted for little variance in turnover functionality. Several potential explanations for these findings are explored, including the need for future research in this area to reconsider the manner in which turnover functionality is operationalized.


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