Gender Differences in Voluntary Turnover: Still a Paradox?

Tae Heon Lee


This study addresses three important questions that may have substantial implications for gender inequalities in the labor market. First, are women more content with their jobs than men? Second, are women more prone to voluntary turnover than men? Third, given different reasons for turnover, does job satisfaction have differential effects on different turnover paths? Using a large national sample, the framework of the unfolding model of turnover, survival analyses, and other analytical methods, this study found no supporting evidence for the first two questions, but found new evidence supportive of the third question. Unlike many previous studies that used a single turnover category aggregating all kinds of voluntary turnover, this study separated voluntary leavers into several different types of turnover based on specific reasons for turnover, which allowed this study to explore the above questions from new perspectives. The propositions of the unfolding model provide promising avenues for future research to follow. The results of this study also suggest an important practical implication that organizations need to implement retention policies and practices tailored to different reasons of turnover, as opposed to generic ones.

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International Business Research  ISSN 1913-9004 (Print), ISSN 1913-9012 (Online)

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