Union Participation, Job Satisfaction, and Employee Turnover: An Event-History Analysis of the Exit-Voice Hypothesis

5 Pages Posted: 10 Mar 2003

See all articles by Rick D. Iverson

Rick D. Iverson

Simon Fraser University (SFU) - Management and Organizational Studies Area

Douglas B. Currivan

University of Massachusetts at Boston

Abstract

This study examines the exit-voice hypothesis by applying event-history analysis to data from a sample of 674 unionized public school teachers from 405 schools. Union participation (i.e., voice) and job satisfaction had significant negative main effects on turnover. In contrast to the original formulation of the exit-voice hypothesis, a test for interaction revealed that union participation had significant negative effects on quit behavior for members displaying both low and high satisfaction. The existing conclusions regarding the role of unions in reducing employee quits by providing voice mechanisms implicitly assume that union members actually use these mechanisms. Mechanisms such as attending union meetings and serving on a committee provide opportunities for members to express how they feel about their wages and working conditions. In this article we examine the influences of union participation and job satisfaction on individuals' decisions to quit working for an organization using event-history analysis. Unlike existing research, the present study focuses on member participation in a range of union activities (i.e., voting in union elections, attending union meetings, serving in a union office or on a committee, and seeking assistance from the union) to analyze the effect of union voice on employee quits. We further investigate how union participation and job satisfaction may interact to influence employee turnover over time, controlling for demographic, job-related, environmental, and contextual variables across 405 research sites.

Suggested Citation

Iverson, Roderick (Rick) and Currivan, Douglas B., Union Participation, Job Satisfaction, and Employee Turnover: An Event-History Analysis of the Exit-Voice Hypothesis. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=371227

Roderick (Rick) Iverson (Contact Author)

Simon Fraser University (SFU) - Management and Organizational Studies Area ( email )

8888 University Drive
Burnaby, British Colombia V5A 1S6
Canada

Douglas B. Currivan

University of Massachusetts at Boston ( email )

Boston, MA 02125
United States

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