Date of Graduation
Eberly College of Arts and Sciences
Rebecca M. Chory
Johny T. Garner
Alan K. Gooboy
Christine E. Rittenour
Previous scholars have found that organizational members use various tactics to encourage their peer coworkers to voluntarily exit their organizations. These tactics are known as peer-influence exit tactics. What has been missing from the literature is clarity about the factors that influence organizational members' use of peer-influence exit tactics. This dissertation explored the construct of peer-influenced exit to develop greater clarity about the motives for encouraging peer coworkers to leave, the characteristics of the peer-influence exit tactic source and receiver, and the organizational influences on peer-influenced exit. Study 1 used an open-ended survey design to explore the motives, process, and means through which peer-influenced exit occurs and the success of using peer-influence exit tactics. Results indicated that organizational members use eight peer-influence exit tactics and have four overarching motives for using them. Organizational members also reported that they consciously planned their tactics and the tactics were used with some success. Study 2 used an experimental design to explore how certain tactic source and receiver characteristics and organizational characteristics affect the use of peer-influence exit tactics. Results of an exploratory factor analysis revealed that organizational members use affirmation, unprofessional, depersonalization, and professional peer-influence exit tactics. Results of the experiment indicated that organizational members use affirmation, unprofessional, depersonalization tactics more frequently with low performing peer coworkers than with high performing peer coworkers. No differences emerged regarding the use of peer-influence exit tactics based on the cohesiveness of the organizational culture. The results also revealed relationships between competitiveness, agreeableness, and self-esteem of the source and peer-influence exit tactics. Study 3 incorporated a correlational design in which working adults were surveyed about their personal experiences with peer-influenced exit. Results revealed that personal gain, altruistic, organizational enhancement, and climate improvement motives predicted the use of peer-influence exit tactics, as did the competitiveness, agreeableness, and self-esteem of the source, perceived similarity, work performance, liking, and organizational influence of the target, and the organizational climate, supervisor complicity, and coworker regard. The results provide greater insight into the antecedents and outcomes of organizational exit that are valuable for both organizational communication scholars and organizational practitioners.
Sollitto, Michael, "Why and How Organizational Members Encourage Their Peer Coworkers to Voluntarily Exit the Organization: An Investigation of Peer-Influence Exit Tactics" (2014). Graduate Theses, Dissertations, and Problem Reports. 115.