Turnover Intention and Turnover Behavior: Implications for Retaining Federal Employees

Yoon Jik Cho, Gregory B. Lewis

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

172 Citations (Scopus)


As the retirement wave of Baby Boomers approaches, retaining newly hired, mid-career, and retirement-eligible employees will be nearly as crucial as hiring top-quality new people. Using two large data sets on federal employees, we focus on whether human resource management (HRM) practices can affect turnover intention and whether they matter equally at all stages of the federal career. First, however, we test how well turnover intention predicts behavior using a 1% sample of the Central Personnel Data File (CPDF) and the 2005 Merit Principles Survey (MPS). Although turnover intention and behavior are correlated, they respond differently enough to demographic factors to suggest the need for caution in extrapolating the apparent impact of HRM practices from turnover intention to behavior.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)4-23
Number of pages20
JournalReview of Public Personnel Administration
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2012 Mar

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Public Administration
  • Organizational Behavior and Human Resource Management


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