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This study examines the relationship between alternative approaches to employment systems and quits, dismissals and customer service, based on cross-sectional and longitudinal data from nationally representative surveys of call center establishments. Contrary to prior literature, the antecedents and consequences of quits and dismissals are quite similar. Comparing three dimensions of employment systems, we find that high involvement work organization and long-term investments and inducements are associated with significantly lower quit and dismissal rates, while short term performance-enhancing expectations are related to significantly higher quit and dismissal rates. Establishments with higher quit and dismissal rates have significantly lower customer service, as reported by managers.


Suggested Citation
Ball, R. & Colvin, A. J. S. (2011). An employment systems approach to turnover: HR practices, quits, dismissals, and performance [Electronic version]. Retrieved [insert date], from Cornell University, ILR School site:

Required Publisher Statement
© Academy of Management. Final version published as: Ball, R. & Colvin, A. J. S. (2011). An employment systems approach to turnover: Human resources practices, quits, dismissals, and performance. Academy of Management Journal, 54(4), 695-717. Reproduced with permission. All rights reserved.