Journal of Management Information Systems

Volume 19 Number 2 2002 pp. 249-272

A Discrepancy Model of Information System Personnel Turnover

Jiang, James J and Klein, Gary

ABSTRACT: Turnover of information system (IS) personnel is a critical problem for organizations. To gain a better understanding of turnover, researchers have explored career orientations that characterize an employee's internal motivations and desires. The inability of an organization to match career desires is often related to measures indicative of turnover in IS employees, including intent to leave and career dissatisfaction, though empirical evidence is indirect and inconclusive. Using career orientations, this study explicitly models the impact of the discrepancy between the wants of employees and employee perceptions of how their organization satisfies those wants. The model is based on discrepancy theory and predicts the gap is closely related to the turnover indicators. Model predictions hold true for a sample of 153 IS personnel. These results indicate the importance of developing career plans that employees perceive as matching their wants.

Key words and phrases: career orientations, career satisfaction, discrepancy theory, employee turnover, information systems personnel