Satya Wacana Conference & Seminar, International Conference on Human Resource Management

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Honorata Ratnawati Putranti, Jaluanto Sunu Punjul Tiyoso, Neil Semuel Rupidara

Date: 2016-09-27 08:00 AM – 09:00 AM
Last modified: 2016-09-27



Employee turnover has always been problematic for many organisations, particularly in maintainingorganisational health and performance.According to US Statistical Bureau,annual turnover rateis approaching 25% employees (Robison, 2008). In Indonesia, turnover rate shows an increasing trend from 2012 to 2014, with the highest rate in securities and insurance sectors (Tower Watson, 2014). Turnoveralso costs high. Besides paying a leaving employee, organisations have to suffer from productivity loss from those who leave, costs of hiring and training new employees, and slower the productivity due to adaptation process of the new employee (Boushey& Glynn, 2012).According to conditions in the US, it takes about six to nine months salary per employee who leaves an organisation. The cost is considered higher when high performing employee is the one who leaves, while underperforming ones stay (Lawler, 2015; Rothausen et al., 2015). Replacing a leaving employee costs an organisation one-half to five times the salary of that employee (Robison, 2008).

In order to tackle the turnover problem, there has been increasing research to understand why employeesleave their jobs, including at the phase of intention (Holtom et al., 2008; Porter & Steers, 1973; Tziner&Birati, 1996).There has been better knowledge about turnover, including factors influencing an intention to leave (e.g. Semmer et al., 2014).Despite the increasing understanding of employee turnover, we contend that there is a need to make a closer look at the period where an employee has intended to leave but not leaving the organisation yet, we call it interregnum. Studies that pay attention to this period, mostly moving in the direction towards actual turnover. We on the other hand open the possibility that turnover may fail to happen. Here we argue thata number of factors may play roles in pushing and/or pulling turnover intention to/from turnover behavior. Logical models such as Mobley’s (1977) are important but are considered limiting the possibilities and tend to consider the employee would always be rational in calculating his/her steps. We argue that the process is much richer and thus adecision to stay or leave thus opens to the dynamic interplay of the factors,which we would maintain our view that we don’t know all yet. We also consider that time factor is crucial here in the interplayand sequencing of factors. Understanding the interregnum periodis considered critical, particularly in preventing high performing employees from leaving the organisation.


Our research is a qualitative research using interpretive approach. We conducted qualitative case studies at two garment factories located in sub district of Klari, Karawang, West Java, Indonesia. Klari is populated by quite a number of industrial factories, including garment industry. Our case individuals are six supervisors. Supervisors play a critical role in ensuring the completion of production targets in many industries, particularly garment. The case supervisors consist of four females and two males. Four are currently working at one of the factories, three of the supervisors have intended to leave but still working, 1 had previous left her position but returned to work at the same company. Two left the case companies and now working for other companies (none of the case factories).

In-depth interviews were conducted at least four time for each supervisors and it took one to two hours per interview. The interviews were conducted after work, usually at the house of the supervisors or a nearby food stall. We also conducted interviews to two super ordinate persons of the supervisors, one from each factories. Observations were also conducted at the factories, where pictures were taken and used it our research.

All interviews were transcribed verbatim. Qualitative thematic analysis wasconducted to generate themes.  Generated themes were analysedto find patterns of meanings in explaining dynamic influences in the turnover interregnum period.

Temporary findings

Our findings show that different factors are at play in pushing and pulling the turnover decision. We depict the interplay of factors experiencing by one of our case individual supervisors as below. When pull factors are strong enough, they can neutralize the intention to leave and prevent the employee leaving the company.

Every employee may be confronted by different set of factors and the interplay of them. We will analyse all in our full paper to display them fully in our effort to understand dynamic turnover decisions. We expect that by providing more comprehensive picture we could contribute new explanations into the existing body of knowledge.


Actual turnover; push and pull factors; turnover intention

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