In search of the elusive U-shaped performance-turnover relationship: Are high performing swiss bankers more liable to quit?

Alain Salamin, Peter Hom

Research output: Contribution to journalReview article

85 Scopus citations

Abstract

This project revisits the perennial debate over the relationship between job performance and turnover. Disputing traditional findings, C. Trevor, B. Gerhart, and J. Boudreau (1997) observed that high and low performers quit more than do average performers. They further challenged received wisdom by showing that promotions can induce turnover, especially among poor performers, by signaling ability. The authors sought to replicate and extend these unconventional findings by exploring curvilinear and moderating effects on the performance-exit relationship among 11,098 Swiss nationals employed in a bank. Survival regression revealed that performance is curvilinearly related to quits and that bonus pay deterred superior performers from leaving more than did pay increases. Further, the average number of job levels advanced per promotion rather than promotion rate increased quit risks. Cultural and organizational moderators of performance-termination associations and effective strategies for retaining top performers are discussed.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1204-1216
Number of pages13
JournalJournal of Applied Psychology
Volume90
Issue number6
DOIs
StatePublished - Nov 1 2005

Keywords

  • Curvilinear
  • Performance
  • Relationship
  • Switzerland
  • Turnover

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Applied Psychology

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