The Relationship between the Work Ethic, Job Attitudes, Intentions to Quit, and Turnover for Temporary Service Employees

Alan M. Saks, Peter E. Mudrack, Blake Ashforth

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

31 Scopus citations


We argue that because conventional organizational controls have limited relevance for temporary employees, work ethic values may be a critical predictor of employee perseverance and commitment. A field study was conducted to examine the relationships between belief in the work ethic, job attitudes, intentions to quit, and turnover in a sample of temporary service employees in a large Canadian theme park. When turnover was measured as a function of remaining employed with the organization until the end of the season, the turnover rate was 10% for high work ethic employees versus 33% for low work ethic employees (X2[1, N=128] = 9.57, p<.005). The results of a path analysis indicated that belief in the work ethic had an indirect effect on turnover. Specifically, belief in the work ethic was directly related to job satisfaction and organizational commitment, and indirectly related to intentions to quit and turnover. Job satisfaction and intentions to quit were directly related to turnover. The implications of work ethic values for individuals and organizations are discussed.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)226-236
Number of pages11
JournalCanadian Journal of Administrative Sciences
Issue number3
StatePublished - Dec 1 1996


ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Business and International Management
  • Public Administration
  • Marketing
  • Management of Technology and Innovation

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