What is it about?

We synthesize research across multiple domains and disciplines on group turnover, identifying common pathways that often unfold with distinct triggers, patterns, and departure destinations. We also look at how group turnover develops and show some factors that can make it worse or better in terms of how many people leave (scale) and how quickly (speed) it starts. We consider things like who started the departure, how easily group members are influenced, how diverse the group is, how close-knit they are, how well they work together, and how they communicate. Finally, we explore what this means for people working in real-world settings. We talk about how to understand how group turnover happens, how to handle its speed, and how to manage it. We also suggest monitoring group properties that might be good in some situations but could worsen group turnover, making it happen faster and affecting more people if someone leaves.

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Why is it important?

Groups always experience pressures toward member retention. It's not surprising that when group members share common values, socialize together, and work towards similar goals, they often leave their jobs at the same time. Sometimes, entire groups leave to start new projects, like spin-out teams, or join other companies as collective lift-outs. In other cases, groups experience a shared feeling of wanting to leave, even if each person has their own reasons. This kind of group departure can start with just one or two people leaving (which we call a "turnover spark") and can quickly grow into a situation where many members leave at once (which we call a "group turnover fire"). So, it's important to understand this unique phenomenon where groups leave by looking at existing research and exploring how it happens and develops.

Read the Original

This page is a summary of: From a spark to a sweeping fire: An integrative conceptual review of group turnover and a theoretical exploration of its development., Journal of Applied Psychology, August 2023, American Psychological Association (APA),
DOI: 10.1037/apl0001118.
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