Purpose – The purpose of this thesis is to examine the relationship between turnover intentions and job satisfaction and the moderating role of locus of control in this relationship. Furthermore, I investigate the impact of training as an organizational policy instrument to prevent turnover.

Design/methodology/approach – Unique employee survey data for the Dutch public and privatized sectors is used and matched to administrative data from the Dutch pension fund for public sector employees (ABP). The final estimation sample consists of 16,684 observations.Moderating and mediating analyses are estimated using OLS, random and fixed effects regressions when possible.

Findings – I find evidence for a significantly negative relationship between job satisfaction and turnover intentions. This relationship is moderated by locus of control, being stronger for internals. The thesis also shows that training participation is positively related to job satisfaction. OLS estimates show a mediation effect of job satisfaction on the relationship between training and turnover intentions. This result is, however, not robust to the inclusion of individual fixed effects. I further find that the relationship between training participation and turnover intentions differs with the type of training provided: besides the negative impact on turnover intentions due to an increase in job satisfaction, general training directly increases turnover intentions.

Practical implications – This thesis shows the economic significance of locus of control for HR practices. It is therefore in the interest of organizations to gather information about employees’ job satisfaction as well as their locus of control, to prevent future turnover. Moreover, organizational training courses can be provided to improve job satisfaction which in turn may lower turnover intentions. HR professionals are recommended to provide predominantly firm-specific training when lowering turnover intentions is their policy aim.

Contribution – This thesis examines the relationship of job satisfaction on turnover intentions by focusing on the moderation impact of locus of control. This contributes to the small literature that has empirically documented the importance of locus control for voluntary turnover. Moreover, by providing an organizational strategy to overcome turnover intentions, this thesis contributes to the human capital literature. I add to the literature by specifically analyzing the impact of training participation on turnover intentions and establishing whetherit differs with the degree to which training is general.

Netspar, Network for Studies on Pensions, Aging and Retirement, is een denktank en kennisnetwerk. Netspar is gericht op een goed geïnformeerd pensioendebat.

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