WoRk-family conflict and turnover intentions among scientists and engineers working in R&d

Corinne Post, Nancy DiTomaso, George F. Farris, Rene Cordero

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

39 Scopus citations


Purpose In this study we evaluate competing models of the direct and indirect effects of work interference with family (WIF) and family interference with work (FIW) on two turnover intentions relevant to scientists and engineers: (i) leaving R&D for non-R&D work within the same organization and (ii) leaving one's organization for another one. Design/methodology/approach A cross-sectional design was used. Our sample consists of almost 500 scientists and engineers in dual-earner families and with dependent care responsibilities. Findings We find some support for the domain-specific predictors-to-outcomes model: FIW indirectly (but not directly) increases intentions to change organization through work dissatisfaction. Contrary to expectations from the stress management model we find neither direct nor indirect relationships between WIF and turnover intentions. Our findings suggest that organizations that help employees manage the effects of FIW on work dissatisfaction may be able to reduce the turnover among their technical workforce. Originality/value The study examines an overlooked outcome of work-family conflict: turnover intentions. In addition, it provides much needed attention to the implications of workfamily conflict for scientists and engineers, who have received little attention in the work-family conflict literature despite longstanding efforts to understand the relationship between marriage, parenthood, and productivity in these fields.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)19-32
Number of pages14
JournalJournal of Business and Psychology
Issue number1
StatePublished - Mar 2009

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Psychology(all)
  • Business, Management and Accounting(all)
  • Business and International Management
  • Applied Psychology


  • Scientists and engineers
  • Stress management
  • Turnover intentions
  • Work dissatisfaction
  • Work-family conflict

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