Is Updating Play or Work?: The Mediating Role of Updating Orientation in Linking Threat of Professional Obsolescence to Turnover/Turnaway Intentions

Is Updating Play or Work?: The Mediating Role of Updating Orientation in Linking Threat of Professional Obsolescence to Turnover/Turnaway Intentions

Damien Joseph (Nanyang Technological University, Singapore), Mei Ling Tan (Nanyang Technological University, Singapore) and Soon Ang (Nanyang Technological University, Singapore)
DOI: 10.4018/ijsodit.2011100103
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Abstract

This study proposes that IT professionals’ behavioral orientation towards IT knowledge and skills updating demands can take on two contrasting forms: updating-as-play or updating-as-work. Drawing on threat-rigidity theory (Staw, Sandelands, & Dutton, 1981), the authors hypothesize that IT professionals who feel threatened by professional obsolescence are more likely to approach updating-as-work more than as play. Results from a sample of IT professionals are consistent with threat-rigidity theory (Staw et al., 1981) in that the threat of professional obsolescence is negatively related to updating-as-play and is positively related to updating-as-work. The authors also find that updating-as-play is negatively related to turnaway intentions and that updating-as-work is positively related to turnover intentions; these findings are consistent with IT theories of job mobility. The authors conclude this study with a discussion of these results and propose future research directions.
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Theoretical Foundation And Hypotheses Development

Figure 1 presents the research model governing this study. It shows the hypotheses and the systems of relationships among the hypotheses.

Figure 1.

Research model

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