A multi-level model of withdrawal: Integrating and synthesizing theory and findings

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Major changes occurring within the modern organization have served as a catalyst for redefining withdrawal behavior and expanding its focus. Traditionally, investigators examined lateness, absence, and withdrawal either individually or in combination with each other. Besides new insights into understanding each of these components, it is suggested that withdrawal today needs to include so-called 'minor withdrawal behaviors' such as social loafing, lack of effort, long lunch breaks, and surfing on the Internet during the workday. The present paper presents an interactionist approach that utilizes multi-level antecedents as predictors. By borrowing concepts from several areas of organizational psychology, the model proposes that withdrawal cognitions and, in some cases, cost/benefit calculations serve as mediators between individual (attitudes and personal), group/organizational, extra-organizational variables acting as antecedents/moderators and withdrawal behavior. Methodological issues characteristic of withdrawal research as well as techniques for testing the model are discussed.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)283-303
Number of pages21
JournalHuman Resource Management Review
Issue number4
StatePublished - Dec 2009
Externally publishedYes


  • Extra-organizational antecedents
  • Minor-withdrawal behaviors
  • Multi-level model
  • Withdrawal behavior


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