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J Appl Psychol. 2016 Apr;101(4):520-34. doi: 10.1037/apl0000075. Epub 2015 Dec 14.

Tethered to work: A family systems approach linking mobile device use to turnover intentions.

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Department of Management and Marketing, Huntsman School of Business, Utah State University.
Department of Management, Hankamer School of Business, Baylor University.
Department of Management, Mays Business School, Texas A&M University.
Department of Information and Operations Management, Mays Business School, Texas A&M University.
Department of Management, University of Texas at Arlington.
Department of Management, McCoy College of Business, Texas State University.


We examined the use of a mobile device for work during family time (mWork) to determine the role that it plays in employee turnover intentions. Using a sample of 344 job incumbents and their spouses, we propose a family systems model of turnover and examine 2 paths through which we expect mWork to relate to turnover intentions: the job incumbent and the spouse. From the job incumbent, we found that the job incumbent's mWork associated with greater work-to-family conflict and burnout, and lower organizational commitment. From the spouse, we found that incumbent mWork and greater work-to-family conflict associated with increased resentment by the spouse and lower spousal commitment to the job incumbent's organization. Both of these paths played a role in predicting job incumbent turnover intentions. We discuss implications and opportunities for future research on mWork for integrating work and family into employee turnover intentions.

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