Public employees’ psychological climates and turnover intention : evidence from Korean central government agencies

Research output: Journal Publications and Reviews (RGC: 21, 22, 62)21_Publication in refereed journalpeer-review

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Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)880-904
Journal / PublicationPublic Management Review
Issue number6
Publication statusOnline published - 3 Apr 2017


The psychological climate has been argued to influence employees’ work attitudes. However, despite the abundance of recent empirical studies on turnover intention, multiple psychological climate types as predictors of turnover intention have rarely been explored in the public management domain. This study used the four types of psychological climates–clan, developmental, hierarchical and rational–of the competing values framework, which is typically used to analyse organizational effectiveness. Challenging the assumption held in prior studies of linear associations between the psychological climate and turnover intention, this study examined U-shaped associations. Curvilinear associations are based on the rarely tested assumption that an overly biased psychological climate has a deleterious effect on turnover intention. The regression results corroborated a U-shaped association of clan and rational (market) climates with turnover intention but revealed a linear association for the hierarchical climate. These findings, determined using large-sampled data from Korean central government agencies, can advance the understanding of the psychological climate and turnover intention in public management.

Research Area(s)

  • competing values framework, nonlinear relationship, psychological climate, Turnover intention