A Study on How Employee's Adaptive Capability Affect Their Turnover Intention

Student thesis: Doctoral Thesis

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Awarding Institution
  • Changjiang LYU (External person) (External Supervisor)
  • Ziguang CHEN (Supervisor)
  • Yaxuan QI (Supervisor)
Award date28 Mar 2023






With the wave of global informatization and digitization sweeping over the world, both developed countries such as Europe and the United States, as well as emerging or developing countries, are facing the challenges brought by the development of data and digital technology. Digital talent, as the core driver of digital transformation, will become a key factor influencing the development of the digital economy (Chen et al.,2022),and thus countries are gradually considering talent as a core resource for the competitiveness of each country. However, at the same time, the turnover rate of corporate employees is rising. A survey conducted by Wise Recruitment shows that the overall turnover rate of white-collar workers in different age groups has increased. Employee turnover brings huge losses to enterprises, not only the explicit cost of re-employing employees, but also the invisible cost of training, bringing in new competition and a series of other hidden costs, so the study of factors influencing employee turnover has become one of the areas of concern in academic fields of organizational behavior and human resource management at home and abroad.

This paper incorporates the experience of the author's company, which experienced the departure of a number of key employees during the company's implementation of failure reviews, where employee review performance again varied. The review represents an opportunity to analyze the failure and learn from it to avoid repeating the failure, thus raising a number of research questions about the relationship between employee resilience, learning from failure and the propensity to leave, as well as the mechanisms at play and the influence of the organization in this.

Based on the theoretical model of the Theory of Planned Behavior, this paper combines literature reading and empirical research to analyze and explore the impact of employee resilience on turnover propensity and its underlying mechanisms. Based on a questionnaire survey of 110 employees in technology entrepreneurship-related companies, the main core content and research implications of this thesis are as follows.

The aim of this paper is to investigate the impact of employee resilience on the propensity to leave and its mechanisms, constructing a model with a mediating moderating effect. It was found that: controlling for employees’ demographic information (gender, age, education, job title) and work experience, employee resilience positively influenced the propensity to leave, i.e. employees who were more resilient had a higher propensity to leave; employee resilience positively influenced failure learning, i.e. employees who were more resilient learned better from failure; and failure learning had a partially Failure learning has a partial mediating role between employee resilience and propensity to leave. At the same time, person-organizational fit negatively moderates the effect of employee strain on failure learning; the interaction between person-organizational match and employee strain influences the propensity to leave through the mediation of employee failure learning, i.e. when employees are in an organization with a high person-organizational fit, employees with high strain have a weaker positive effect on failure learning and thus a weaker effect on the propensity to leave.

This study provides new ideas on whether or not to implement employee failure learning, or review initiatives, within companies: common sense infers that if employees are highly resilient, then review initiatives can help employees learn from their failures, adjust their behavior, avoid repeating mistakes and improve employee performance; however, this study finds that employees with high resilience have good failure learning effects, but at the same time increase their propensity to leave tendency to leave. However, this study found that employees who are more resilient learn better from failure, but at the same time have a greater tendency to leave. Also this study found that person-organizational fit plays an important inhibiting role in influencing employee turnover. Therefore it is of practical importance for companies to reduce employee failure and improve person-organizational fit through organizational systems and norm building to curb the propensity to leave.

    Research areas

  • Change Ability, Failure Learning, Turnover Intention, P-O fit