Journal of Undergraduate Research


power of progress, positive identity work, employee retention


Marriott School of Management


Strategic Management


The retention of employees is a major financial and cultural concern for almost all organizations. As a result, the study of voluntary turnover has a rich history in the domain of organizational behavior. We believe that this research has at least two blind spots that create an opportunity for new inquiry and insight. First, the nature of the employment contract between employees and organizations has changed over time. Employment in previous decades was largely founded on expectations of a long-term employment in one organization, however, in more recent years, this view of careers has been replaced with the notion that careers are now “boundaryless.” Second, Gen X and Millennial employees are often entering the workforce in various types of professional service firms which differ from more traditional business organizations in many respects. Most employees in professional service firms find themselves in a liminal career state, with some perhaps wanting to stay, but most wanting or knowing they will leave their firm at some point in the relatively near future.