Journal of Business and Psychology

, Volume 24, Issue 1, pp 19–32 | Cite as

Work–Family Conflict and Turnover Intentions Among Scientists and Engineers Working in R&D

  • Corinne Post
  • Nancy DiTomaso
  • George F. Farris
  • Rene Cordero



In this study we evaluate competing models of the direct and indirect effects of work interference with family (WIF) and family interference with work (FIW) on two turnover intentions relevant to scientists and engineers: (i) leaving R&D for non-R&D work within the same organization and (ii) leaving one’s organization for another one.


A cross-sectional design was used. Our sample consists of almost 500 scientists and engineers in dual-earner families and with dependent care responsibilities.


We find some support for the domain-specific predictors-to-outcomes model: FIW indirectly (but not directly) increases intentions to change organization through work dissatisfaction. Contrary to expectations from the stress management model we find neither direct nor indirect relationships between WIF and turnover intentions.


Our findings suggest that organizations that help employees manage the effects of FIW on work dissatisfaction may be able to reduce the turnover among their technical workforce.


The study examines an overlooked outcome of work-family conflict: turnover intentions. In addition, it provides much needed attention to the implications of workfamily conflict for scientists and engineers, who have received little attention in the work-family conflict literature despite longstanding efforts to understand the relationship between marriage, parenthood, and productivity in these fields.


Work–family conflict Scientists and engineers Work dissatisfaction Turnover intentions Stress management 



We thank the Center for Innovation Management Studies, formerly at Lehigh University, the Technology Management Research Center, at Rutgers University, and the Sloan Foundation for previous support of this research.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2009

Authors and Affiliations

  • Corinne Post
    • 1
  • Nancy DiTomaso
    • 2
  • George F. Farris
    • 2
  • Rene Cordero
    • 3
  1. 1.College of Business & EconomicsLehigh UniversityBethlehemUSA
  2. 2.Department of Management and Global Business, Rutgers Business School—Newark and New Brunswick, Rutgers, Faculty of ManagementThe State University of New JerseyNewarkUSA
  3. 3.School of ManagementNew Jersey Institute of Technology (NJIT)NewarkUSA

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