Does enhancing work-time control and flexibility reduce turnover? A naturally occurring experiment

Phyllis Moen, Erin L. Kelly, Rachelle Hill

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

124 Scopus citations


We investigate the turnover effects of an organizational innovation (ROWE-Results Only Work Environment) aimed at moving away from standard time practices to focus on results rather than time spent at work. To model rates of turnover, we draw on survey data from a sample of employees at a corporate headquarters (N = 775) and institutional records of turnover over eight months following the ROWE implementation. We find the odds of turnover are indeed lower for employees participating in the ROWE initiative, which offers employees greater work-time control and flexibility, and that this is the case regardless of employees' gender, age, or family life stage. ROWE also moderates the turnover effects of organizational tenure and negative home-to-work spillover, physical symptoms, and job insecurity, with those in ROWE who report these situations generally less likely to leave the organization. Additionally, ROWE reduces turnover intentions among those remaining with the corporation. This research moves the "opting-out" argument from one of private troubles to an issue of greater employee work-time control and flexibility by showing that an organizational policy initiative can reduce turnover.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)69-98
Number of pages30
JournalSocial Problems
Issue number1
StatePublished - Feb 2011


  • Flexibility
  • Opting out
  • Organizational change
  • Turnover
  • Work-time control


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