Is Employee Loyalty Research Living in the Shadows? Consolidating Findings into a Future Research Agenda
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Employee loyalty is of practical interest for team leaders and organizations as it is assumed to have an impact on both effectiveness and performance. Consequently, it has been researched for decades. Partly because of unresolved overlaps with the competing concept of organizational commitment however, solid knowledge regarding determinants, processes, and consequences is difficult to discern. In light of the fact that a review of the employee loyalty literature is missing so far, this paper aims at providing a systematic stock-taking of relevant studies and their findings in order to identify research gaps and interesting future research opportunities. Our findings suggest the avoidance of using organizational commitment and employee loyalty as synonyms, but to distinguish clearly between them. Additionally, there is a need to differentiate between reference objects of loyalty (e.g., a person, a team, the firm) as well as for exploring interdependencies and more sophisticated cause-effect chains between different antecedents and outcomes. We further identify an apparent lack of loyalty research at the group or team level, as well as with regard to processes that foster or erode loyalty building. This paper contributes to advancing our knowledge about a very relevant phenomenon through consolidating previous research and directing future research efforts.
Available at SSRN 2509763
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