Learning demand and job autonomy of IT personnel: Impact on turnover intention

Sheng Pao Shih, James J. Jiang, Gary Klein, Eric Wang

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

33 Scopus citations


Information technology jobs require a significant amount of learning to maintain currency and perform expected activities, more so than in many other professions. The sheer volume of learning can increase work exhaustion, with a negative effect on turnover. However, jobs can be designed to provide a large amount of autonomy over pace and process in the hands of the IT employee. According to job demand and control models, the ability of an employee to pace oneself and make task decisions can lessen negative impacts. From another perspective, IT employees differ in their desires to learn as part of personal and career growth. Thus, negative effects of learning demand should be lessened by the IT employee's motivation to learn, and motivation is a crucial antecedent in turnover models. A model based on the job demand-control model establishes and tests these relationships and finds them to hold in a sample of 306 IT employees. Work exhaustion is reduced by instilling job autonomy in the presence of learning demands and motivation, which then lessens turnover intentions of the IT workers.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2301-2307
Number of pages7
JournalComputers in Human Behavior
Issue number6
StatePublished - Nov 2011


  • Information technology personnel
  • Job autonomy
  • Job control
  • Learning demand
  • Learning motivation
  • Work exhaustion


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