Journal of Business and Psychology

, Volume 15, Issue 4, pp 561-577

First online:

The Relationship Between Immediate Turnover and Employee Theft in the Restaurant Industry

  • Peg ThomsAffiliated withSchool of Business, Penn State Erie
  • , Paula WolperAffiliated withMercyhurst College
  • , Kimberly S. ScottAffiliated withWm. Wrigley Jr. Company
  • , Dave JonesAffiliated withBenedictine University

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This paper explores the relationship between immediate turnover and employee theft. Study 1 examined turnover and theft data from a large fast-food chain. The results suggested a relationship between theft and turnover rates. In Study 2, a laboratory study designed to test the causation of the relationship, participants indicated that they would be more likely to steal when they were leaving in two weeks than when leaving in two years. There was no significant interaction with management control. Results suggest that managers might reduce theft by implementing specific strategies when they are aware that employees are terminating employment.

Turnover theft restaurant