Turnover Intentions of Indian IS Professionals

  • Mary C. Lacity
  • Vidya V. Iyer
  • Prasad S. Rudramuniyaiah

In India, the turnover rates have been reported as high as 80% in the IT services sector (Gupta 2001) and as high as 100% for Indian call centers (Mitchell 2005, 2007). For example, Wipro announced that it replaced 90% of its call enter and BPO workers in 2004 (McCue 2005). The lowest rates we found reported on turnover in Indian software services was 30% (Mitchell 2004). No matter which turnover number one considers — the low estimate of 30% or the high estimate of 100%, there is no denying that turnover is a major issue to Indian suppliers and their global clients. Supplier staff turnover delays the clients' projects, reduces quality, and increases costs (Jiang & Klein 2002). Clearly, both clients and suppliers share the objective of high retention of the supplier's most qualified workers.

One contribution academics can make is to develop and test a model of Turnover that is applicable to the Indian IS context. Although there are nearly 50 studies on Western IS professionals (Joseph, Ng, Koh, & Ang 2007), we are not aware of any research specifically addressing turnover among Indian IS professionals. The purposes of this paper are to propose a model of turnover based on interviews with Indian IS professionals and to identify implications for practice. Our hope is that by better understanding why Indian IS professionals want to leave or stay with their current organizations, suppliers (and perhaps clients) will be able to target practices to increase retention. We initially developed a model based on extensive research from the organizational behavior and information systems literatures and identified six hypotheses (see Sect. 2). We then interviewed 25 Indian IS professionals working for 13 different suppliers (see Sect. 3). We tested the initial hypotheses using nonparametric statistics and interpret these findings based on the interview data (see Sect. 4). Based on the results the hypothesis tests and the additional constructs that emerged from the interviews, we significantly revised the model (see Sect. 5). The revised model must be empirically assessed, but we believe we have made important progress towards understanding turnover intentions of Indian IS professionals. We discuss four implications for practice in Sect. 6.


Organizational Commitment Organizational Support Turnover Intention Supervisor Support Current Organization 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2009

Authors and Affiliations

  • Mary C. Lacity
    • 1
  • Vidya V. Iyer
    • 2
  • Prasad S. Rudramuniyaiah
    • 1
  1. 1.University of Missouri-St. Louis, One University Boulevard, St. LouisUSA
  2. 2.College of Business Administration, University of Missouri-St. LouisSt. LouisUSA

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