When to Fix It and When to Leave: Relationships Among Perceived Control, Self-Efficacy, Dissent, and Exit

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Abstract

Using a sample of hospital nurses, the author tested the hypothesis that both self-efficacy and perceived control over decision making contribute to individuals' willingness to engage in reformist dissent when faced with injustice and to their intentions to exit. Reformist dissent is defined as dissent that occurs within the confines of an organization's rules and norms. Perceived control over decision making was expected to be positively related to willingness to engage in reformist dissent and to be inversely related to exit. Because it was expected that both dissent and exit require confidence, self-efficacy was predicted to be positively related to both dissent and exit. Control was possitively related to willingness to dissent and inversely related to exit. Self-efficacy, however, predicted only dissent. Implications for worker well-being and retention are discussed, and directions for future research and theory development are offered.

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