Organizational Nostalgia Lowers Turnover Intentions by Increasing Work Meaning: The Moderating Role of Burnout

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Abstract

We report 3 studies addressing the relevance of organizational nostalgia for the meaning that employees ascribe to their work (work meaning). We hypothesized, and found, that organizational nostalgia enhances work meaning and thereby reduces turnover intentions. In Study 1, an employee survey, spontaneously experienced organizational nostalgia was associated with higher work meaning. In Study 2, an organizational-nostalgia induction increased work meaning, which subsequently predicted lowered turnover intentions. In Study 3, an organizational-nostalgia induction increased work meaning and thereby lowered turnover intentions, especially among employees who reported relatively high levels of burnout. When burnout is high, organizational nostalgia functions as a rich source of meaning that benefits employees’ work experience.

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