Deploying “connectors”: A control to manage employee turnover intentions?

Romana L Autrey, Timothy David Bauer, Kevin E. Jackson, Elena Klevsky

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


This paper investigates whether individuals that we identify as “connectors”—who possess a blend of innate traits and skills that predispose them to be personable, willing to relate to others, and able to influence others’ relationships—can serve as a catalyst for improving group outcomes. More specifically, we explore whether identifying connectors and placing them in work groups can serve as a control to help firms manage undesirable voluntary employee turnover by improving the group experience and reducing their fellow group members’ turnover intentions. We conduct an experiment to test our hypotheses that members in a group with a connector (versus without) have lower turnover intentions because their experiences are perceived as more positive, and that this turnover intention effect is more pronounced for group members who are demographically distinct from others in their group. Results are consistent with predictions, although the effect of connectors on lowering group members’ turnover intentions is driven by members who are distinct. Our findings broaden the understanding of who connectors are and how they affect group interactions, and further suggest that hiring and deploying connectors in work groups can be an effective component of a more comprehensive retention strategy.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number101059
JournalAccounting, Organizations and Society
StatePublished - Nov 2019
Externally publishedYes


  • Connector
  • Employee retention
  • Personnel controls
  • Turnover intentions
  • Work group dynamics

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Accounting
  • Sociology and Political Science
  • Organizational Behavior and Human Resource Management
  • Information Systems and Management


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