Tethered to work: A family systems approach linking mobile device use to turnover intentions. Academic Article uri icon


  • We examined the use of a mobile device for work during family time (mWork) to determine the role that it plays in employee turnover intentions. Using a sample of 344 job incumbents and their spouses, we propose a family systems model of turnover and examine 2 paths through which we expect mWork to relate to turnover intentions: the job incumbent and the spouse. From the job incumbent, we found that the job incumbent's mWork associated with greater work-to-family conflict and burnout, and lower organizational commitment. From the spouse, we found that incumbent mWork and greater work-to-family conflict associated with increased resentment by the spouse and lower spousal commitment to the job incumbent's organization. Both of these paths played a role in predicting job incumbent turnover intentions. We discuss implications and opportunities for future research on mWork for integrating work and family into employee turnover intentions.

published proceedings

  • J Appl Psychol

altmetric score

  • 19

author list (cited authors)

  • Ferguson, M., Carlson, D., Boswell, W., Whitten, D., Butts, M. M., & Kacmar, K.

citation count

  • 87

complete list of authors

  • Ferguson, Merideth||Carlson, Dawn||Boswell, Wendy||Whitten, Dwayne||Butts, Marcus M||Kacmar, K Michele Micki

publication date

  • April 2016