Is Human Capital Related to Voluntary Turnover in U.S. State Governments? Evidence from the State of Oklahoma

Andrew Wesemann


Building and retaining human capital stock is critical for organizational success and survival. These two practices, however, may inadvertently be at odds with one another. That is, as organizations seek to increase their human capital stock, through both internal and external strategies, they may also unintentionally increase their risk of voluntary turnover. Research has found support for this relationship in the private sector, yet empirical evidence for such a correlation among public sector organizations is nonexistent. This article, therefore, contributes to the understanding of whether the postulated relationship between human capital and voluntary turnover is generalizable to public sector entities, specifically focusing on U.S. state government. Using longitudinal workforce data from the State of Oklahoma, results of econometric analysis demonstrate that this organizational phenomenon transcends sector boundaries.

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