Employee retention and satisfaction are key concerns for employers. In this article, I explore a variety of worker characteristics that affect how workers respond to troubling events and circumstances in the workplace. I examine how they approach their workplace problems, focusing on the value of their loyalty and how this loyalty might affect their problem-related decisions. This research suggests that worker loyalty presents an irony for managers, which I call the ironic value of loyalty: workers with greater loyalty are less likely to exit when they encounter workplace problems, decreasing turnover problems, yet when more loyal workers choose to remain at work, they are more likely to raise grievances, either formally or informally, to confront the problems. Thus, worker loyalty appears both to solve and create problems for managers dealing with worker discontent.
Date of this Version
Hoffmann, E.A. (2006), The ironic value of loyalty: Dispute resolution strategies in worker cooperatives and conventional organizations. Nonprofit Management and Leadership, 17: 163-177. https://doi.org/10.1002/nml.141