Working Papers

Organizational Demography and Turnover

An Examination of Multiform and Non-Linear Heterogeneity


This paper advances the study of organizational demography and its relationship to organizational turnover by examining two of Blau’s concepts of social structure: non-linear and multiform heterogeneity. In a sample of 383 community hospitals, nursing turnover was examined in relation to four dimensions of demographic heterogeneity among nursing staff in those hospitals. The form of the relationships between turnover and heterogeneity was specified to test whether heterogeneity relates to higher turnover in a linear fashion or, alternatively, whether heterogeneity affects turnover in an inverted U-shaped pattern. Results of multivariate analyses suggested strong support for the former proposition. Three of the four dimensions of demographic heterogeneity in hospital nursing staffs were positively and monotonically related to voluntary turnover among full-time registered nurses (RNs). No support was found for a curvilinear relationship, nor did mean levels of the demography measures, reflecting the locus of concentration, account for the observed relationship between demographic heterogeneity and turnover.