Purpose: To deepen our understanding about the development of turnover intention, the purpose of this paper is to develop a conceptual model based on the stress theory to explain cross-country differences in the formation of turnover intention, complementing previous literature that mainly emphasizes the effect of monetary compensation on turnover intention without taking into account anxiety and pressure. Design/methodology/approach: Empirical testing of this model by investigating personnel across Taiwan’s and Indonesia’s banks confirms the applicability of stress theory in cross-cultural business management. Of the 161 Chinese-language questionnaires distributed to the employees from the three large banks in Taiwan, 137 usable questionnaires were returned for a response rate of 85 percent. At the same time, of the 234 Indonesian-language questionnaires distributed to the employees from the two large banks in Indonesia, 219 usable questionnaires were returned for a response rate of 93.6 percent. Findings: This research reveals that mental disengagement fully mediates the indirect relationship between performance-related anxiety and turnover intention, while positive reinterpretation fully mediates the indirect relationship between work pressure and turnover intention. Furthermore, the effects of performance-related anxiety and work pressure on turnover intention are moderated by cross-country differences. Originality/value: First, the finding concerning the full mediating role of mental disengagement complements prior justifications of the conservation of resources theory. Second, the finding of this study regarding the full mediating role of positive reinterpretation complements the previous findings of Taylor’s (1983) theory of cognitive adaptation, which conceptualizes employees as active agents in restoring the psychological equilibrium in the aftermath of a competitive pressurized event.
- Mental disengagement
- Social cognition
- Structural equation modelling
- Turnover intention