Losing talented IT employees, the most critical strategic resource in IT, during a major organizational
change can be catastrophic to the overall performance of the IS organization.
This paper develops a multi-layered communicative-tension model of change-induced collective
voluntary turnover from a historical case study analysis. A major organizational
change at a healthcare insurance firm’s IT unit reveals the presence of three primary communicative
tensions: alignment-autonomy, stability-change and expression-suppression.
A group of employees, dissatisfied with the negative communicative practices employed
by their managers in the midst of these communicative tensions, left the organization. A
communicative-tension model of change-induced collective voluntary turnover complements
and extends upon prior collective voluntary turnover research by accounting for
the organizational change context and broader relational dynamics. This study offers practitioners
important insights on how to manage communicative tensions during an IS organizational
change to improve IT talent retention.