To content

Embeddedness and turnover of IT professionals

The IT workforce is quite diverse, ranging from software developers, database administrators and technical support staff to IT project managers, product owners, consultants, and IT entrepreneurs (Brooks et al. 2011). Since such IT professionals are in high demand across industries, companies struggle with a plethora of open positions. Since the beginning of the information systems discipline, research has developed theories and models to understand and predict how to attract, motivate, and retain IT professionals (Wiesche et al. 2019). Retaining IT professionals is an important topic as individual turnover is affected by many different factors including individual-level factors such as disposition and career expectations, group-level factors such as team dynamics, relationships to management and co-workers, and market-level factors such as job alternatives and career patterns (Joseph et al. 2007; Krackhardt and Porter 1986; Prommegger et al. 2019). This thesis will focus on understanding the interplay between embedding factors, shock events and turnover motivators in IT professionals’ career decisions.

The following questions may serve as guidance for potential focus areas. Other questions in this research area are welcome as well.

  • What are embedding factors that tie IT professionals to the team or organization they work in?
  • What is the relationship between organizational embeddedness and turnover intention of IT professionals?
  • How does a collaborative work environment affect individual turnover behavior and career decisions?
  • How does obsolescence, training, and life-long learning affect individual careers and organizational turnover mitigation strategies?


This thesis can be conducted as conceptual work or as empirical study using qualitative or quantitative research methods. This thesis requires:

  • Interest in current research on the IT workforce, esp. turnover and careers
  • Experience in and willingness to conduct conceptual or empirical research
  • A structured, reliable, and self-motivated work style


  • Brooks, N. G., Riemenschneider, C. K., Hardgrave, B. C., and O'Leary-Kelly, A. M. 2011. "It Professional Identity: Needs, Perceptions, and Belonging," European Journal of Information Systems (20:1), pp. 87-102.
  • Joseph, D., Ng, K.-Y., Koh, C., and Ang, S. 2007. "Turnover of Information Technology Professionals: A Narrative Review, Meta-Analytic Structural Equation Modeling, and Model Development," MIS Quarterly (31:3), pp. 547-577.
  • Krackhardt, D., and Porter, L. W. 1986. "The Snowball Effect: Turnover Embedded in Communication Networks," Journal of Applied Psychology (71:1), pp. 50-55.
  • Prommegger, B., Pflügler, C., Wiesche, M., and Krcmar, H. 2019. "Understanding It-Specific Job Embeddedness to Prevent Turnover of It Professionals," Academy of Management Conference, Boston, MA.
  • Wiesche, M., Joseph, D., Thatcher, J., Gu, B., and Krcmar, H. 2019. "IT Workforce," MIS Quarterly Research Curation.


If you are interested in working on a thesis in this topic area, please send your application including motivation, CV and grade reports via e-mail to abschlussarbeit.dt.wiwitu-dortmundde

Location & approach

The campus of TU Dort­mund University is located close to interstate junction Dort­mund West, where the Sauerlandlinie A 45 (Frankfurt-Dort­mund) crosses the Ruhrschnellweg B 1 / A 40. The best interstate exit to take from A 45 is "Dort­mund-Eichlinghofen" (closer to Campus Süd), and from B 1 / A 40 "Dort­mund-Dorstfeld" (closer to Campus Nord). Signs for the uni­ver­si­ty are located at both exits. Also, there is a new exit before you pass over the B 1-bridge leading into Dort­mund.

To get from Campus North to Campus South by car, there is the connection via Vogelpothsweg/Baroper Straße. We recommend you leave your car on one of the parking lots at Campus North and use the H-Bahn (suspended monorail system), which conveniently connects the two campuses.

TU Dort­mund University has its own train station ("Dort­mund Uni­ver­si­tät"). From there, suburban trains (S-Bahn) leave for Dort­mund main station ("Dort­mund Hauptbahnhof") and Düsseldorf main station via the "Düsseldorf Airport Train Station" (take S-Bahn number 1, which leaves every 20 or 30 minutes). The uni­ver­si­ty is easily reached from Bochum, Essen, Mülheim an der Ruhr and Duisburg.

You can also take the bus or subway train from Dort­mund city to the uni­ver­si­ty: From Dort­mund main station, you can take any train bound for the Station "Stadtgarten", usually lines U41, U45, U 47 and U49. At "Stadtgarten" you switch trains and get on line U42 towards "Hombruch". Look out for the Station "An der Palmweide". From the bus stop just across the road, busses bound for TU Dort­mund University leave every ten minutes (445, 447 and 462). Another option is to take the subway routes U41, U45, U47 and U49 from Dort­mund main station to the stop "Dort­mund Kampstraße". From there, take U43 or U44 to the stop "Dort­mund Wittener Straße". Switch to bus line 447 and get off at "Dort­mund Uni­ver­si­tät S".

The H-Bahn is one of the hallmarks of TU Dort­mund University. There are two stations on Campus Nord. One ("Dort­mund Uni­ver­si­tät S") is directly located at the suburban train stop, which connects the uni­ver­si­ty directly with the city of Dort­mund and the rest of the Ruhr Area. Also from this station, there are connections to the "Technologiepark" and (via Campus Süd) Eichlinghofen. The other station is located at the dining hall at Campus Nord and offers a direct connection to Campus Süd every five minutes.

The AirportExpress is a fast and convenient means of transport from Dort­mund Airport (DTM) to Dort­mund Central Station, taking you there in little more than 20 minutes. From Dort­mund Central Station, you can continue to the university campus by interurban railway (S-Bahn). A larger range of in­ter­na­tio­nal flight connections is offered at Düsseldorf Airport (DUS), which is about 60 kilometres away and can be directly reached by S-Bahn from the university station.

The departments of TU Dort­mund University are spread over two campuses, the larger Campus North and the smaller Campus South. Additionally, some areas of the university are located in the adjacent "Technologiepark".

Street navigation from and to the TU Dortmund University:

OpenStreetMap Routing Machine

The document and the graphic represent the motorways and federal highways around the TU Dortmund University in a very simplified way:

Environment map (PDF)

Environment map (graphic)

This interactive map helps you find and navigate between facilities and buildings on campus:

Interactive campus map

This document contains a simple campus map in German and English:

Campus map (PDF)