Turnover in Denmark: Between “Flexicurity” and Collective Voice

Lotte Holck, Minna Paunova

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Scholars often suggest that institutionalized employee voice reduces turnover as an alternative to exit when employees are dissatisfied. Paradoxically, Denmark presents a case of high union density and thus high institutionalized employee voice, yet high turnover rates. To explore the Danish turnover paradox, this chapter looks at the macro-societal contextual factors impacting turnover rates in the Danish labor market. Institutional characteristics such as the flexicurity model (i.e., a welfare state model with proactive labor market policy; a portmanteau of flexibility and security), legal frameworks (i.e., relatively lax labor market regulations), and cultural factors (i.e., a culture of equality and collective collaborative structures) are all relevant to understand the high turnover rates in Denmark. The authors first overview the general trends and figures on turnover in Denmark and then examine the Danish institutional, legal, and cultural factors as they relate to the high turnover rates in the Danish labor market. Finally, the authors summarize and discuss the findings and consider their implications for research and practice related to employee turnover in the Nordics and beyond.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationGlobal Talent Retention : Understanding Employee Turnover Around the World
EditorsDavid G. Allen, James M. Vardaman
Number of pages22
PublisherEmerald Group Publishing
Publication date2021
ISBN (Print)9781839092947
ISBN (Electronic)9781839092930
Publication statusPublished - 2021
SeriesTalent Management


  • Unionization
  • Voice and exit
  • Flexicurity
  • Labor market flexibility
  • Social security
  • Welfare state

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