The Indian Military is currently suffering from a serious shortage of officers. Lucrative offers from outside the military as well as job-related factors in the service serve as prime detractors forcing the servicemen to leave the military prematurely. This shortage of officers affects the military leadership on ground and is therefore a matter of grave concern for the defence of the country.
In an endeavour to address it, this article reviews the past literature and proposes a model for the antecedents of attrition in Indian Military services. Drawing on job satisfaction (JS) and employee retention in organizational behaviour, a comprehensive causal model is developed regarding the influence of various generic and military-specific causes on officers' propensity to leave the military.
The study proposes 12 job-related organizational and personal factors that may affect the personnel's satisfaction with the military job, namely person–organization fit, job stress, job autonomy, internal security duties, pay, promotion, retirement concerns, resettlement concerns, family satisfaction, family involvement, work–home conflict and recreational facilities. In addition to these, external factors like the perceived government and military support have also been proposed as an antecedent to JS. Not all of these causes are universal, as service terms for Indian officers differ from most of other militaries. In the next step, the effect of satisfaction with the military job has been examined for its effect on the commitment of the personnel to the Indian Military, and thus their intention to continue in the job. Research propositions have been made, taking into account most of the relevant theories of the discipline as well as an exhaustive literature review, supported by voices of some of the military personnel interviewed for this study.
The study is an effort to develop a conceptual theoretical model, which warrants an empirical investigation. Consequently, the study also proposes and develops scale items to measure the constructs in the model as a guideline for future researchers.