From IS Theory
Jump to: navigation, search
This site is sponsored by Brigham Young University
This site is sponsored by the University of Colorado

Attraction-Selection-Attrition theory



Alternate name(s)


Main dependent construct(s)/factor(s)

Main independent construct(s)/factor(s)

Concise description of theory

The theory proposes that the attributes of people, not the nature of the external environment, or organizational technology, or organizational structure, are the fundamental determinants of organizational behavior. The people behaving in them make organizations what they are.

An organization's founder determines goals, structures, and processes that attract people. The processes and structures evolve from people who meet the daily demands associated with survival. The organizational goals are at the center because they are the core around which the founder starts an organization, they are operationalized through behavior, and subsequently, the behavior yields structures and processes. The manifested structures and processes determine what kind of people are attracted to, selected by, and stay with an organization.

Attraction to an organization, selection by it, and attrition from it yield particular kinds of persons in an organization. The ASA cycle results in a severely restricted range of types of people in an organization, who yield similar kinds of behavior. The similar behavior is therefore not a function of the organization but of the restricted types of people in it.

Diagram/schematic of theory


Source: (Schneider, 1987, p. 445)

Originating author(s)

Bejamin Schneider (1987) proposed ASA as an alternative model for understanding organizations and the causes of structures, processes, and technology of organizations.

Seminal articles

Schneider, B. (1987). The People Make the Place. Personnel Psychology, 40(3), 437–453.

Originating area


Level of analysis


IS articles that use the theory

Butler, B. S., Bateman, P. J., Gray, P. H., & Diamant, E. I. (2014). An Attraction–Selection–Attrition Theory of Online Community Size and Resilience. MIS Quarterly, 38(3), 699–728.

Links from this theory to other theories

External links

Original Contributor(s)

Georg Link, University of Nebraska at Omaha

Please feel free to make modifications to this site. In order to do so, you must register.

Return to Theories Used in IS Research