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The human capital management perspective on quiet quitting: recommendations for employees, managers, and national policymakers

Alexander Serenko (Faculty of Business and IT, University of Ontario Institute of Technology, Oshawa, Canada)

Journal of Knowledge Management

ISSN: 1367-3270

Article publication date: 7 April 2023

Issue publication date: 5 January 2024




The purpose of this Real Impact Viewpoint Article is to analyze the quiet quitting phenomenon from the human capital management perspective.


The methods comprise the analysis of 672 TikTok comments, the use of secondary data and literature review.


Quiet quitting is a mindset in which employees deliberately limit work activities to their job description, meet yet not exceed the preestablished expectations, never volunteer for additional tasks and do all this to merely maintain their current employment status while prioritizing their well-being over organizational goals. Employees quiet quit due to poor extrinsic motivation, burnout and grudges against their managers or organizations. Quiet quitting is a double-edged sword: while it helps workers avoid burnout, engaging in this behavior may jeopardize their professional careers. Though the term is new, the ideas behind quiet quitting are not and go back decades.

Practical implications

Employees engaged in quiet quitting should become more efficient, avoid burnout, prepare for termination or resignation and manage future career difficulties. In response to quiet quitting, human capital managers should invest in knowledge sharing, capture the knowledge of potential quiet quitters, think twice before terminating them, conduct a knowledge audit, focus on high performers, introduce burnout management programs, promote interactional justice between managers and subordinates and fairly compensate for “going above and beyond.” Policymakers should prevent national human capital depletion, promote work-life balance as a national core value, fund employee mental health support and invest in employee efficiency innovation.


This Real Impact Viewpoint Article analyzes quiet quitting from the human capital management perspective.



The author is grateful to two anonymous JKM reviewers and the Associate Editor for their developmental feedback on the previous version of this Real Impact Viewpoint Article.


Serenko, A. (2024), "The human capital management perspective on quiet quitting: recommendations for employees, managers, and national policymakers", Journal of Knowledge Management, Vol. 28 No. 1, pp. 27-43.



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