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The Great Resignation in the UK – reality, fake news or something in between?

Abigail Marks (Newcastle University Business School, Newcastle University, Newcastle upon Tyne, UK)

Personnel Review

ISSN: 0048-3486

Article publication date: 9 February 2023

Issue publication date: 13 March 2023

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Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this review is to understand whether “The Great Resignation” has emerged as a concept within the popular media and academic because it is based on fact or whether it has emerged because it broadly aligns with a dominant neoliberal ideology.

Design/methodology/approach

This paper critically reviews United Kingdom (UK) government data to establish evidence for “The Great Resignation”. Thus, the purpose is to understand whether there has been an increased propensity for workers to leave or change their jobs due to attitudinal changes emerging from the experience of the Covid-19 pandemic.

Findings

Based on this review, there is limited evidence that “The Great Resignation” has been occurring within the UK. Nonetheless, there have been extensive commentries in both the popular press and academic outlets that have been attempting to evidence the phenomenon. Some of academic writing is drirven by narratives emerging from the press which should thus warrent consideration of the extent to which academics are losing control over conceptual and theoretical development.

Originality/value

The key contribution that is made by this piece is the questioning of concepts that have entered the common vernacular. Concepts such as “The Great Resignation” and “Quiet Quitting” have, for the most part, gained popularity through social media. This paper looks at “The Great Resignation” and warns of the possibility that social media maybe a significant threat to robust academic theorisation.

Keywords

Citation

Marks, A. (2023), "The Great Resignation in the UK – reality, fake news or something in between?", Personnel Review, Vol. 52 No. 2, pp. 408-414. https://doi.org/10.1108/PR-09-2022-0608

Publisher

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Emerald Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2023, Emerald Publishing Limited

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