On the Turning Away: An Exploration of the Employee Resignation Process

Research in Personnel and Human Resources Management

ISBN: 978-1-78560-017-3, eISBN: 978-1-78560-016-6

ISSN: 0742-7301

Publication date: 10 June 2015


Although a significant body of work has amassed that explores the antecedents, correlates, and consequences of employee turnover in organizations, little is known about how employees go about quitting once they have made the decision to leave. That is, after the decision to voluntarily quit their job is made, employees must then navigate through the process of planning for their exit, announcing their resignation, and potentially working at their company for weeks after their plans to resign have been made public. Our lack of understanding of the resignation process is important as how employees quit their jobs has the potential to impact the performance and turnover intentions of other organizational members, as well as to harm or benefit the reputation of the organization, overall. Moreover, voluntary turnover is likely to increase in the coming decades. In this chapter, we unpack the resignation process. Specifically, drawing from the communication literature and prior work on employee socialization, we develop a three-stage model of the resignation process that captures the activities and decisions employees face as they quit their jobs, and how individual differences may influence how they behave in each of these three stages. In doing so, we develop a foundation upon which researchers can begin to build a better understanding of what employees go through after they have decided to quit but before they have exited their organization for the final time.



Klotz, A.C. and Zimmerman, R.D. (2015), "On the Turning Away: An Exploration of the Employee Resignation Process", Research in Personnel and Human Resources Management (Research in Personnel and Human Resources Management, Vol. 33), Emerald Group Publishing Limited, pp. 51-119. https://doi.org/10.1108/S0742-730120150000033004

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