Saying Goodbye: The Nature, Causes, and Consequences of Employee Resignation Styles Academic Article uri icon


  • Although much is known about why employees decide to resign from their jobs, scant research has examined what occurs after employees decide to leave their jobs but before they exit their organizations. As such, employee resignations are not well understood. This is unfortunate, because the manner in which employees resign from their jobs may have important implications for both individuals and organizations. In this paper, we use social exchange theory to argue that exchange-based correlates of employee turnover influence the manner in which employees resign, and that resignation styles affect managers' emotional reactions to employee resignation. We test our hypotheses in 4 studies. In Study 1, we inductively identify a taxonomy of resignation styles among full-time MBA students who have recently resigned from a job. In Study 2, we qualitatively examine the extent to which this taxonomy of resignation styles is represented in the accounts of supervisors of recently resigned employees. In Study 3, using a sample of recently resigned professionals, we demonstrate that employees' exchange relationships with their organizations and their supervisors influence their resignation styles. Finally, in Study 4, we provide evidence that resignation styles affect supervisors' emotional reactions in a sample of managers. Directions for future research on resignation and practical implications are discussed. (PsycINFO Database Record

altmetric score

  • 36.75

author list (cited authors)

  • Klotz, A. C., & Bolino, M. C.

citation count

  • 15

publication date

  • October 2016