Exit, Voice, Loyalty, and Pay: Evidence from the. Public Workforce

Soo-Young Lee; Whitford, Andrew B.
October 2008
Journal of Public Administration Research & Theory;Oct2008, Vol. 18 Issue 4, p647
Academic Journal
We assess Hirschman's theory of exit, voice, and loyalty in the context of voluntary exit from organizations in the public workforce. Specifically, we test the effects of loyalty and voice on the likelihood a person states their intention to leave. We assess these relationships using data from the Federal Human Capital Survey. Our statistical analysis provides evidence that perceptions about voice and loyalty limit exit at all levels of the organizational hierarchy. Yet, dissatisfaction with pay is also a substantial cause of intention to leave--and this effect is greatest for executive-level employees. We also show evidence for "motivation crowding" when pay-based motivation is emphasized.


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