Factors of Dissatisfaction Encouraging Resignation and Intentions to Resign: A Comparative Analysis of Age Groups

Empirical Studies
By F. Bertrand, S. Peters, F. P, I. Hansez


The aim of this paper is to identify possible reasons why workers resign from their jobs and to examine the extent to which these factors are actually experienced. A number of dissatisfaction factors, either personal or job-related, were considered from an age comparison perspective. A questionnaire was elaborated for the purpose of this study, which includes items related to intention to quit, as well as potential and experienced dissatisfaction factors. Both personal factors and job-related factors for employee resignation are considered. The latter include three theoretical sub-dimensions: working conditions, organizational and structural changes, and job recognition. An exploratory factor analysis of the 58?items produced eight usable resignation factors: (1) lack of resources and autonomy; (2) work pressure; (3) lack of personal development; (4) job insecurity; (5) personal reasons; (6) organizational changes; (7) a hostile work environment and (8) a poor image of the company. The sample includes 1,772?workers from?11?Belgian companies. The response rate is 50.23?percent. All sectors of activity are included in the survey. We consider five categories of age (under 25?years old, between?25 and?35, between?36 and?45, between?45 and?55, and over?55?years). The results show that a large majority of workers consider organizational change to be a major reason for resigning; this is particularly the case for older workers. A lack of personal development is also seen to be an important factor. Although this is mostly experienced by the oldest workers, it is given as the main reason for leaving in all age groups. Personal factors are also seen as important by the youngest and the oldest workers. Whilst work pressure is a phenomenon encountered by all workers, particularly the youngest, it is considered to be less of a reason for leaving. Another finding is that job insecurity is experienced by the youngest workers. Finally, the differences between the young and the not so young are not very clear-cut, supporting the view that an age-based management perspective is worthy of consideration.


  • age management
  • intention to quit
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