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Saying Farewell: Management as a Performance Art. Melody Wollan, Touro University International Steve Sommer, UC-Irvine Western Academy of Management 2003 Palm Springs, CA. Uniqueness of each Exit Experience.

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saying farewell management as a performance art

Saying Farewell: Management as a Performance Art

Melody Wollan, Touro University International

Steve Sommer, UC-Irvine

Western Academy of Management 2003

Palm Springs, CA

uniqueness of each exit experience
Uniqueness of each Exit Experience
  • Exit rites and ceremonials have been addressed within specific exit motives (i.e., voluntary, involuntary, retirements) but across motives, the following conclusion can be reached:
    • There are many combinations of the rites of separation, but once announcement of exit occurs, organizational processes largely determine one path for all transition rites and rites of incorporation (to ex-employee).
exit rites of passage process model
Exit Rites of Passage Process Model
  • Rites of Separation
  • Employee Psychological Withdrawal
  • Unfolding Model
  • Pre-Retirement Programs
  • Disciplinary/probationary, WARN Act

More Effective Separation and Exit Processes

Transition Rites

Farewell Gatherings

Rites of incorporation (into ex-employee status)

Surrender pass codes, keys, access

Share future plans during “Lame Duck” period

exit rites of passage
Exit Rites of Passage
  • Rites of Separation
  • Employee Psychological Withdrawal
  • Unfolding Model
  • Pre-Retirement Programs
  • Disciplinary/probationary, WARN Act

Experienced uniquely by each exiting individual depending on exit motive, individual characteristics, and situational factors

Transition Rites

Farewell Gatherings

Organizational mechanisms such as policies and/or organizational culture dictate enactment of process

Rites of incorporation (into ex-employee status)

Surrender pass codes, keys, access

Share future plans during “Lame Duck” period

ceremonials
Ceremonials
  • Anthropological-Sociological work by van Gennep (1960/1908)
  • Early work demonstrating that organizational rites exist (Trice, Belsaco, & Alluto, 1969), was later tied into organizational culture (Beyer & Trice, 1987; Deal & Kennedy, 1982; Trice & Beyer, 1984)
  • Exit events are part of the “rites of passage” and involve 3 distinct phases
the ceremonial what matters most
The Ceremonial: What Matters Most?

Formality of the Ceremonial

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Degree of Satisfaction of the exit ceremonial by the Exited Employee

Degree of Participation by Stakeholders

+

+

Fulfillment of Exiting Employee’s Goals of the Ceremonial

contribution of this work
Contribution of This Work
  • Managing the exit process effectively impacts:
    • The exiting employee’s perceptions of the organization as a future customer, potential re-hire, relationships in networks within and beyond exited organization
    • The surviving coworkers’ reactions such as changes in their intentions to leave, commitment, satisfaction with organizational members and culture
    • Speaks to and influences the morale of the workgroup and positive or negative interactions between management and employees
future research
Future Research
  • Systematic research program of exit rites and ceremonials including empirical/qualitative findings
  • Include 3 perspectives: 1) the exiting individual, 2) related organizational performers, and 3) outside observers
  • Tie into emotions literature
  • Provide a framework to be integrated into management education on the importance of rites and ceremonials related to exits
propositions related to rites of passage
Propositions related to Rites of Passage

1. Exit rites and ceremonials that address all three phases of rites of passage will lead to more effective separation and exit by the exiting employee.

2. Rites of separation will be uniquely related to the exiting individual and their motive to exit the organization.

3. Exit ceremonials, transition rites, and rites of incorporation will not be significantly different depending on the exiting employee.