Professor in Evolutionary Psychology, Work and Organizational Psychology



Exit or voice (2003)

Van Vugt, M., Dowding, K., John, P., & Van Dijk, E. (2003).  Exit or voice?  Strategies for problem-solving in residential communities.  Journal of Applied Social Psychology, 32, 1-20.


This research investigated two different action strategies for residents to deal with dissatisfying community services, moving out of the community (exit) or communicating dissatisfaction to local authorities (voice). Data were used from a Population Movement Survey that was held among 1529 households in three major cities in the UK in 1997. Employing concepts from interdependence theory (Kelley & Thibaut, 1978), we predicted that dissatisfaction with community services would lead to more exit and voice-responses. Furthermore, exit was predicted to be dominant among residents who – for diverse reasons - were less dependent and voice for residents who were more dependent upon the community. These predictions were supported and the relevance of these findings for understanding community stability and improvement are discussed.


Copyright © 2012– Mark van Vugt