A commitment approach to understanding group exit: when will an ex-member want to rejoin a former group?

Devin Ray, Diane M. Mackie

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Citations (Scopus)


A commitment framework based on Moreland and Levine's theory of socialization in groups (Levine & Moreland, 1994; Moreland & Levine, 1982, 2000) is applied to the previously neglected problem of group exit. Specifically, an ex-member's desire to rejoin a former group is predicted from two factors: (1) the ex-member's commitment to his or her former group; and (2) the ex-member's perception of his or her former group's commitment to him or her. This framework is tested using both recollections of real-life experiences and experimentally constructed groups. Results suggest that an ex-member's desire to rejoin a former group is determined most proximally by the ex-member's commitment to the former group, but that the ex-member's commitment can be affected by perceptions of the former group's commitment. These results suggest that Moreland and Levine's framework provides a viable theory-based starting point for more extensive study of group exit.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)479-494
Number of pages16
JournalGroup Processes & Intergroup Relations: GPIR
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - Jul 2009


  • commitment
  • exit
  • group processes

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