Another key issue discussed in Exit, Voice, and Loyalty is loyalty and its effects upon an individual in a firm or organization. Hirschman cites that when choosing between voice and exit, a loyal person is less likely to exit. He asserts that the greater the degree of loyalty, the more voice will be used and the longer the time period that elapses before exit. Furthermore, Hirschman states that a loyal should use voice and the threat of exit in order to accomplish his goal and effect change.
Another fundamental issue involved with loyalty is whether the individual remains with his struggling firm (thus demonstrating loyalty) as a sacrifice (because of dedication and commitment) or because of self-interest. It is most arguable that Senator Jeffords displayed a very negligible amount of loyalty due to self-interest and then exited on account of the same selfish reasoning. The first piece of evidence testifying to Jeffords’ limited loyalty was his refusal to negotiate with the Bush administration.
The President and his staff offered Jeffords several compromises (and already planned to boost education spending by more than 513 billion dollars), all of which he deemed unacceptable because of their inconsistency with his personal goals regarding education reform. This unwillingness to compromise indicates and reinforces the existence of selfishness and ambition in the Senator’s agenda. Another factor alluding to Jeffords’ disloyalty is the absence of the threat of exit.
In fact, the only people to whom he voiced his deliberations over leaving the GOP were the Democrats. Thus, his exit came as a surprise to the very people who it most profoundly affected, and their awareness was gained only after it was already too late for any preventative measures to be taken. Furthermore, despite the fact that Jeffords did express his views on the “inside” and before the tax legislature was passed-a typical demonstration of loyalty over ambition-in this instance voice was the only way for him to obtain his goals, which implies self-interest.
The final and most convincing substantiation of Jefford’s ambition and egotism is his incomplete exit. In a clear and obvious desire to further his own desires at any cost, before officially deciding upon or announcing his defection, the Senator bargained with the Democrats for a committee chairmanship so that he would not be forced to resign and leave the Senate.
If he truly felt as strongly as he professes, why did he not have the courage to resign his House seat in Congress to stand for re-election as a Republican in a special election? Why didn’t he prove his professed loyalty and decline the committee chairmanship promised him by Daschle? It appears as though Jeffords may perhaps need to reconsider the validity of some of his chief assertions.