Celebrating good-bye: Functional components in farewell parties for retiring employees in Israel

Dan Jacobson*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


This article describes an explorative attempt to generate a preliminary typology of the functions farewell parties fulfill for retiring employees and for the organizations they are about to leave. On-site observations of 14 parties in four Israeli organizations suggest that these secular rituals, marking the imminent rupture of long-standing social and organizational bonds, provide the retiree with an essential support mechanism or coping resource helping him or her weather the role transition with its attendant affective and cognitive adaptational stresses. At the same time, farewell parties can also be seen as serving explicit and implicit organizational goals by clarifying appropriate codes of behavior, reinforcing the commitment of younger workers to the organization, providing relevant information and enhancing the organization 's reputation as an "enlightened" employer. While the present study focused mainly on the intended functional and integrative messages conveyed by means of the rituals studied, it is suggested that future research efforts be devoted to the assessment of their actual effects including the dysfunctional and negative ones.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)223-235
Number of pages13
JournalJournal of Aging Studies
Issue number3
StatePublished - 1996


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