This paper reviews research and theory on the important topic of labour turnover resulting from issues related to job performance and/or job satisfaction which have, in turn, been initiated by changes in work motivation. We focus on labour turnover in the public sector – a neglected area of public administration research – and propose an explanatory model of the development of the intention to leave an organisation. The model first describes the relationships between work motivation and job performance and/or job satisfaction. It then explains how changes in performance and/or satisfaction result in the formation of an intention to leave public service employment. The paper concludes by identifying key areas for future research.