Ken Clarke had an interesting week last week. I don't want to talk about the ins and outs of the things that were said, or not said. I'm more interested in the situation he found himself in: when you find yourself up against it, and people are calling for your resignation or your sacking, do you stay and fight (and risk the sack) or do you bow to the public outcry and hand in your notice?
Certainly being sacked is pretty hard to come back from.Whereas stepping down does seem honorable, and if your faux pas wasn't too bad, it does leave the way clear for a come-back in the future.
On the other hand, if you decide to tough it out, apologise, and appear chastised and as if you have learnt from your mistakes, the calls for your sacking might die down and you will be left in your current position - perhaps slightly weaker, perhaps with a blotted copybook but if you keep your head down for a while it might all blow over and people will forget all about it.
I wonder if any research has been done that shows whether stepping down or being sacked has a more positive outcome in the long run. And I wonder if the outcome is different depending on your chosen industry.