Purpose: Drawing on social learning theory, the purpose of this paper is to explore the mediational effect of affective commitment on the relationship between responsible leadership and intention to quit. Design/methodology/approach: This study applied a two-step process of the structural equation modelling technique to test the proposed hypothesised model. A web-based survey was administered to collect data targeting a sample of 200 full-time Australian employees. Findings: The results suggest that responsible leadership significantly influences employees’ affective commitment and their intention to quit. As predicted, both responsible leadership and affective commitment negatively influenced intention to quit. Notably, the direct influence of responsible leadership on intention to quit was found to be partially mediated by employees’ affective commitment. Practical implications: This study shows how leaders can expect to reduce employees’ intention to quit by leading responsibly through valuing employees’ affective commitment. Originality/value: This study makes a unique contribution to responsible leadership literature by linking it with social learning theory. Moreover, there are only a handful of studies examining responsible leadership and its influence on employees’ behavioural outcomes. This study extends the limited understanding of responsible leadership and its relationship with affective commitment and intention to quit.