Theses and Dissertations

Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Education (EdD)


Abraham S. Fischler College of Education


Gloria J. Kieley

Committee Member

Gina L. Peyton


This quantitative research method study of the organizational culture preferred by physician assistant graduate students was designed to explore how organizational culture can affect the retention of Millennial employees. Millennials will make up approximately 50% of the global workforce by 2020, so it is important to understand how organizational culture can influence Millennials’ willingness to stay with an organization. The problem addressed involved the inability of organizations to retain Millennials beyond their 2 years of being hired, which occurs because the values of the organizations do not align with the work values of Millennials.

After extensive literature review on the characteristics and work values of Millennials, Person-Organization Fit, Competitive Values Framework, and organizational culture, the researcher developed this study to add to the current literature and to help move the research closer to making generalizations regarding the workplace values and organizational culture preferences of Millennials. The Lyons Work Values Survey was used to explore what work values were important to Millennial physician assistant graduate students. Additionally, the researcher developed a single-item question survey that was used to discover the preferred organizational culture of these Millennial graduate students. Organizations that are aware of this information will be well equipped to create the type of culture needed to retain Millennial employees longer than 2 years after they are hired.

The findings from this research study can be used to create a culture that will retain Millennials. Because work values and organizational culture appear to have a strong positive relationship, it may be beneficial for organizations to initially identify their organizational culture and then explore the work values of their potential and current employees. These actions will give organizations the information needed to ascertain if value congruence exists between employee and the organizational culture. If value congruence does not exist, then the organization has to decide what needs to be done to keep its employees.