Fischler College of Education: Theses and Dissertations

Date of Award

2013

Document Type

Dissertation - NSU Access Only

Degree Name

Doctor of Education (EdD)

Department

Abraham S. Fischler School of Education

Advisor

Sherlyn Poole

Committee Member

Katrina Pann

Committee Member

Mary A. Lowe

Abstract

The researcher developed this applied dissertation to better understand the concept of nonprofit healthcare leader turnover by examining the relationship between perceived leadership style dissimilarity and subsequent leader turnover intentions. The problem to be addressed was that the Florida-based nonprofit healthcare and human service organization under study was suffering from high employee turnover among its leadership personnel. The intent of this study was to formally investigate potential contributing factors to the high leader turnover and make recommendations as to how nonprofit agencies may improve their hiring practices, along with the manner in which they construct leadership teams in order to foster increased leader retention. This study was guided by two foundational theories. The investigation was informed first by attraction-selection-attrition (ASA) theory that posits that individuals and organizations are initially attracted to one another on the basis of perceived similarity, and that subsequent attrition of dissimilar personnel results in increasing organizational homogeneity over time (Schneider, 1987; Schneider, Goldstein, & Smith, 1995). Bass' (1985, 1990) theory of two contrasting leadership styles, transformational versus transactional, provided the second framework for the investigation. The researcher sought to determine the extent to which perceived leadership style dissimilarity between the organization's leaders influenced leaders' subsequent turnover intentions. From a total potential participant pool of 42, the researcher surveyed 33 leaders from the Florida-based nonprofit healthcare organization to study (a) the level of perceived dissimilarity with regard to leadership style between leaders using Bass and Avolio's (2004) Multifactor Leadership Questionnaire (MLQ-5X-S), and (b) the turnover intentions of all leaders at the Florida-based nonprofit healthcare organization using Walsh Ashford, and Hill's (1985) Turnover Intention Scale. A correlation coefficient was calculated to quantify the relationship between perceived leadership style dissimilarity and leaders' turnover intentions. Pearson's r was interpreted to determine the extent to which perceived leadership style dissimilarity was associated with leaders' subsequent turnover intentions. Consistent with previous research, a positive, strong, and statistically significant correlational association was found between perceived leadership style dissimilarity and leaders' subsequent turnover intentions. Implications for related organizational practices, along with recommendations for further research are offered.

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