Why this Research Topic?

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Turnover at the North Mississippi Regional Center Formal Case Study Presentation

Student’s Name

February 21, 2015

MPA 613

Dr. Ervin Martin

I. Organizational Overview & Focus

A. Statement of purpose

To review and examine the issue of turnover and retention at the North Mississippi Regional Center.

The researcher selected this issue to achieve two goals:

Promote stewardship with taxpayer dollars

Highlight how government intervention can affect employment decisions and employment motivation

“For a bishop, as God’s steward, must be blameless; he must not be arrogant or quick tempered or addicted to wine or be violent or greedy for gain” (Titus 1:7-9).

I. Organizational Overview & Focus

B. Research Question

Does the public sector “red tape” and inability to compensate employees adequately hinder North Mississippi Regional Center’s (NMRC) ability to recruit and retain experienced employees?

“No one can serve two masters; for a slave will either hate the one and love the other, or be devoted to one and despise the other. You cannot serve God and wealth” (Matthew 6:24)

I. Organizational Overview & Focus

C. Hypothesis

The abundance of “red tape” and the State of Mississippi’s inability to compensate employees appropriately hindered the recruitment and retention capabilities of the NMRC. Furthermore, skilled/experienced employees were hard to recruit due to low wages.

“Now to one who works, wages are not

reckoned as a gift, but as something due”

(Romans 4:4)

I. Organizational Overview & Focus

D. Plan of Study

1. Major Descriptive Tasks

Selected a topic

Developed a statement of purpose

Formed a hypothesis

Reviewed secondary literature

Sorted secondary literature

Developed data collection methods

Identified participants for interviews

Drafted questionnaires and interviews

Created confidentiality agreements

Distributed questionnaires

2. Working Objectives

Completed the literature review

Conducted interviews

Gathered and interpreted results from the questionnaires

Interpreted interviews into usable data

Created a draft of the case study showing the findings and recommendations

“Everyone then who hears these words of mine and acts on them will be like a wise man who built his house on rock. The rain fell, the floods came, the winds blew and beat on that house, but it did not fall, because it had been founded on rock” (Matthew 24: 24-25)

II. Theoretical Perspective

Existing Base of Knowledge

The existing base of knowledge the researcher contributed to with this research is turnover and retention within state government organizations.

“The mind of one who has understanding seeks knowledge, but the mouths of fools feed on folly” (Proverbs 15:14)

II. Theoretical Perspective

A. Literature Review

Blank, R. (1985). An Analysis of Worker’s Choice between Employment in the Public and Private Sectors. Industrial and Labor Relations Review, 38(2), 211-224. doi:10.2307/2523830.

Bright, L. (2008). Does Public Service Motivation Really Make a Difference on the Job Satisfaction and Turnover Intention of Public Employees? The American Review of Public Administration, 38, 149-166. doi: 10.1177/0275074008317248.

Eichler, A. (2011, November 3). Public sector is losing jobs at the same rate as private sector adding them. The Huffington Post. Retrieved from http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2011/11/03/ public-sector-jobs_n_1074106.html.

Hacker, C. A. (2003). Turnover: A Silent Profit Killer. Information Systems Management, 20(2), 14.

Blank (1985) contributes to the existing base of knowledge by highlighting employment motivators that drive an individual’s decision to work for the private/public sectors. Additionally, the research states that more educated individuals tend to choose the public over the private sector (Blank, 1985). This study directly contradicts the researcher’s hypothesis that more experienced/educated individuals are choosing the private sector due to low wages in the public sector.

Bright (2008) discusses the topic of public service motivation (PSM) and how it affects and individual’s intentions to turnover. As PSM increases, the likelihood that an employee will turnover decreases at the same rate (Bright, 2008). This study will contribute to my research by describing the affect motivation may have on employment decisions of an individual. To further this study, the researcher attempted to discover the actual motivators that drive PSM, therefore increasing the likelihood of retention.

The article shows that private sector jobs are increasing at the same rate public sector jobs are decreasing (Eichler, 2011). In 2011 alone, the number of jobs in the private sector increased by 1.2% while jobs in the public sector decreased by 1.2% (Eichler, 2011). From this research, we can see that the public sector is consistently losing employees while the private sector is gaining employees.

The article by Hacker (2003) contributes to the existing base of knowledge by highlighting the additional costs an organization incurs due to an elevated turnover rate. Some of the additional costs include a decrease in employee motivation/morale, a decrease in the quality of services provided, an increase in the amount of job related stress for employees, and a loss of knowledge due to experienced employees leaving the organization (Hacker, 2003).

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II. Theoretical Perspective

A. Literature Review cont.

Lewis, G. B., & Frank, S. A. (2002). Who Wants to Work for the Government?. Public Administration Review, 62(4), 395-404.

Michaels, C. E., & Spector, P. E. (1982). Causes of Employee Turnover: A Test of the Mobley, Griffeth, Hand, and Meglino Model. Journal Of Applied Psychology, 67(1), 53-59. doi:10.1037/0021-9010.67.1.53.

Perry, J. & Buckwalter, N. (2010). The Public Service of the Future. Public Administration Review, 70s238-s245. doi:10.1111/j.1540-6210.2010.02283.x.

Pettus, E. (January 9, 2014). Mississippi state employee pay lags, personnel director says. The Commercial Appeal. Retrieved May 13, 2014 from http://www.commercialappeal.com/news/2014/jan/09/mississippi-state-employee-pay-lags-personnel/.

Lewis & Frank (2002) offer an alternate view of retention and turnover in the public and private sectors. According to the study, the preference to work for the private/public sectors may be a product of demographics. Minorities, veterans, Democrats, and older generations prefer to work for the public over the private sector (Lewis & Frank, 2002). Likewise, the study finds that whites, nonveterans, Republicans, and the younger generations all prefer to work for the private sector (Lewis & Frank, 2002). This study contradicts the researcher’s claim that employment preference is based on incentives and compensation, but provides an alternate theory for turnover and retention.

The purpose of the research conducted by Michaels & Spector (1982) was to uncover the direct causes of turnover. The study found that categories including job satisfaction, compensation, perceived job characteristics/expectations, age, and leadership consideration all play key roles in an individuals decision to terminate their employment (Michaels & Spector, 1982).

According to their study, Perry & Buckwalter (2010) state that the public service will face difficulties with recruitment and retention due to low salaries for government employees. As budgets for state government organizations continue to dwindle, we will continue to see high skilled and experienced employees transfer to the private sector (Perry & Buckwalter, 2010). This study contributes to the existing base of knowledge by recognizing the necessary actions that must be taken to allow the public sector to competitively recruit against the private sector.

In the article, Pettus (2014) highlights state government employment statistics for Mississippi as well as neighboring states. Mississippi government employees earn an average of $9,108.00 less per year than government employees in our neighboring states (Pettus, 2014). Additionally, 62% of Mississippi government employees earn less than $34,506.00 per year and approximately 67% of state employees left their jobs within five years (Pettus, 2014). The article contributes to the base of knowledge by identifying the current problem with employment in the Mississippi state government. Why would employees stay with these state organizations if they can travel to a neighboring state and earn $9,000.00 more per year?

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II. Theoretical Perspective

A. Literature Review cont.

Weisenthall, J. (June 8, 2012). The chart: public sector vs. private sector employment. In Business Insider. Retrieved April 17, 2014, from http://www.businessinsider.com/the-chart-public-sector-vs-private-sector-employment-2012-6.

Wright, B. E. (2001). Public Sector Work Motivation: A Review of the Current Literature Model and a Revised Conceptual Model. Journal Of Public Administration Research & Theory, 11(4), 559.

“An intelligent mind acquires knowledge, and the ear of the wise seeks knowledge. A gift opens doors, it gives access to the great. The one who first states a case seems right, until the other comes and cross-examines. Casting the lot puts an end to disputes and decides between powerful contenders” (Proverbs 18:15-18)

Weisenthall (2012) provides a chart expressing the number of employees in the public and private sectors over a two year period. The chart reinforces the researcher’s claim that state employees are transferring to the private sector at an alarming rate. The number of public employees has been on a steady decline since 2012, while the number of private sector employees has been on a steady incline (Weisenthall, 2012).

Wright (2001) discusses the effectiveness of motivation within any organization. A lack of motivation negatively affects productivity, retention, and organizational efficiency (Wright, 2001). Additionally, employee motivation is directly impacted by the motivation of the supervisors (Wright, 2001). In other words, the employees will only be as motivated as their bosses. This article contributes to the existing base of knowledge by showing the emphasis public administrators should place on motivation in the workplace. A lack of motivation can harm and potentially ruin an organization over time.

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III. Research Methodology

“The appetite of the lazy craves, and gets nothing, while the appetite of the diligent is richly supplied” (Proverbs 13:4)

A. Primary Data Collection

To gather primary data, the researcher utilized three data collection methods in an attempt to triangulate his findings. These methods included interviews with public administrators (at least twenty), questionnaires (at least 100), and first-hand observations in the Human Resources (HR) Department at the NMRC.

1. Protocol

Quantitative

Questionnaires (at least 100)

Qualitative

Interviews (at least 20)

Observations (continuous within the HR Department)

Questionnaires were distributed to new, current, and departing employees from the NMRC. The researcher collected 135 responses in order to obtain accurate information. The responses were then translated into quantitative data and expressed graphically.

At least 20 interviews were conducted with public administrators and interpreted into qualitative data. The researcher then compared the findings to those from the questionnaire to gain two different perspectives of turnover and retention (employee and administrator).

Observations were also conducted on a continuous basis within the HR Department at the NMRC. Since the researcher worked in the HR Department, he was able to make observations of terminations and transfers throughout the course of the year.

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III. Research Methodology

2. Primary Sources of Data

Interviews: Executive Director Assistant Director Director of Resident Living Director of Human Resources Director of Psychological & Behavioral Services Director of Social Services Director of Business Services Director of Risk Management Director of Medical Services Director of Nursing Director of Recreation Therapy Director of Payroll Director of Education Director of Community Transition Services Director of Community Support Services Director of Support Coordination/IDD Waiver Director of Staff Development Director of Diagnostic Services Previous Human Resources Director Previous Executive Director

III. Research Methodology

2. Primary Sources of Data cont.

Questionnaires:

At least 100 questionnaires were distributed to existing and departing staff members at the NMRC.

3. Secondary Sources of Data

Peer reviewed journals

Online articles

Newspapers

Internet journals

Mississippi State Personnel Board

III. Research Methodology

B. Data Management and Analyses

The researcher used deductive reasoning. The information collected from questionnaires were translated into quantitative data. Data was then broken down into demographical categories and compared with employment motivators and turnover intentions, which were indicated by the respondent in the same questionnaire.

Information gathered from the structured interviews and observations were interpreted into qualitative data. This data was compiled using deductive reasoning to identify trends recognized by public administrators affiliated with the NMRC. These responses were compared to the questionnaires to gain multiple perspectives on motivation and turnover.

“Honor the Lord with your substance and with the first fruits of all your produce; then your barns will be filled with plenty, and your vats will be bursting with wine” (Proverbs 3:9-10)

III. Research Methodology

C. Case Study Discussion

Primary Advantages Most practical way to learn managerial skills first-hand (Martin, 2011). Case studies are based on “lived realities” (Hodkinson & Hodkinson, 2001, p.4) Case studies use descriptive qualities to explicitly describe a subject or phenomenon (Martin, 2011). Universal Advantages Provides an in depth observation and analysis of a particular subject or occurrence (McLeod, 2008). Establish a foundation for which future research can be based (McLeod, 2008). Test to either confirm or deny existing theories on the subject being researched (Garger, 2013).

“…and let endurance have its full effect, so that you may be mature and complete, lacking in nothing” (James 1:4)

III. Research Methodology

C. Case Study Discussion cont.

Primary Limitations Time – as a graduate student, the researcher had a finite time period to complete this research (Martin, 2011). Monetary resources –the graduate researcher was unable to conduct research at the scale of large firms (Martin, 2011). The findings were exclusive for the NMRC and not translatable to other organizations. Universal Limitation Case studies are not easily replicated (McLeod, 2008). Difficult, if not impossible, to make generalizations and transfer findings from one case to another (McLeod, 2008). Case studies are more time consuming and expensive than other research methods (McLeod, 2008).

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IV. Research Case Study Presentation

Questionnaires

To ensure accurate results, the researcher distributed approximately 300 questionnaires to current and departing employees of the NMRC from January 1 to December 31, 2014.

Only 135 of the 300 questionnaires were returned to the researcher (45% response rate).

Most questionnaires returned were distributed and completed in the researcher’s office at the NMRC.

Each participant was informed that any information provided would remain strictly confidential.

“The appetite of the lazy craves, and gets

nothing, while the appetite of the diligent is

richly supplied” (Proverbs 13:4)

IV. Research Case Study Presentation

Questionnaires continued

The researcher then translated all information received into quantitative data.

Once translated, the data was expressed in graphical form.

Graphs allowed the researcher to take note of any trends with employment or turnover motivators.

Turnover percentages based on position type (permanent vs. contractual) were also noted.

IV. Research Case Study Presentation

Interviews

The researcher conducted 20 interviews with individuals in administrative/supervisory roles at the NMRC throughout 2014.

Participants were selected based purely on their willingness to participate in the study.

Questions were close-ended and structured to avoid straying from the subject at hand.

All interviews were conducted either by phone or in the researcher’s office after working hours.

“Lying lips are an abomination to

the Lord, but those who act faithfully

are his delight” (Proverbs 12:22)

IV. Research Case Study Presentation

Interviews continued

Information gathered during interviews were translated into qualitative data.

Comparisons were then made between questionnaire responses from employees and interview responses from supervisors.

The purpose of the interviews was to discover if a discrepancy exists between an employee’s reasons for turnover and a supervisor’s beliefs of the causes of turnover.

IV. Research Case Study Presentation

Observations

Researcher made continuous observations of turnover and the affects policies had on turnover from January to December of 2014.

Observations allowed the researcher to compare data collected through interviews and questionnaires to see if they were consistent with what was actually witnessed.

The researcher also observed turnover records from the NMRC for the last five fiscal years and viewed various employment policies in place at those particular times.

Information was then translated into qualitative data and compared to the data collected in other primary collection methods.

Observations gave the researcher one additional perspective of turnover at the NMRC.

“Let the wise also hear and gain in learning, and the discerning acquire skill” (Proverbs 1:5)

V. Findings

Researcher found the turnover rate for the NMRC is 2014 was 29.85%.

After looking at the questionnaire responses, the researcher noticed that 72 individuals, more than half of the participants, indicated they left for compensatory reasons.

Another 37 individuals left for better advancement opportunities and 43 for better benefits.

“Masters, treat your slaves justly

and fairly, for you know that you

also have a Master in heaven”

(Colossians 4:1)

V. Findings

In a second study, the researcher compared turnover rates for permanent employees (lower rate of pay/benefits) and contractual employees (higher rate of pay/no benefits). Both types of employees worked in the same department and performed the same tasks.

The 2014 turnover rate for permanent employees was 28.71% while only 12% for contractual employees.

In total, 280 permanent employees left NMRC in 2014 and only 11 contractual employees departed.

The chart on the next slide shows the turnover for both employees in graph form.

V. Findings

Once the researcher gathered data from the interviews, he found that 20% of those interviewed stated they consistently lost employees for compensatory reasons.

Consequently, the 20% that made this statement are the departments that contributed most to the turnover rate at the NMRC.

In 2014, the Psychology Department at the NMRC lost approximately half of their employees.

“Pay to all what is due to them – taxes to whom taxes are due, revenue to whom revenue is due, respect to whom respect is due, and honor to whom honor is due” (Romans 13:7

V. Findings

The studies conducted by the researcher confirms that government “red tape” hinders NMRC’s ability to recruit and retain experienced employees.

Furthermore, the study also confirms the hypothesis that inability to compensate appropriately is a major contributing factor to the turnover rate at the NMRC.

Finally, this case study confirms existing studies conducted by Michaels & Spector (1982) and Bright (2008) that compensation is a major contributor to employment and turnover motivation.

“Now to the one who works, wages are

not reckoned as a gift but as something

due” (Romans 4:4)

References

Blank, R. (1985). An Analysis of Worker’s Choice between Employment in the Public and Private Sectors. Industrial and Labor Relations Review, 38(2), 211-224. doi: 10.2307/2523830.

Bright, L. (2008). Does Public Service Motivation Really Make a Difference on the Job Satisfaction and Turnover Intention of Public Employees? The American Review of Public Administration, 38, 149-166. doi: 10.1177/0275074008317248.

Eichler, A. (2011, November 3). Public sector is losing jobs at the same rate as private sector adding them. The Huffington Post. Retrieved from http:// www.huffingtonpost.com/2011/11/03/ public-sector- jobs_n_1074106.html.

Garger, J. (2013, August 20). Using the Case Study Method in PhD Research. . Retrieved June 3, 2014, from http:// www.brighthub.com/education/postgraduate/articles/ 77789.aspx.

References

Hacker, C. A. (2003). Turnover: A Silent Profit Killer. Information Systems Management, 20(2), 14.

Hodkinson, P. & Hodkinson, H. (2001, December). The strengths and limitations of case study research. Paper presented to the Learning and Skills Development Agency conference. Cambridge, England.

Lewis, G. B., & Frank, S. A. (2002). Who Wants to Work for the Government?. Public Administration Review, 62(4), 395-404.

McLeod, S. (2008). Case Study Method in Psychology. . Retrieved June 3, 2014, from http:// www.simplypsychology.org/case-study.html.

References

Martin, E. (2011). Lecture 6: The Applications of Case Study Research [Video]. Retrieved from Belhaven University Research Method – Project II: http://cybergate.belhaven.edu/ course/view.php?id=18540.

Michaels, C. E., & Spector, P. E. (1982). Causes of Employee Turnover: A Test of the Mobley, Griffeth, Hand, and Meglino Model. Journal Of Applied Psychology, 67(1), 53-59. doi: 10.1037/0021-9010.67.1.53.

Perry, J. & Buckwalter, N. (2010). The Public Service of the Future. Public Administration Review, 70s238-s245. doi:10.1111/j. 1540-6210.2010.02283.x.

Pettus, E. (January 9, 2014). Mississippi state employee pay lags, personnel director says. The Commercial Appeal. Retrieved May 13, 2014 from http://www.commercialappeal.com/news/ 2014/jan/09/mississippi-state-employee-pay-lags-personnel/.

References

The Holy Bible (New Revised Standard Version)

Weisenthall, J. (June 8, 2012). The chart: public sector vs. private sector employment. In Business Insider. Retrieved April 17, 2014, from http:// www.businessinsider.com/the-chart-public-sector- vs-private-sector-employment-2012-6.

Wright, B. E. (2001). Public Sector Work Motivation: A Review of the Current Literature Model and a Revised Conceptual Model. Journal Of Public Administration Research & Theory, 11(4), 559.