Does employee development affect propensity to leave?: A study of knowledge workers

by Robinson, Janette Roberts, Ph.D., CAPELLA UNIVERSITY, 2009, 93 pages; 3372711


A knowledge-based economy, which emerged from technological whirlwinds, is centerfold in today's environment. The knowledge economy necessitated a re-energized focus for organizations to redirect their attention on measures to retain skilled employees who often hold tribal knowledge necessary to sustain an organization's competitive advantage. Organizations in the 21st century, who consider their most important asset to be their human capital otherwise known as knowledge workers, found it necessary to nurture the talent of their employees through employee development programs to foster peak performance and maximize the return on human capital. Utilizing 77 knowledge workers, who were members of the National Contract Management Association, this study used as the data collection repository to store data on whether employee development programs affected their propensity to leave their current employment in the next 3, 6, 12, or 24 months. The Mentoring Scale survey by Dreher & Ash (1990) was used to investigate the mentoring relationship between a knowledge worker and their mentor. Propensity to leave was measured using an adapted version of Bluedorn's (1980; 1982c) 8-item index, referred to as the Staying or Leaving Index (SLI). Research focused on mentoring and tuition reimbursement as forms of employee development programs. Findings indicated that knowledge workers do not allow employee development programs in the forms of mentoring and tuition reimbursement to impact their decision to stay or leave their current employment. No evidence was found to support that employers were able to retain their knowledge workers by instituting mentoring relationships or by providing tuition reimbursement.

AdviserMary F. Whitman
Source TypeDissertation
SubjectsManagement; Occupational psychology
Publication Number3372711

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