Transitioning from the military to civilian employment: A qualitative phenomenological study on involuntarily separating U.S. Army soldiers

by Smith, Doretha L., D.B.A., CAPELLA UNIVERSITY, 2015, 144 pages; 3745483


This study explored U.S. Army soldiers transitional experiences while being involuntarily separated to find civilian employment. For this study, the qualitative methodology was a phenomenological approach with 20 U.S. Army participants, using purposive sampling procedures. Data collection included in-depth, face-to-face semi- structured interviews, field notes to determine patterns and themes. The use of the Modified Stevick-Colaizzi-Keen method for this phenomenological study was because of the uniqueness of the method and the clear descriptions of the steps. This study answered the overarching research question: What challenges do involuntarily separating U.S. Army soldiers experience in career transitioning from the military to civilian employment? Data was transcribed into NVIVO10 qualitative software to analyze the data. Six themes emerged that were key to a successful experience from the data: The experiences provided a perspective of employment challenges and the impact of those challenges towards adapting to the transitional change, sustaining valuable benefits, building support systems and networking, and maintaining a transition strategy. The research in this area is very limited and can contribute to the gap in the body of knowledge on transitional employment challenges and the impact of involuntary separation of U.S. Army soldiers. The gap can contribute to the Transition and Career Counseling theory for future researchers to build and expand upon. This study focuses as a start in educating researchers in exploring what challenges may affect the involuntarily separating soldier during their transition to civilian employment.

AdviserLaura Hutt
Source TypeDissertation
SubjectsBusiness administration; Management; Military studies
Publication Number3745483

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