Date of Award

Summer 2019

Degree Type

Dissertation

Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)

School

Interdisciplinary Studies and Professional Development

Committee Chair

Dr. Cyndi H. Gaudet

Committee Chair School

Interdisciplinary Studies and Professional Development

Committee Member 2

Dr. Heather M. Annulis

Committee Member 2 School

Interdisciplinary Studies and Professional Development

Committee Member 3

Dr. H. Quincy Brown

Committee Member 3 School

Interdisciplinary Studies and Professional Development

Committee Member 4

Dr. Dale L. Lunsford

Committee Member 4 School

Interdisciplinary Studies and Professional Development

Abstract

Unemployment has fallen to 3.7%, the lowest level in 50 years (United States Department of Labor, 2019a). Additionally, 6.9 million jobs are left unfilled (United States Department of Labor, 2019b). A workforce gap has developed between the number of available, qualified workers and the number of jobs that need to be filled (United States Department of Labor, 2019b). This gap has created a new reality for millions of workers who are experiencing unprecedented competition for their talent, which also brings an unprecedented challenge for business owners and managers to find new and better ways to recruit, motivate, and retain talent (Carnevale & Smith, 2017).

In order to better understand the experience of employees in this new environment, this study surveyed a highly skilled and in-demand workforce, air conditioning mechanics, to determine the relationship between the three components of organizational commitment (desire, cost, and obligation) and two outcomes of organizational commitment (discretionary effort and intent to turnover). The Three Component Model of Organizational Commitment (Meyer & Allen, 1991) and Self-Determination Theory (Deci & Ryan, 2012) formed the theoretical foundations of the study. The study found a statistically significant relationship between the commitment component desire to discretionary effort and the commitment component obligation to discretionary effort.

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