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The application of Maslach and Leiter's theory of burnout of intended turnover among disability services staff in four-year colleges and universities in North Carolina

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The application of Maslach and Leiter's theory of burnout of intended turnover among disability services staff in four-year colleges and universities in North Carolina
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Disabilities ( jstor )
Exhaustion ( jstor )
Higher education ( jstor )
Labor ( jstor )
Special needs students ( jstor )
Work life ( jstor )
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Educational Leadership, Policy and Foundations thesis, Ph. D
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Includes bibliographical references.
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by Kelly A. Norton.

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THE APPLICABILITY OF MASLACH AND LEITER'S THEORY OF BURNOUT
TO INTENDED TURNOVER AMONG DISABILITY SERVICES STAFF IN FOUR-YEAR COLLEGES AND UNIVERSITIES IN NORTH CAROLINA














By

KELLY A. NORTON


A DISSERTATION PRESENTED TO THE GRADUATE SCHOOL OF THE UNIVERSITY OF FLORIDA IN PARTIAL FULFILLMENT
OF THE REQUIREMENTS FOR THE DEGREE OF
DOCTOR OF PHILOSOPHY

UNIVERSITY OF FLORIDA


2004




























Copyright 2004

by

Kelly A. Norton















ACKNOWLEDGMENTS

I would like to thank everyone who has contributed to the completion of this

dissertation. Specifically, I thank my parents, Steve and Kay, for their unwavering faith in my educational journey and for their invaluable encouragement, at all hours of the day or night. I also thank my brother Kevin, my sister-in-law Carla, and my nephew Clay for rearranging their lives at times to accommodate my academic and professional dreams. I am truly fortunate to have a brother who pushes me to finish what I start, even when the words sound harsh. I also thank my grandparents and my uncle, Martin Tallent, who instilled in me the urgency to learn everything I can, at any cost.

I thank my close friends and colleagues for their encouragement and genuine

sincerity. Leigh Ann Elgin and Mindy Salyer have been constant sources of enthusiasm, especially when my confidence began to fade. I have been fortunate to have Stacy Jacobs as a mainstay during the many stages of this project. I thank staff from the University of Florida's Disability Resources and High Point University's Academic Services and Academic Development for inspiration and direction in this project. I thank my past mentors: Mary Howard-Hamilton, Bernie Young, Dave Kragel, and Doyle Dunlap.

Finally, I thank my dissertation committee, Lamont Flowers, David Honeyman, James Pitts, and particularly my chair, Art Sandeen, for their patience, flexibility, guidance, and sincerity. I am honored to work alongside them on this project, and I thank them for sharing their lives with me.















TABLE OF CONTENTS


ACKNOWLEDGMENTS....................................................................... iii

LIST OF TABLES................................................................................vi

LIST OF FIGURES.............................................................................. vii

A B STR A C T .......................................................................................vmiii

CHAPTER

1 INTRODUCTION....................................................................... 1

Statement of the Problem...............................................................3
Theoretical Background.................................................................7
Purpose of the Study.................................................................... 9
Overview of Research Methodology.................................................. 10
Definition of Terms...................................................................... 11
Delimitations and Limitations..........................................................12
Organization of the Study.............................................................. 12

2 REVIEW OF THE LITERATURE.................................................... 14

Turnover and Personality.............................................................14
Turnover and Motivational Theory....................................................14
Turnover and Job Satisfaction......................................................... 16
Employee-Organization Linkages................................................... 18
Intended Turnover.......................................................................19
B urnout Theory..........................................................................19
Areas of Organizational Life.................................................. 20
Engagement with Work...................................................... 23
Areas of Management Policy..................................................24
Areas of High Turnover and Burnout.................................................28
Disability Services Staff................................................................ 30









3 METHODOLOGY....................................................................... 31

Sam ple.....................................................................................31
Instrum entation.......................................................................... 31
Areas of Worklife Survey..................................................... 32
Maslach Burnout Inventory-Educators Survey...........................33
Continued Employment Questionnaire......................................35
D ata C ollection.......................................................................... 35
D ata A nalysis.............................................................................36
Summary of Methodology.............................................................. 37

4 R E SU LT S................................................................................ 38

Response Rate............................................................................38
Demographic Information..............................................................39
Research Questions......................................................................40
Summary of Results.....................................................................42

5 SUMMARY AND DISCUSSION.....................................................44

Summary of Major Findings............................................................46
Conclusions and Implications..........................................................48
Suggestions for Further Research..................................................... 49

REFERENCE LIST.............................................................................. 51

BIOGRAPHICAL SKETCH.................................................................. 56
























v















LIST OF TABLES


Table

3-1 Areas of Worklife Survey normative values, including
mean, standard deviation, and alpha level............................................ 33

3-2 Maslach Burnout Inventory subscale normative values,
mean and standard deviation, for the overall sample and
postsecondary education occupational subgroup...................................35

4-1 Mean and standard deviation of the responses given by
participants for the Areas of Worklife Survey, the
Continued Employment Questionnaire, and the MBI-ES.............................40

4-2 Relationships between the six areas of worklife and
intended turnover within one, three, and five years................................41

4-3 Relationships between the areas of worklife and the
subscales of burnout..........................................................................41















LIST OF FIGURES


Figure

2-1 The relationship among management processes and
structures, areas of organizational life, and engagement
w ith w ork...................................................................................... 27

3-1 The theorized relationship among the areas of worklife,
feelings of burnout, and intended turnover...........................................37














Abstract of Dissertation Presented to the Graduate School
of the University of Florida in Partial Fulfillment of the Requirements for the Degree of Doctor of Philosophy



THE APPLICABILITY OF MASLACH AND LEITER'S THEORY OF BURNOUT TO INTENDED TURNOVER AMONG DISABILITY SERVICES STAFF
IN FOUR-YEAR COLLEGES AND UNIVERSITIES IN NORTH CAROLINA By

Kelly A. Norton

May 2004


Chair: Arthur Sandeen
Major Department: Educational Leadership, Policy and Foundations

Maslach and Leiter's theory of burnout suggests that stressful working conditions contribute to a high turnover rate. They identified six areas of organizational worklife: workload, control, reward, community, fairness, and values. They concluded that burnout is the negative extreme of each of these areas. Therefore, the six sources of burnout are work overload, lack of control, insufficient reward, breakdown of community, unfairness, and value conflict. The purpose of this study was to examine how Maslach and Leiter's theory of burnout may explain the intended turnover among disability services staff in colleges and universities. The study looked at participants' work environments in relation to the six areas of organizational worklife and the likelihood that participants will leave their current positions.








The results of this study do not support disability services in higher education as an area of high intended turnover. The results show that, on average, disability services staff members in North Carolina do not perceive themselves to be faced with the six sources of burnout. Such feelings occur in low frequencies. High amounts of work are related to feelings of emotional exhaustion; however, on average, emotional exhaustion by itself is not enough to sway a disability services staff member to decide to leave a position. Value conflict is also related to feelings of emotional exhaustion, depersonalization of students, and low personal accomplishment. Like work overload, such conflict alone is not strong enough to prompt employees to leave their positions.















CHAPTER 1
INTRODUCTION

The turnover of personnel within academic and administrative departments of colleges and universities poses a multi-faceted problem and often comes at a high cost, financial and personal, to the person leaving as well as to those who remain. Staff members who choose to leave must find and adjust to new surroundings, new coworkers, and new management. Remaining staff must compensate for the departing person, distributing tasks as necessary, and then adjust to a new staff member in the position.

Several theories have attempted to explain the reasons that professionals choose to leave a particular work situation. Previous research on turnover has focused on personality traits, such as narcissists and rigid perfectionists with unrealistically high standards that lead to a person not being able to sustain the work level required to complete the job-related tasks (Grosch & Olsen, 1994; Jevne & Williams, 1998). Whether the reason was poor work ethic, lack of mental or physical strength, or simply not having the fortitude to persevere, the person leaving the position was to blame. The person was said to have burned out.

More recent research has taken a different approach to employee turnover (Maslach & Leiter, 1997). Maslach and Leiter examined the issues of turnover and burnout from an environmental perspective. Their research indicates that personality is not necessarily the cause of the decision to leave. Instead, the position itself may involve numerous environmental characteristics that eventually lead an employee to leave.








Moos (1979) discussed the importance of evaluating the physical, human aggregate, organizational structure, and perceptual aspects of a given environment. Although no research has created a formal link between Moos's notion of environment to theories of turnover, Moos's perspective plays a key role in examining the working conditions of an office. More specifically, it provides the means by which the environment can be examined for influences on intended turnover.

Many colleges and universities have extensive student affairs programs, and

turnover occurs in all areas of student affairs. Entry-level positions function as starting points that often lead to positions with more responsibility, more leadership, and higher salary. Most student affairs professionals enter the field having recently completed graduate programs. Within residence life, such entry-level positions include residence hall directors and assistant area coordinators. Within counseling and advising, recent graduates may enter part-time or administrative support positions. Within academic support, professionals in entry-level positions may work in a tutorial program or writing center, conduct study halls, supervise computer labs, plan and implement disability accommodations, or any combination of these duties.

Very little research has been conducted on the employment trends of new professionals in student affairs (Rosser & Javinar, 2003), yet one can speculate that turnover in these positions may be related to a desire to ascend within the profession. New professionals often accept entry-level positions based on future potential-the opportunity to learn and gain exposure to campus issues and establish their own professional reputations.








Outside the expected ladder-climbing, both new and seasoned professionals may choose to leave their positions because of the conditions of the positions themselves. High stress, heavy workload, and lack of recognition are just a few of the ways in which poor working conditions may be related to turnover. If the difficulties experienced in the workplace are perceived to be not worth the compensation or incentives, employees may choose to leave.

Statement of the Problem

The 1994 National Health Interview Survey estimates that 39.1 million

Americans, or 15 percent, have a disability, making people with disabilities the largest minority group in the country (Kaye, 1997). This number has steadily increased since the 1970s.The population of students with disabilities has also increased. An American Council on Education study estimates that approximately six percent of first-time, fulltime students enrolled at four-year institutions during fall 2000 reported having one or more disabilities (Henderson, 2001). Between 1988 and 2000, the number of entering freshmen reporting disabilities at four-year institutions varied between six and eight percent, up from three percent in 1978 (Henderson, 2001).

Disability services offices at colleges and universities assist these students by providing equal access to classroom learning, resource and testing materials, campus events, and other aspects of college life. For most students with disabilities, equal access to academic materials and institutional services and programs involves the implementation of one or more accommodations, or slight modifications to the way services are provided. Classroom accommodations may require staff to hire note-takers and captionists; schedule exam proctors, readers, and scribes; and make textbooks and








other classroom materials accessible, by converting print material to enlarged font, Braille, electronic text, or audio format. Non-academic accommodations may include locating wheelchair-accessible classrooms and housing, scheduling interpreters for special events, and training faculty and staff about disability-related issues. The workrelated demands made of disability services staff may create stressful working conditions. However, the area of disability services is not noted in the literature as an area that exhibits high rates of turnover. It is the responsibility of disability services staff to decide which students qualify for accommodations as well as to plan and implement those accommodations.

The daily responsibilities of disability services staff include assuring that the accommodations made provide equal access to students with disabilities. In some situations, disability services staff provide all accommodations. On many campuses, disability services are delegated, in part, to faculty, academic department staff, and staff from other student affairs offices. However, the obligations of the accommodation process ultimately fall on the disability services staff, regardless of who actually implements the accommodations. The responsibility of whether that accommodation is properly and effectively executed is that of the disability services staff. When there is a dispute over accommodations, the policies and operation of the disability services area are often placed under intense departmental, institutional, and legal scrutiny.

While other areas within student affairs can limit the services offered to students, disability services offices are driven by legal mandates. Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 prohibited the exclusion, based solely on disability status, of people with disabilities from participating in or being denied the benefits of any service or program








that receives federal funding (Rehabilitation Act, 1973). The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) of 1990 extended the non-discrimination legislation to include public and private institutions of higher education (Americans with Disabilities Act, 1990). Colleges and universities that receive federal funding or participate in Title IV federal student loan programs are legally mandated to provide equal access for students with disabilities. During the 2001-2002 academic year, ADA law governed more than 4,000 American colleges and universities (The Chronicle of Higher Education, 2003). Since the enforcement of ADA legislation in 1992, higher education institutions have been required to ensure equal access for students with disabilities.

In many ways, the work environments of disability services staff resemble those of two other professional areas: 1) special education coordinators in elementary and secondary schools and 2) developmental educators in colleges and universities. Special education coordinators are trained to deal specifically with students' disabilities. They are viewed and treated as auxiliary staff, whose services are made available to a relatively low percentage of the school's student population. They must be creative in meeting students' needs in a limited amount of time and usually with a limited amount of funding. They must build professional relationships with teachers in order to ensure that students' accommodations are being delivered as prescribed. When time or resources are short, the responsibility of implementing accommodations falls on the special education staff. The loss of a staff member within this area obviously increases the difficulty of meeting the needs of students with disabilities.

The duties and responsibilities of developmental educators at colleges and

universities also resemble those of disability services staff. The existence of remediation








in higher education has been and continues to be an issue of debate. Developmental educators augment previous educational deficiencies, primarily among first- and secondyear students. Such offices provide educational assistance to students who lack the basic skills necessary to be successful in college-level courses. The precarious position in which existing developmental educators find themselves creates a great deal of stress. Like special education coordinators, developmental educators often work with a limited number of at-risk students and with limited space and funding, especially at institutions with missions that focus on graduate study and research. Some institutions have disbanded remediation programs altogether.

This link among special education coordinators, developmental educators, and

disability services staff is drawn to show the similarities in job responsibilities in the two areas. Research has shown that turnover of professionals within special education is high (Abelson, 1986; Banks & Necco, 1990; Boe, Cook, Bobbitt, & Terhanian, 1998; Cooley & Yovanoff, 1996; Fore, Martin, & Bender, 2002; Lawrenson & McKinnon, 1982; Singh & Billingsley, 1996). High turnover is also common among developmental educators in higher education (Nieves & Hartman, 2002). To date, no information is available about turnover among disability services staff in higher education. Maslach and Leiter's theory of burnout suggests that poor environmental conditions contribute to a high turnover rate. An environmental examination of disability services may be useful in testing the viability of Maslach Leiter's theory. There is a good deal of concern among professionals in disability services in higher education about the turnover of staff in that area of student affairs.








Theoretical Background

Intention to leave has been found to be the strongest predictor of actual turnover (Bluedorn, 1982a, 1982b; Steel & Ovalle, 1984; Tanaomi, 1990). However, turnover does not always imply burnout, nor does burnout always lead to turnover. A person may leave a position for any number of reasons ranging from salary to supervisory experience to support for professional development. Additionally, personal or familial issues may require the person to leave a position. On the other hand, some people can function successfully, over an extended period of time, in what a reasonable person would consider poor working conditions, without exhibiting the most common sign of burnout-leaving.

Maslach and Leiter (1997) identified six areas of organizational worklife:

workload, control, reward, community, fairness, and values. They conclude that burnout is the negative extreme of each of these areas. Therefore, the six sources of burnout are work overload, lack of control, insufficient reward, breakdown of community, unfairness, and value conflict. Work overload is the demand to accomplish much in little time and with scarce resources. In an effort to combat increased workload, professionals often increase time dedicated to a project, contribute personal resources to compensate for funding deficiencies, and sacrifice professional excellence for functionality. Over a short period of time, such compensatory actions may succeed. However, work overload exists in environments that require additional attention and resources indefinitely. Work becomes more intense as the demands placed on individuals grow well beyond what the person is capable of accomplishing. Overload is a subjective measure, yet it falls just









outside the reach of the employee. Emotional and physical exhaustion are often the result of work overload.

Lack of control is evident in the inability to make decisions concerning the work a person does. However, this inability is due not to lack of competence, but rather to lack of permission. Being a trained professional in an area means the person has the necessary skills and experience to make decisions about the plan or progress of a project. Stifling a person's decision making limits the contribution he or she can make toward the project. Job security is often based on producing notable results in a limited period of time. Without control over the completion or success of a project, the employee has little control over productivity.

Insufficient reward may take several forms. While potential rewards may include monetary compensation, professional recognition, and verbal praise, organizations may be unaware of the benefits of such positive reinforcement. Or perhaps worse, they may be unwilling to "waste" efforts and resources on a meaningful reward system. For unrewarded employees, the intrinsic motivation of a job done well loses the power it once held.

The breakdown of community in the workplace occurs as interpersonal conflict increases, professional support systems fade, and employees become increasingly isolated. Maslach and Leiter (1997) address isolation in terms of perceived isolation. However, one can speculate that physical isolation and job specialization in the workplace are also included in discussions of community breakdown. For example, workplace communities are often formed among coworkers in close proximity to one another or employees who share similar responsibilities. It is difficult to include








employees who work in remote areas of the workspace or whose duties require very little interaction with coworkers.

Maslach and Leiter (1997) discuss unfairness in terms of its opposite-fairness. Conditions are thought to be fair if trust, openness, and respect are present. Therefore, unfairness is a result of lack of trust, reticence, and lack of respect. Unfairness may involve secrecy in planning and hiring, the lack of involvement in budgeting and spending, and the need to remain covert in one's daily activities.

Value conflict is a consolidation of the previous sources of burnout. The mission of the office is undermined by its own policies and procedures. The lack of cohesion between the means of an activity and its supposed end produces conflict in the workplace. For example, an institution's admissions office may recruit students with disabilities, while the student services office provides only limited services for students with disabilities. This conflict between the means and the end can lead to feelings of dissonance for admissions staff, student services staff, and the students themselves.

Using the six sources of burnout, Maslach and Leiter's theory of burnout attempts to explain employee turnover in terms of environmental influences. If an employee perceives a work environment to display one or more of the sources of burnout, the employee is more likely to leave the position. If the employee does not perceive these sources of burnout within the work environment, the employee is more likely to remain in the position.

Purpose of the Study

The purpose of this study was to examine how Maslach and Leiter's theory of

burnout may explain the intended turnover among disability services staff in colleges and









universities. The study looked at participants' work environments in relation to the six areas of organizational worklife and the likelihood that participants will remain in their current positions. The Areas of Worklife Survey assessed participants' perceptions of their environments based on the six areas of organizational worklife (Leiter & Maslach, 2000). The Maslach Burnout Inventory-Educators Survey, Third Edition assessed the level to which participants are burned out based on three aspects of educator burnoutpersonal accomplishment, emotional exhaustion, and depersonalization (Maslach, Jackson, & Leiter, 1996). Participants were also questioned about the likelihood that they will remain in their current positions. Comparisons were made between the participants' perception of their work and their statement of continued employment.

Overview of Research Methodology

Study participants completed the Areas of Worklife Survey (Leiter & Maslach, 2000), the Maslach Burnout Inventory-Educators Survey, Third Edition (Maslach, Jackson, & Leiter, 1996), and a Continued Employment Questionnaire, designed by the researcher regarding the participants' intention to stay or leave their current position. Responses from the self-report instruments were analyzed for relationships between professional turnover and burnout.

The sampling frame consisted of all disability services staff at four-year institutions of higher education in North Carolina. Only participants who function primarily as disability services staff were included in the sample. The following research questions constituted the focus of the study:

1. Is there a relationship between each of the six areas of worklife and the intent to
leave?








2. Is there a relationship between each of the six areas of worklife and feelings of
burnout?

3. Is there a relationship between feelings of burnout and the intent to leave?

Definition of Terms

Burnout refers to the emotional exhaustion and decreased sense of control and

accomplishment felt by disability services staff. Burnout may or may not lead to intended turnover or actual turnover.

Disability services staffrefers to full-time professionals within institutions of higher education whose primary responsibilities include providing equal access for students with disabilities. Staff may include those who review students' medical and psychoeducational documentation; make arrangements for educational accommodations; hire and train exam proctors, readers, scribes, and other interpretive services; review and update policies and procedures; or provide assistive technology support. Disability services staff do not include student employees, part-time or temporary employees, or clerical staff. The term is used interchangeably with study participants and employees.

Intended turnover refers to a person's decision to leave his/her current

professional position, regardless of the reason for leaving. Intended turnover may or may not be associated with actual turnover. The term is used interchangeably with intent to leave.

Turnover refers to a situation where a person actually leaves a professional

position, regardless of the reason for leaving. Turnover may or may not be associated with burnout. The act of turnover is used interchangeably with leave.








Delimitations and Limitations

This study of turnover and burnout from the perspective of intended turnover provides a comprehensive, environmental examination of the working conditions experienced by disability services staff in higher education. The study is limited by participants' ability to accurately assess their perceptions of their work environments and to honestly report that assessment on the study instruments-the Areas of Worklife Survey (Leiter & Maslach, 2000), the Maslach Burnout Inventory-Educators Survey, Third Edition (Maslach, Jackson, & Leiter, 1996) and the statement of continued employment. Confidentiality in the information-gathering process was emphasized in an effort to elicit honesty in reporting. Use of a small sample size may distort findings. The study is also limited by the following assumptions:

1. The duties and responsibilities of disability services staff are similar among
institutions of higher education.

2. Students with disabilities share similar needs in making institutional services and
programs accessible.

3. The challenges of meeting the needs of students with disabilities are similar among
institutions.

Because the sampling frame was drawn entirely from the state of North Carolina, findings cannot be generalized to institutions from other states. The study focused on participants' perceptions of work environments at four-year institutions so findings cannot be generalized to disability services staff at two-year institutions.

Organization of the Study

This dissertation is organized into five chapters. Chapter 1 provides an

introduction to the study, including its purpose, justification, and definitions of terms to be used throughout. The second chapter provides an examination of turnover-related





13


research, including results and significance of similar studies. The study methodology and plan for analysis are discussed in Chapter 3. Chapter 4 includes the analysis of data. The final chapter addresses the study's findings and the impact of the findings on current turnover research.















CHAPTER 2
REVIEW OF THE LITERATURE

The study of turnover is not a new area for researchers. In fact, turnover research emerged in the mid-1950s. The construct has been examined from various viewpoints in an effort to analyze its complex relationships with engagement with work, morale, esteem, and the like. Most notably, turnover has been studied from four perspectivespersonality, motivation, job satisfaction, and burnout.

Turnover and Personality

Some researchers have approached the concept of turnover from the perspective of personality, theorizing that, in certain vocations, employees with certain personality traits or typologies are more likely than others to leave their positions. Many researchers were unable to show a clear relationship between turnover and personality (Byrne, 1994; McIntyre, 1984; Schuh, 1967). Schuh (1967) found no evidence to support the connection; however, he did find that vocational interest inventories and biographical information were predictors of turnover in certain areas.

Turnover and Motivational Theory

Peskin (1973) examined turnover from the perspective of motivational theory. Among others, McGregor's Theory X and Theory Y models, Maslow's Hierarchy of Needs, and Herzberg's Theory of Satisfiers and Dissatisfiers were examined. Under McGregor's Theory X management, all employees dislike work and are reluctant to cooperation, creative thought, and decision-making. Employees come to resent certain









objects they associate with this treatment: time clocks, dress codes, production quotas, and other rules and restrictions. The same employees, under Theory Y management, are given the opportunity to play an active role within the organization, to make decisions that affect themselves and their work, and to pursue professional and career-oriented goals. The resented objects are removed from the workplace, which lends itself to creativity and individual contribution. McGregor speculates that employees under Theory Y management are less likely to leave their positions than employees under Theory X management.

As presented in Peskin (1973), Maslow provides another motivation theory

associated with work. According to the Hierarchy of Needs, people are motivated by a progression of needs: physiological, safety, social, ego, and self-actualization. Physiological needs may lead a person to seek employment to pay for food, clothing, and a place to live. Safety needs are then met through job security, which may be tied to production or performance efficiency. Social needs encourage a person to find acceptance or to identify with coworkers. Ego needs involve on-going efforts to build selfconfidence and competency in the workplace. The pinnacle of self-actualization is reached only if a person is completely satisfied with all aspects of life, including those related to work. Based on Maslow's theory, an employee's decision to leave a position is rooted in the order of needs. An employee whose physiological needs are met may leave a position to find better job security. An employee whose social needs are met may leave in search of a sense of accomplishment in work.

Herzberg's theory of satisfiers and dissatisfiers proposes that employees'

motivation is influenced by the presence of satisfying elements, which are based in work








content and contribute to job satisfaction, and dissatisfiers, which may or may not result in dissatisfaction (Herzberg, 1982). Instead, Herzberg argues that dissatisfiers work as non-satisfiers and succeed in numbing employees to the content of the work being performed. Large companies create a sterile, or hygienic, atmosphere through the creation of complex rules and regulations. Such a work environment leaves little room for individual thought. Creativity and innovation are squelched by structure and control. The result is a sterile working environment, filled with repetition and enforcement of status quo rather than efforts to increase productivity and efficiency while also increasing the satisfiers of the work content.

The structural organization of the company has been found to play a role in the level of motivation. Peskin (1973) notes how the motivational approach to studying turnover is undermined by the impact of vertical stress caused by authority as well as horizontal stress caused by company-versus-worker goals. Employees in tall organizations often work in professional silos, have more limited interactions with coworkers, and fewer feelings of connection to the organization compared to those who work in flat organizations (Moos, 1979).

Turnover and Job Satisfaction

Job satisfaction has been a major research focus in models of turnover (Brayfield & Crockett, 1955; Herzberg, Mausner, Peterson, & Capwell, 1957; Lefkowitz, 1971, as cited in Mowday, Porter, & Steers, 1982; Mobley, Griffeth, Hand, & Meglino, 1979; Porter & Steers, 1973; Price, 1977; Rosser & Javinar, 2003). Although the studies approached the concept of job satisfaction and turnover from differing viewpoints, results showed that the relationship is mediated by a wide variety of elements. Lefkowitz (1971,









as cited in Mowday, Porter, & Steers, 1982) identified six areas that influence turnover: job expectations, satisfaction, work environment, work involved, compensation, and supervisory style. Porter and Steers (1973) found similar results, in that turnover is largely influenced by personal factors, job characteristics, work environment, organizational factors, and emphasis placed on expectations.

Price's model of job satisfaction incorporates five dimensions: pay, integration,

instrumental communication, formal communication, and centralization (Price, 1977). He also argues a number of ways in which employee turnover affects the employer: a topheavy employment structure, higher amounts of formalization, lower degree of integration, lower levels of satisfaction, a higher degree of innovation, and a lower degree of centralization.

Using a sample of university employees, Tanaomi (1990) examined the

interrelationships among demographics variables, job satisfaction, and intended turnover. He measured job satisfaction in terms of work, pay, opportunity for promotion, supervision, and relationship with coworkers.

More recently, Rosser and Javinar (2003) examined mid-level student affairs officers' intentions to leave from the perspective of satisfaction and morale. The researchers attempted to differentiate between satisfaction (job-related feelings) and morale (organization-related feelings), as defined by Johnsrud and Edwards (2001), using seven variables of worklife: career support, recognition for competence, intradepartmental relationships, perceptions of discrimination, working conditions, external relations, and review and intervention. Satisfaction was positively impacted by recognition, working conditions, career support, departmental relations, and external








relations. Morale was impacted by working conditions, departmental relations, recognition, and satisfaction, and inversely impacted by perceptions of discrimination, salary, and years at the institution. Both satisfaction and morale were shown to have inverse relationships with intent to leave. Salary was the only demographic to have a direct (inverse) relationship with intent to leave. None of the previously mentioned worklife issues were found to be directly related to intent to leave.

Employee-Organization Linkages

Prior to the 1970s, the typical employee felt a certain amount of loyalty to the company, and in turn, employers expected loyalty from their employees (Mowday, Porter, & Steers, 1982). Mowday, Porter, and Steers (1982) included turnover in the examination of employee-organization linkages. According to the authors, contemporary models of employee turnover have ignored eight vital areas: 1) expectations of one's job or prospective job in the decision to stay in a position; 2) degree to which expectations of a job are met by actual experiences; 3) job performance as a factor in the decision to leave; 4) concentrating on one job aspect while ignoring others; 5) nonwork influences; 6) solutions other than leaving; 7) existence of alternative job opportunities; and 8) potential for feedback loops.

Since the 1970s, the link between employee and organization has become strained or broken, resulting in each entity developing a focus on its own needs for survival and success. Among the reasons for changes in these links are focus on success through personal enrichment, gender division of work, emphasis on conservation, expectation of organizations to contribute to society, attention given to physical and mental health issues, increased acceptance of ethnic minorities, and increase in attention given to non-








work life (Mowday, Porter, & Steers, 1982). Because many employees no longer had loyalty for the company, the prospect of employment elsewhere became an option.

Intended Turnover

Turnover is most often preceded by the employee's awareness of the opportunity to leave and then the decision to leave. March and Simon (1958) found the desire to leave and the ease of leaving have an influence on turnover. A similar study by Price (1977) found that turnover of an employee is influenced by the opportunity to leave. Mobley, Homer, and Hollingsworth (1978) found the correlation between intended turnover and actual turnover at r = .49, while the relationship between dissatisfaction and actual turnover was r = .21.

Being aware of the opportunity to leave and wishing to leave are followed by the decision, or intention, to stay in a position or to leave. Actual turnover occurs after the decision is made to leave. In fact, intention to leave is the strongest predictor of actually leaving a position (Bluedom, 1982a; Johnson, Futrell, Parasuraman, & Sager, 1988; Steel & Ovalle, 1984).

Tanaomi (1990) examined the relationship between job satisfaction and intended turnover. In a study of 259 new faculty, Bechhofer and Barnhart (1999) found that 23 faculty had left their positions by the end of three years. Those who had left were more likely than those who remained to report early indication of their intention to leave within three years.

Burnout Theory

In 1991, Farber defined burnout as "a person's reaction to high levels of stress, which may cause him or her to either work harder or care less, which both lead to









exhaustion" (Nieves & Hartman, 2002, p. 134). The notions of organizational life and management policy grew from a similar perception of burnout. Areas of Organizational Life

The work of Maslach and Leiter in the late 1990s addressed burnout as a social environmental product (Maslach & Leiter, 1997). They identified six areas of organizational life: workload, control, reward, community, fairness, and values. Hence, the six sources of burnout caused by mismatches between employees and their work environments are: work overload, lack of control, insufficient reward, breakdown of community, unfairness, and value conflict.

Work overload occurs when the daily demands of a position become

unreasonable. In order to maintain high levels of productivity, professionals must increase time spent working while sacrificing personal resources and high standards of quality. In the short term, such compensatory reactions may yield a successful outcome with little long-term damage to the professional. However, such a pace cannot be sustained when the pressure to produce unreasonable yield is held constant over time. Quality is replaced by quantity. Getting the job done well is traded for getting the job done. Completing a project is accompanied by a sense of relief rather than satisfaction. Even the most hard-working professionals have limits of what can be accomplished. This limit is viewed as the line between workload and work overload. Emotional and physical exhaustion are often the result of work overload. Bechhofer and Barnhart (1999) found that the work demand placed on new faculty was a major concern among those who leave their positions.









Lack of control exists when a professional is not able to make decisions that

impact an assigned duty. The inability is related to permission rather than competency. Even with a clear idea of the problem and possible solutions, the employee cannot take action because of procedure or perception. In some instances, the established procedure of an activity prevents an individual from taking immediate action. In other situations, the employee's ability to control a task may be hindered by the opinion of a supervisor. For example, a professional's action plans are repeatedly disapproved in favor of a supervisor's opinion. The staff member is far less likely to propose a solution to future dilemmas without first considering what type of remedy the supervisor would like to see. Peskin (1973) suggests that lack of control most negatively impacts "those with the largest potential contribution to make to the organization-college graduates, skilled technicians, and achievement-oriented people over 30....who will feel the deepest sense of discontent and disappointment... [and] are the workers most likely to respond to their situations by quitting" (p. 17).

Insufficient reward occurs when the fruits of the employee's work go unnoticed, unrecognized, or without reward at all or at a level which the employee believes is deserved. Some institutions do not have an established reward system and, as a result, the work of some employees goes unrecognized. One can speculate that some employees perform consistently and dependably on a daily basis. However, their work goes unnoticed because little attention is drawn to their work responsibilities, or perhaps because attention is drawn only when a problem exists. In the absence of external rewards (merit pay, public recognition, or other forms of appreciation), the internal satisfaction a position provides also limits the intrinsic motivation to perform at high








levels of quality and productivity. Lack of mobility also contributes to feelings of insufficient reward (Porter & Steers, 1973). Once the motivation to work has faded, it may be difficult to restore.

The breakdown of community may take several forms in the workplace. Work responsibilities that lend themselves to isolation often result in limited interaction with coworkers and the formation of professional silos, to the detriment of the working community. Differences in duties or field of work may lead an employee to experience isolation within the work community. Such isolation is perceived and may, therefore, be difficult to predict or to control. Differences in workload may lead to one employee working frantically throughout the day while others are left with free time for socializing with coworkers. Depending on the cycle of work, one would hope that the perceived isolation from the workplace community is temporary and recoverable. The physical isolation of an employee also presents several problems. Employees who work in remote locations are not afforded the opportunity to socialize with coworkers and form a work community. It is unknown whether it is more detrimental to feel a sense of community and lose it or to have never felt a community bond at all. Regardless of whether the bond was lost or never formed, the sense of community does not exist to encourage retention in the company. Bechhofter and Barnhart (1999) cite the lack of collegiality and support as a contributor to new faculty leaving their positions.

Fairness is the perceptual measuring stick against which employees measure

themselves and each other. When the workplace is fair, employees who perform well are compensated commensurate with their duties, responsibilities, and production. Employees whose work lacks quality or timeliness are not awarded with higher status or








increased pay. Unfairness exists when employees who produce at lower standards hold position of status and authority or receive benefits beyond those conferred upon other, more productive employees. Actual workload may also affect the perceived level of fairness in the workplace. Employees, who are consistently busy but maintain high performance quality and quantity, may resent coworkers who they feel are not working as hard, producing as much, or sacrificing as often as they should but have comparable status and salary. Fairness among academic departments or offices, and fairness between genders or among ethnicities also contribute to perceptions of the organizational workplace (Bechhofer & Barnhart, 1999).

Value conflict exists when the company makes decisions that do not align with its mission. In hiring, an applicant considers the future of the company and whether personal values coincide with company values. For example, a company that encourages diversity among its staff may attract an employee who supports such action. However, the employee may become disillusioned to discover that the company defines diversity in terms of gender, while omitting race, ethnicity, religion, ability, sexual orientation and other accepted forms of diversity. The conflict between the proposed mission or philosophy and actual practice may cause dissonance, which encourages the employee to reconsider continued employment.

Engagement with Work

Maslach and Leiter (1997) discuss the connection between the six areas of worklife and the three aspects of engagement with work: energy, involvement, and effectiveness. Energy is the presence of enthusiasm and the physical strength necessary to complete a task. An employee with energy provides a spark in the workplace, sets a









standard for productivity, inspires success, and exudes an attitude of confidence. Involvement is the amount of personal attention given to each client. Employees who are involved with their clients may know them by name and be able to recall the details of their business without referencing notes. They are genuinely concerned in all aspects of their clients' businesses. Effectiveness is the impact made by employees' work. Effective employees make decision that lead to profitable outcomes for the company and for their clients.

If engagement with work is best illustrated by energy, involvement, and

effectiveness, then burnout is illustrated by emotional exhaustion, depersonalization, and lack of personal accomplishment (Maslach & Leiter, 1997). Emotional exhaustion occurs alongside chronic fatigue and the depletion of emotional, and oftentimes physical, energy. Depersonalization occurs when employees begin to treat people as objects, or dehumanize them. Personal accomplishment is the sense of worth associated with work and the degree to which work makes a difference in the world. For educators, feelings of personal accomplishment are crucial. According to Maslach and Leiter (1997), employees who experience such feelings of burnout are less engaged with work and more likely to leave their positions.

Areas of Management Policy

Studies at the Center for Organizational Research and Development of Acadia

University in Nova Scotia, Canada, have identified eight areas of management policy and activity in an organization: perceptions of change, mission and goals, management, supervision, communication, performance appraisal, health and safety, and work and home (Maslach & Leiter, 1997).








Perceptions of change are an employee's assessment of the improvement of current conditions or the potential for improvement. Moving into a larger workspace, hiring additional employees to reduce workload, and increased salary resulting from an increase in production are all examples of positive perceptions of change. Negatively perceived change may be reflected by increased client load, budget cuts, and blanket wage reductions.

Mission and goals refer to the organization's overlying position in society-its

purpose, its accomplishments, and its vision for the future. Incorporated in this area is the employee's perception of progress made toward those goals. An organization, whose mission is to serve the community but foregoes the community's needs in search of financial gain, is not true to its mission. Such a lack of purpose may lead to feelings of dissonance among employees who joined the firm to aid the community.

Management addresses the balance in power between the administration of an organization and its employees. In an institution of higher education, the employeesfaculty and staff-must assess the decisions of chief officers and how these decisions impact the classroom or the research laboratory. Administrators whose actions support the mission of the university-most notably, educating students-are looked upon more favorably than administrators who ignore the needs of faculty, staff, and students.

Supervision reflects the perceptions an employee has of the immediate supervisor. To what extent does the supervisor allow the employee to make decisions about work? Is the supervisor available for consultation when needed? The amount of feedback and the degree of professional support is also reflected in this area of management policy.








Communication involves the exchange of information. Organizations who keep their employees informed about company business in a timely manner build a supportive, encouraging environment in which employees feel valued. However, if an employee learns of a potential layoff in the newspaper, instead of from company officials, confusion and distrust will result.

Performance appraisal reflects the periodic review ofjob performance. Is the

employee working at full potential? Which areas of performance can be improved? The appraisal may be accomplished through peer, supervisor, or customer review; and it may be formal or informal. In order to be effective, the experience must be perceived by the employee to be worthwhile.

Health and safety is the employee's perceptions of the dangers of the work environment and the risk involved in performing duties. Excessive noise, repeated physical movements, and exposure to harmful materials must be considered in an employee's evaluation of work. Also to be considered is the company's attitude toward the health and safety of its employees. This climate can be assessed through safety training made available to employees, timeliness and quality of repairs to machinery and employee-occupied areas, and company-sponsored health benefits.

Work and home refers to the degree to which one entity influences the other.

While the influence can be positive or negative, most often it is negative, thus the need to balance the demands of work with the demands of non-work. Does worklife interfere with homelife? Do the responsibilities of the job require the employee to work long hours, use personal resources, or take work home? In a discussion of turnover, the question becomes: To what extent does work negatively influence non-work life?








Based on existing research, Maslach and Leiter (1997) proposed that a connection

exists between the areas of management processes and structures and engagement with

work. As illustrated in Figure 2-1, the theory proposes that the six areas of organizational

life represent the mediating variables. Two elements of management policy and

activity-perceptions of change, work and home-were omitted from the model.

Maslach and Leiter (1997) provide no explanation for the omission. The authors theorize

that burnout and engagement with work exist along a spectrum and work in opposite

directions. For example, an employee who is highly engaged with work exhibits little or

no feelings of burnout, while an employee with high feelings of burnout is not engaged

with work.

Figure 2-1. The relationship among management processes and structures, areas of organizational life, and engagement with work.

Management Processes and Structures
Mission and goals
Central management
Supervision
Communication
Performance appraisal
Health and safety Six Areas of
Organizational Life
Workload
Control
Reward
Community Engagement with Work Fairness Energy Values Involvement Effectiveness
Source: Maslach, C., & Leiter, M. P. (1997). The trust about burnout: How organizations cause personal stress and what to do about it. San Francisco: Jossey-Bass.

In a discussion of burnout, the omission may be explained in a discussion of

confounding variables. In regard to perceptions of change, an employee may tolerate poor








working conditions that would typically result in feelings of burnout if the person perceives positive change in the environment. This change, however small, may encourage the employee to remain in the position regardless of the current conditions. When aspects of non-worklife are included in discussions of worklife, many variables must be considered. An employee may continue to work in poor conditions in order to satisfy financial needs. The impracticality of relocating (due to a working spouse, familial responsibilities, etc.) may result in an employee remaining in poor working conditions. Because of these confounding variables, the authors were likely to omit perceptions of change and work and home from their discussion of burnout.

Areas of High Turnover and Burnout

Within education, several professions have been found to exhibit high rates of turnover. Within education, the work environments of disability services staff can be compared to those of two other professional areas: 1) special education coordinators in elementary and secondary schools and 2) developmental educators in colleges and universities. This link is drawn to show the similarities in job responsibilities, and perhaps turnover rates, of the two fields and disability services staff in higher education.

Special education coordinators are trained to deal explicitly with students' disabilities. They are viewed and treated as auxiliary staff, whose services are made available to a relatively low percentage of the school's student population. They must be creative in meeting students' needs in a limited amount of time and usually with a limited amount of funding. They must build professional relationships with teachers in order to ensure that students' accommodations are being delivered as prescribed. When time or resources are short, the responsibility of implementing accommodations falls on the








disability services staff. The loss of a staff member with this area obviously increases the difficulty of meeting the needs of students with disabilities. Research has shown that turnover within special education is high (Abelson, 1986; Banks & Necco, 1990; Boe et al., 1998; Cooley & Yovanoff, 1996; Fore, Martin, & Bender, 2002; Lawrenson & McKinnon, 1982; Singh & Billingsley, 1996).

High turnover is also common among developmental educators in higher

education (Nieves & Hartman, 2002). The existence of remediation in higher education has been and continues to be an issue of debate in academia. Developmental educators help students overcome previous educational deficiencies, primarily among first- and second-year students. Such offices provide educational assistance to students who lack the basic skills necessary to be successful in college-level courses. The precarious position in which existing developmental educators find themselves creates a great deal of stress, similar to that placed on special education coordinators. Developmental educators often work with a limited number of at-risk students and with limited space and funding, especially at institutions focused on graduate study and research. Nieves and Hartman (2002) examined the threat of burnout among development educators in higher education. The researchers used the areas of Maslach and Leiter's (1997) burnout framework in a selection of case studies. The study found that developmental educators are not immune to the effects of burnout. By searching for areas of mismatch between organizational life and the employee, employers, and the employees themselves, can make strides toward alleviating the mental and physical exhaustion associated with burnout.








Disability Services Staff

Disability services began to catch the attention of student affairs professionals as early as 1981, when at least six disability-related programs were presented at the American College Personnel Association national convention (American College Personnel Association, 2003). Two years later, the commissions for Administrative Leadership and Wellness sponsored the Task Force for Handicapped Services. Later known as the Task Force on Disability, the group was established as the Standing Committee on Disability in 2000, a decade after the passing of Americans with Disabilities Act.

In the thirteen years since ADA was passed into law, the Standing Committee on Disability has continued to increase visibility and membership. However, disability services staff have not captured the interest of convention presenters or educational researchers. Consider the close resemblance between job responsibilities of disability services and other related fields. Special education coordinators in elementary and secondary schools exhibit high turnover rates as well as developmental educators in higher education. The factors that contribute to the act of turnover in these other areas are environmentally related. However, the lack of research on disability services staff leave researchers to wonder whether the same factors affect turnover in higher education.

This study addressed an area of student affairs and burnout literature that has gone largely unnoticed by educational researchers. By establishing the relationship between the six areas of organizational worklife, or the six sources of burnout, and the intent to leave the position, perceptions of the work environment were clearly connected to the decision to leave the work situation.















CHAPTER 3
METHODOLOGY

The purpose of this study was to examine how Maslach and Leiter's theory of burnout may explain intended turnover among disability services staff in colleges and universities. In the design of the study, the following elements were considered: sample, instrumentation, data collection, and data analysis.

Sample

The sampling frame and participants include all disability services staff at fouryear colleges and universities in North Carolina: public and private; small, medium, and research; predominantly White and historically Black; religiously affiliated and secular; and women-only and coeducational. Due to differences in size, structure, and mission between two-year and four-year institutions, the study is limited to four-year colleges and universities. Doing so also limits the number of study participants to a manageable scope and allows for in-depth follow-up of study participants. One four-year institution was omitted from the study because of the researcher's professional role as disability services coordinator at the institution.

Instrumentation

Comparisons were made among employees' perceptions of their work situations, the likelihood that they are burned out, and their statements of continued employment. Perceptions of work were measured using the Areas of Worklife Survey (Leiter & Maslach, 2000). The likelihood that employees are burned out was measured by the









Maslach Burnout Inventory-Educators Survey (MBI-ES) (Maslach, Jackson, & Leiter, 1996). The likelihood that employees would remain in their current position over time was determined using a brief questionnaire developed by the researcher. For simplicity in completing the instruments, the Areas of Worklife Survey, the MBI-ES, and the Continued Employment Questionnaire were combined into three sections of a single survey.

Areas of Worklife Survey

The Areas of Worklife Survey (Leiter & Maslach, 2000) assessed employees' environments in the six areas of organizational worklife: Workload, Control, Rewards, Community, Fairness, and Values. Statements in the Areas of Worklife Survey were developed to address a variety of occupations and work situations. The instrument consists of 29 statements, with each area of worklife measured by a specific set of questions. Study participants were asked to rate the extent to which they agree with survey statements, using a scale of one to five (1=Strongly Disagree, 2=Disagree, 3=Hard to Decide, 4=Agree, 5=Strongly Agree). For example, a statement contained in the survey asked participants to respond to the following statement, using the one-to-five scale: "My work is appreciated." In scoring, the ratings were reversed as necessary. The ratings of each worklife area were then averaged, resulting in six averages between zero and five.

A normative sample of 8,609 participants consisted of employees in public

service and retail (n=604), post office (n=813), hospital (n=3,866), university (n=2,234), university library (n=673), and teachers (n=419). Table 3-1 lists the mean, standard deviation, and correlation of each of the organizational worklife areas for the overall








sample. Normative values for occupational subgroups were not reported. Low mean scores indicate the potential for improvement in various areas of the work environment. Leiter and Maslach (2004) found the instrument items to load on six factors. Written comments from participants were analyzed qualitatively to confirm the validity of the instrument items.

Table 3-1. Areas of Worklife Survey normative values, including mean, standard deviation, and alpha level.
Area Mean* SD a Workload 2.87 0.84 0.76 Control 3.36 0.89 0.69 Reward 3.20 0.93 0.82 Community 3.46 0.84 0.82 Fairness 2.84 0.83 0.82 Values 3.42 0.74 0.72 Note: *n=8,609

Maslach Burnout Inventory-Educators Survey

The Maslach Burnout Inventory-Educators Survey (MBI-ES), Third Edition assessed the level to which participants are burned out based on three aspects of educator burnout-Emotional Exhaustion, Depersonalization, and Personal Accomplishment (Maslach, Jackson, & Leiter, 1996). Emotional Exhaustion considered feelings of fatigue and low energy levels. Indifferent or negative attitudes displayed toward students were measured through the Depersonalization aspect of burnout. A particularly critical aspect for educators, low Personal Accomplishment considered the degree to which educators feel they are no longer contributing to students' growth and development.

Three forms of the Maslach Burnout Inventory were developed to target various professional populations (Maslach, Jackson, & Leiter, 1996). The Maslach Burnout Inventory-General Survey (MBI-ES) is a 16-item instrument that can be used in generic employment situations. The 22-item Maslach Burnout Inventory-Human








Services Survey (MBI-HSS) considers the interaction between the employee and recipients of the services provided. The Maslach Burnout Inventory-Educators Survey (MBI-ES), also containing 22-items, targets employees working in educational settings. The MBI-ES is a slightly modified version of the MBI-HSS, where the term student replaces the term recipient. For the study, the MBI-ES was called the Educators Survey to avoid instrument sensitization to the concept of professional burnout. The authors also used this title during instrument development.

Participants were asked to report how often the survey's statements occurred, using a scale of zero to six (0-=never, I=A few times a year or less, 2=Once a month or less, 3=A few times a month, 4=Once a week, 5=A few times a week, 6=Every day). For example, a statement contained in the survey may ask participants to respond to the following statement, using the zero-to-six scale: "I feel depressed at work." In scoring, responses items in the Emotional Exhaustion and Depersonalization subscales are added independently to determine a measure of frequency. Responses to items in the Personal Accomplishment subscale are reversed and added to determine a measure of frequency. Participants are more likely to experience feelings of burnout when the subscales reach cut-off scores showing low, moderate and high levels of burnout.

Two factor analysis studies tested the validity and reliability of the MBI-ES

(Gold, 1984; Iwanicki & Schwab, 1981). Gold (1984) reported Cronbach alpha estimates of .88 for Emotional Exhaustion, .74 for Depersonalization, and .72 for Personal Accomplishment. Iwanicki and Schwab (1981) reported .90, .76, and .76, respectively, for the subscales. A normative sample of 11,067 participants consisted of employees in teaching (n=4,163), postsecondary education (n=635), social services (n=1,538),








medicine (n=l,104), mental health (n=730), and other (n=2,897). Table 3-2 lists the normative values for the overall sample and the postsecondary education occupational subgroup, including mean and standard deviation for each of the MBI subscales. Table 3-2. Maslach Burnout Inventory subscale normative values, mean and standard deviation, for the overall sample and postsecondary education occupational subgroup.
Sample Mean SD Overall Sample*
Emotional Exhaustion 20.99 10.75 Depersonalization 8.73 5.89 Personal Accomplishment 34.58 7.11 Postsecondary Education Sample**
Emotional Exhaustion 18.57 11.95 Depersonalization 5.57 6.63 Personal Accomplishment 39.17 7.92 Note: *n=l 1,067; **n=635

Continued Employment Questionnaire

In addition to inquiries about demographics, participants were also questioned about the likelihood that they will leave their current positions. Using a scale of one to ten, participants were asked to report the likelihood that they would leave their current positions within the next one year, three years, and five years (1 =Strongly Disagree, 3=Disagree, 6=Hard to Decide, 8=Agree, 10=Strongly Agree). The researcher reports a Cronbach alpha estimate of .94 for the Continued Employment Questionnaire.

Data Collection

A list of 51 four-year colleges and universities in North Carolina was obtained from the State Library of North Carolina (2003). Study participants' names and email addresses were then obtained from the institutions' websites and through telephone inquiries.








Each participant received an email from the researcher that included: a brief explanation of the inquiry, a statement of confidentiality, and instructions for the completing the study instruments. The email also contained an HTML link to the study survey and an access code. Instructions asked study participants to complete the survey honestly and thoroughly and submit their responses within one week. By completing the survey, participants voluntarily agreed to take part in the study.

Prior to emailing, each participant was assigned an access code that was used to track survey responses. A follow-up emailing was sent to participants who did not submit responses within one week. Names and access codes were used only to increase the return rate of survey responses. They were stored separate from survey responses to ensure the anonymity of study participants.

Data Analysis

In the study, the dependent variable (intended turnover) was measured by the Continued Employment Questionnaire. The independent variables (the six areas of worklife) were measured by the Areas of Worklife Survey. Figure 3-1 illustrates the theorized connection among the constructs in the study. Since intended turnover is the most powerful predictor of actual turnover, it can be theorized that actual turnover will follow intended turnover. In this study, actual turnover was not the focus of inquiry in the design. The following research questions constitute the focus of the study:

1. Is there a relationship between each of the six areas of worklife and the intent to
leave?

2. Is there a relationship between each of the six areas of worklife and feelings of
burnout?

3. Is there a relationship between feelings of burnout and the intent to leave?








Given the continuous data of the Areas of Worklife Survey and the Continued Employment Questionnaire, the data were analyzed using the Pearson Correlation Coefficient. Significance was set at a = .05. In their research, Maslach and Leiter (1997) reported no confounding variables. Peskin (1973) recommended a demographic analysis of turnover to illustrate trends and to increase efficiency in hiring. Areas to consider include age, gender, job classification and/or pay grade, time in position, and date of departure (Peskin, 1973). Demographics for this study included the employee's age, gender, ethnicity, job classification and/or pay grade, time in position, and time at institution as well as the institution's size and type. Figure 3-1. The theorized relationship among the areas of worklife, feelings of burnout, and intended turnover.
Perceptions of Worklife
Work Overload Feelings of Burnout Lack of Control Emotional Exhaustion
Insufficient Reward +- Depersonalization +- Intended Turnover
Breakdown of Low Personal Accomplishment
Community Unfairness
Value Conflict

Summary of Methodology

By compiling environmental perceptions, the researcher was able to examine the worklife trends of disability services staff at institutions of higher education in North Carolina. The study further supports the connection between these environmental factors and employees' intentions to leave their positions.

The relationship among perceptions of worklife and intended turnover was tested using the procedures outlined in this chapter. The following chapters examine the results of data collection, the analyses of the research questions, and conclusions and recommendations based on the findings of the study.














CHAPTER 4
RESULTS

Upon completion of data collection, the data were analyzed to determine what relationships, if any, exist among the six measures of worklife, three measures of intended turnover, and the three subscales of burnout. The response rate of the study survey, demographic information of participants, and the analysis of the research questions are addressed below.

Response Rate

A list of 51 four-year colleges and universities in North Carolina was obtained from the State Library of North Carolina (2003). Study participants' names and email addresses were then obtained from the institutions' websites and through telephone inquiries. One university was intentionally omitted due to the researcher's position in disability services at the institution. The survey was sent to 84 disability services staff at 39 four-year colleges and universities in North Carolina. Contact information was not available for staff at the remaining 11 institutions. Surveys were completed by 39 participants at 24 institutions for a 46% response rate.

Participants were given the option to not respond to statement they did not want to answer. On the Areas of Worklife Survey, a total of 3 responses were left blank by 3 different participants. Each area of worklife is scored by averaging the responses to the statements associated with the area. For example, the Workload score is determined by averaging responses from questions 1-6. To prevent an underestimate of perceptions due








to missing responses, the researcher inserted the neutral response of "3-Hard to Decide" into the 3 statements that had been left blank by participants.

On the MBI-ES, a total of 4 responses were omitted by 2 participants, unique to those who omitted responses above. The MBI-ES is scored by adding together the responses associated with each subscale. To prevent an underestimate of perceptions due to missing responses, the researcher inserted the neutral response of "3-A few times a month" into the 4 statements that had been left blank by participants.

On the Continued Employment Questionnaire, 1 participant, also unique to

participants previously mentioned, failed to respond to the statements regarding intended turnover within 3 years and within 5 years. The participant's response to intended turnover within 1 year, "10-Strongly Agree" and the comment about reasons for the response made it clear that the participant intended to leave the position within 1 year. It is logical then that the person would also strongly agree to leave the position within 3 years and within 5 years. Based on this conclusion, the researcher inserted the response "10-Strongly Agree" into the questions regarding intended turnover within 3 years and within 5 years.

Demographic Information

The 39 participants were comprised of 32 females and 7 males. On the survey, 31 participants described themselves as White; 5 as African American; 1 as Hispanic/Latino; and 1 as Other. One participant did not response to the question about race/ethnicity. Participants' ages ranged from 23 to 64. Public institutions employ 23 participants, while private institutions employ 15. One participant did not respond to the questions about institution type. Time in position ranged from less than 1 year to more than 15 years. Two








participants did not respond to the question about time in position. Time in the field of

disability services ranged from less than one year to more than 34 years.

Research Questions

The purpose of this study was to examine how Maslach and Leiter's theory of

burnout may explain intended turnover among disability services staff in colleges and

universities. Maslach and Leiter theorized that employees' perceptions of six areas of

worklife-workload, control, reward, community, fairness, values-will determine their

likelihood of experiencing feelings of burnout. Table 4-1 illustrates the descriptive

statistics associated with this sample.

Table 4-1. Mean and standard deviation of the responses given by participants for the Areas of Worklife Survey, the Continued Employment Questionnaire, and the MBI-ES.
Instrument Mean* SD Areas of Worklife Survey
Workload 2.893 .836 Control 3.692 .811 Reward 3.590 .895 Community 3.974 .907 Fairness 3.214 .863 Values 3.800 .702 Continued Employment
Within 1 year 2.487 2.733 Within 3 years 4.103 3.401 Within 5 years 5.974 3.445 MBI-ES
Personal Accomplishment 39.872 5.722 Emotional Exhaustion 19.539 10.055 Depersonalization 4.026 3.731 Note: *n = 39

When analyzing responses of all participants, a correlation was found between

Values and intended turnover within one year (r = -.277 at a = .044). Relationships

between the remaining five areas of worklife and intended turnover within one year were

not statistically significant as shown in Table 4-2. Relationships between the six areas of









worklife and intended turnover within three and five years were also not statistically

significant for this sample.

Table 4-2. Relationships between the six areas of worklife and intended turnover within one, three, and five years.
Area of Worklifet Intended Turnover Intended Turnover Intended Turnover
Area within 1 year within 3 years within 5 years Pearson Pearson Pearson Correlation Sig. Correlation Sig. Correlation Sig. Workload .150 .181 .087 .299 -.051 .378 Control -.093 .287 .024 .441 -.081 .311 Reward -.260 .055 .094 .284 -.040 .405 Community -.182 .134 .079 .316 .124 .225 Fairness -.187 .127 -.151 .179 -.209 .101 Values -.277 .044* -.172 .148 -.213 .096
Note: *a <.05; Tn = 39

Statistically significant relationships were found between the areas of worklife

measures and the subscales of the MBI-ES, as shown in Table 4-3. A statistically

significant relationship was found between Personal Accomplishment and Reward at a <

.05, and between Personal Accomplishment at a < .01. A correlation was also found

between Emotional Exhaustion and Workload and Values, both at a < .01. The

relationship between Depersonalization and Values is significant at a < .05.

Table 4-3. Relationships between the areas of worklife and the subscales of burnout. Area of Worklifet Personal Emotional Accomplishment Exhaustion Depersonalization Sig. C Pearson . Pearson Correlation Sig. Correlation Sig. Correlation Sig. Workload -.006 .486 -.570 .000** -.054 .372
Control .194 .119 -.172 .148 -.015 .465 Reward .285 .039* -.221 .088 -.178 .139
Community .106 .261 -.114 .245 .034 .418
Fairness .046 .391 -.104 .265 -.081 .313 Values .455 .002** -.481 .001** -.344 .016* Note: *a <.05; **a <.01; n= 39

Relationships were found among the measures of worklife. All measures of

worklife were related to all other measures of worklife at a < .01, with the exception of









Workload. Measures of Workload showed no relationship to any other measures of worklife. Other relationships were found among subscales of the MBI-ES. Relationships among all subscales of burnout were correlated at a <.01.

On the Areas of Worklife Survey, 18 out of 39 participants scored below the

normative mean for Workload (2.87), meaning they perceive themselves to have a higher than average workload. In the area of Control, 17 participants scored below the normative mean (3.36), meaning they perceive themselves to have less than average control over their work. In the area of Reward, 12 participants scored below the normative mean (3.20). In Community, 11 participants scored below the normative mean (3.46). In Fairness, 12 participants scored below the normative mean (2.84). In Values, 11 participants scored below the normative mean (3.42). More than half of the study participants perceive themselves to experience average or lower-than-average stress levels in each of these categories.

On the MBI-ES, only 1 participant scored in the high burnout category of

Personal Accomplishment. On the Emotional Exhaustion scale, 12 participants scored in the high burnout category. On the Depersonalization scale, only 1 participant scored in the high burnout category. Only 2 participants scored in the high categories of 2 subscales. Overall, no participants fell in the high burnout categories of all 3 subscales.

Summary of Results

The study questioned the existence of relationships among the six areas of

worklife, intended turnover, and feelings of burnout. A number of statistically significant relationships were found among the measures of worklife, intended turnover, and burnout. The relationship between Values and Intended Turnover indicates that an








employee's beliefs are perhaps more closely linked to the decision to the leave a position than other areas of worklife. The lack of cohesion between the means of an activity and its supposed end produces conflict in the workplace. When an employee's values are strained, the overall perceptions of the employee are altered. The Values measure is a consolidation of the other five areas of worklife. Any dissonance between what an employee expects and what actually happens will be reflected in this scale. The relationships between Values and the 3 measures of the MBI-ES support this view.

The connection between Workload and Emotional Exhaustion is also to be expected. Increased workload motivates an employee to compensate in many ways: working late, working through lunches, substituting a lower quality product or service or the increased quantity that is required, etc. Over a short period of time, the compensation may appear to work well. Deadlines and students' needs are met. However, over time, the compensation requires the employee to dedicate even more time to accomplishing everyday duties. The productivity threshold is breached when the person is simply too exhausted to handle any more work.

Within this sample, Workload is not related to the other areas of Worklife. This study was based on the assumption that the work environment of disability services staff was similar to those of special education coordinators and developmental educators. The results of the Areas of Worklife Survey, and more specifically the Workload scale, indicate that the majority of disability services staff surveyed do not perceive high levels of stress in their work environments. The results of the MBI-ES support this finding.















CHAPTER 5
SUMMARY AND DISCUSSION

The literature includes a number of established theories on the influences and

processes associated with turnover. Theories of personality, motivation, job satisfaction, and burnout have been used for nearly half a century to help explain the reasons why employees leave their professional positions and to help predict which employees are likely to leave. Some researchers have examined the relationship between personality and turnover; while others have concentrated their efforts on the environments in which employees work. High levels of actual turnover have been found in the stressful working conditions of special education coordinator in elementary and secondary schools and among developmental educators in higher education. It is logical to speculate that the same high turnover may exist in a professional that shares similar duties, responsibilities, and stresses-disability services staff in higher education.

Regardless of the approach, leaving a position is most often preceded by the decision to leave, or intended turnover. In fact, the intention to leave a position is the most powerful predictor of actual turnover. In this study, the concept of intended turnover was combined with a theory of burnout to evaluate the working conditions of disability services staff in colleges and universities and to explain employees' decisions to leave.

According to Maslach and Leiter's theory of burnout, employees' perceptions of six areas of worklife-workload, control, reward, community, fairness, valuesdetermine their likelihood of experiencing feelings of burnout. This theory adds








categorical structure to Herzberg's work with satisfiers and dissatisfiers, by creating the six areas of worklife. Workload is related to the quantity and complexity of tasks an employee must complete in a given time period. The more tasks to be completed, the more likely the employee will feel the stress associated with meeting the deadline. Control is the extent of decision-making ability the employee has about the work to be completed. An employee with less freedom to be creative in the approach to work will experience more stress than the same person given the authority to govern the decisions and progress of each project. Reward is the extent to which employees feel appreciated, by whomever it is they feel should appreciate them. In many cases, employees expect appreciation from supervisors; however, for some employees, reward comes from their customers, in the form of a high-quality product. Community is the connection among employees in proximal areas or with similar job duties. Employees who feel a sense of community are more likely to be retained in their positions than those who feel no connection or a sense of hostility. Fairness exists when employees are able to trust coworkers and supervisors, when mutual respect is the expected standard, and when an atmosphere of openness is sharing among colleagues. Values are the degree to which employees' expectations are met by the practices of the company. Values are the culmination of all other categories.

The higher employees' feelings of burnout, the more likely they will make the decision to leave their positions. In the study, feelings of burnout were examined using three subscales: Personal Accomplishment, Emotional Exhaustion, and Depersonalization. Personal Accomplishment is closely linked to the difference employees' are making in the world. In this study, feelings of Personal Accomplishment









lie in whether disability services staff believe their role in working with students with disabilities is worthwhile and meaningful outside of themselves. Emotional Exhaustion involves the degree to which employees are chronically depleted of emotional, and oftentimes physical, energy. Depersonalization occurs when employees dehumanize their students, treating them as cases instead of students.

Working conditions in the six areas of worklife, feelings of burnout, and the

likelihood that the employee intended to leave the position were measured by the Areas of Worklife Survey, the Maslach Burnout Inventory-Educators Survey, and the Continued Employment Questionnaire, respectively. The three instruments were combined into a single survey which was distributed via email to disability services staff at four-year institutions in North Carolina. Attention was given to questions that were left blank and then the data were analyzed.

A number of assumptions were made in the planning of the study. The researcher assumed that duties and responsibilities of disability services staff were similar among institutions. It was assumed that students with disabilities at these institutions shared similar needs in terms of accommodations. It was also assumed that disability services staff faced the same challenges in meeting the needs of students with disabilities. The study was limited by its sampling frame-disability services staff in four-year institutions in North Carolina. Conclusions cannot be generalized to disability services staff in other states, or to staff at two-year institutions in or outside of North Carolina.

Summary of Major Findings

The results of the study indicate the disability services staff at four-year

institutions in North Carolina do not perceive themselves to be working under high-stress









conditions, and hence, do not exhibit high levels of intended turnover. In all categories of worklife, fewer than half of participants perceive their working conditions as overly stressful. The majority of staff feel their working conditions are at average or belowaverage stress levels. The results show that, on average, disability services staff in North Carolina do not perceive themselves to be faced with the six sources of burnout. Such feelings occur in low frequencies. The one area found to show a relationship with intended turnover is Values, the area in which the stress of all areas of worklife culminates.

As expected, high amounts of work are related to feelings of emotional

exhaustion; however, on average, emotional exhaustion by itself is not enough to sway a disability services staff member to decide to leave a position. Perhaps workload varies during the academic year so staff are able to complete less important tasks when other duties are not as demanding. In such cases, staff are not chronically overloaded. Instead, their duties are structured based on the amount of work expected during various times in the academic year. In this respect, perceptions of workload may also be influenced by resources available: funding, equipment, and personnel. Is money available to provide the accessible services and programs? Is the necessary equipment or technology available that allows disability services staff to complete their duties effectively and efficiently? Are personnel available when necessary to assist in making services accessible?

Value conflict is also related to feelings of emotional exhaustion,

depersonalization of students, and low personal accomplishment. Value conflict may reflect feelings of dissonance between employees' expectations and the reality of the working being performed. Discord between the mission of the office and the mission of









the university may also lead to feelings of value conflict. Or perhaps, efforts to be proactive in meeting the needs of students with disabilities are squelched by administrators who seek only to meet the minimum requirements. In some cases, employees may feel they lack the support of legislators in the performance of their duties. There are a number of ways in which the connection between value conflict and feelings of burnout can be explained. However, like work overload, such conflict alone is not strong enough to prompt employees to leave their positions.

Conclusions and Implications

The application of Maslach and Leiter's theory of burnout to disability services staff illustrates relationships between areas of worklife and subscales of burnout. The theory identifies high stress within various areas of worklife; however, high stress in a limited number of areas does not support burnout. Therefore, the study does not support disability services in higher education as an area of high intended turnover. Results cannot be generalized outside the state of North Carolina so this finding may not be true of disability services staff in other states. Because the study focused on intended turnover, conclusions cannot be drawn regarding the actual turnover of employees. A longitudinal study of actual turnover may reveal that staff in North Carolina do leave their positions at high rates. Such a finding would challenge participants' ability to predict their intentions about continued employment.

The study does not support disability services in higher education as an area of high stress. The results show that, on average, disability services staff in North Carolina do not perceive themselves to be faced with work overload, lack of control, insufficient reward, lack of community, unfairness, or value conflict. The generalizability of the









results of this study was limited. A national study of disability services staff may conclude that working conditions in North Carolina are an exception. Perhaps student affairs practitioners who choose to pursue careers in disability services expect a certain level of work-related stress. Because stress levels are reflective of the people perceiving them, a study of actual stress would be impractical, and perhaps impossible.

The study approached the concept of intended turnover from an environmental perspective. However, the researcher acknowledges that employees' personalities are reflected in every interpretation of their environments. The researcher made no attempt to objectively assess each working environment to distinguish the influence of perception in participants' responses. Perhaps certain elements of disability services attract and retain certain types of employees. If so, which aspects of the work are attractive? Previous studies have attempted to examine turnover from a number of environmental and psychological perspectives, and yet, the area continues to be attended to by educational researchers. By combining what is known about environmental working conditions and what is known about personality and work, an overall model of employee turnover may be found.

Suggestions for Further Research

Educational researchers should use this study as a basis for continued exploration of intended turnover, burnout, and the disability services workplace. The researcher proposes the following questions for further research:

1. What work-related stress will be revealed by a national study of the disability services
in at colleges and universities? Does stress interfere with professionals' ability to
complete high-quality work in a timely manner?

2. Are rates of actual turnover among disability services staff higher than other
professional fields?










3. If disability services is found to be an area of high turnover, what can institutions do
to modify the environment and retain valued employees?

4. What characteristics do disability services staff who remain in their positions share?

5. What impact, positive and negative, does turnover have on employees who leave? On
employees who remain? On the institution? On students who use the services of the
office?

6. In what ways does work-related stress differ between four-year and two-year
institutions? Public and private? Coeducational and single-sex?

7. What other professional positions share similar duties and responsibilities with highturnover positions? Do they actually show high rates of turnover?

8. Mowday, Porter, and Steers (1982) reported a paucity in turnover literature that still
exists. What are employees' expectations of their positions? To what extent are those
expectations are met? How does the opportunity for employment elsewhere
contribute to the decision to leave a position?















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55



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BIOGRAPHICAL SKETCH

Kelly A. Norton is from Maryville, a small town in East Tennessee just south of Knoxville. Her father, Steve, is retired from the Aluminum Company of America, and her mother, Kay, works for East Tennessee Human Resources Agency. Her older brother, Kevin, earned a bachelor's degree from Middle Tennessee State University and is an Air National Guard crew chief on a KC-135 stationed at McGhee-Tyson Air Base.

Kelly Norton participated in intercollegiate basketball for Walters State

Community College and won numerous honors, team and individual, including the college's first-ever national tournament appearance. She returned to Heritage High School, her alma mater in East Tennessee, to coach girls' basketball and volleyball before leaving to begin doctoral work at the University of Florida.

Kelly Norton earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in psychology in 1995 and a Master of Science degree in reading and young adult literature in 1998, both from the University of Tennessee, Knoxville.

Since 2002, Kelly Norton has served as the Director of the Academic Services Center at High Point University in High Point, North Carolina, where she coordinates disability services and is the faculty advisor to the Panthers with P'zzazz dance team. She is an avid runner and kayaker and is a member of the Tarheel Paddlers Association.








I certify that I have read this study and that in my opinion it conforms to
acceptable standards of scholarly presentation and is fully adequate, in scope and quality, as a dissertation for the degree of Doctor of Philosophy.


C. Arthur Sandeen
Professor of Educational Leadership, Policy and Foundations

I certify that I have read this study and that in my opinion it conforms to
acceptable standards of scholarly presentation and is fully adequate, in scope and quality, as a dissertation for the degree of Doctor of Philosop


Da d Sr' one "ad
Professor of Educational Leadership, Policy and Foundations

I certify that I have read this study and that in my opinion it conforms to
acceptable standards of scholarly presentation and is fully adequate, in scope and quality, as a dissertation for the degree of Doctor of Philosophy.


Lamont A. Flowers
Assistant Professor of Educational Leadership, Policy and Foundations

I certify that I have read this study and that in my opinion it conforms to
acceptable standards of scholarly presentation and is fully adequate, in scope and quality, as a dissertation for the degree of Doctor of Philoso hy.


J es. . Pitts
Ass iate Professor of Counselor Education

This dissertation was submitted to the Graduate Faculty of the College of Education and to the Graduate School and was accepted as partial fulfillment of the requirements for the degree of Doctor of Philosophy.

May 2004 o D , College o Educat n


Dean, Graduate School




Full Text

PAGE 1

THE APPLICABILITY OF MASLACH AND LEITER'S THEORY OF BURNOUT TO INTENDED TURNOVER AMONG DISABILITY SERVICES STAFF IN FOURYEAR COLLEGES AND UNIVERSITIES IN NORTH CAROLINA By KELLY A. NORTON A DISSERTATION PRESENTED TO THE GRADUATE SCHOOL OF THE UNIVERSITY OF FLORIDA IN PARTIAL FULFILLMENT OF THE REQUIREMENTS FOR THE DEGREE OF DOCTOR OF PHILOSOPHY UNIVERSITY OF FLORIDA 2004

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Copyright 2004 by Kelly A. Norton

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ACKNOWLEDGMENTS I would like to thank everyone who has contributed to the completion of this dissertation. Specifically, I thank my parents, Steve and Kay, for their unwavering faith in my educational journey and for their invaluable encouragement, at all hours of the day or night. I also thank my brother Kevin, my sister-in-law Carla, and my nephew Clay for rearranging their lives at times to accommodate my academic and professional dreams. I am truly fortunate to have a brother who pushes me to finish what I start, even when the words sound harsh. I also thank my grandparents and my uncle, Martin Tallent, who instilled in me the urgency to learn everything I can, at any cost. I thank my close friends and colleagues for their encouragement and genuine sincerity. Leigh Ann Elgin and Mindy Salyer have been constant sources of enthusiasm, especially when my confidence began to fade. I have been fortunate to have Stacy Jacobs as a mainstay during the many stages of this project. I thank staff fi-om the University of Florida's Disability Resources and High Point University's Academic Services and Academic Development for inspiration and direction in this project. I thank my past mentors: Mary Howard-Hamilton, Bemie Young, Dave Kragel, and Doyle Dunlap. Finally, I thank my dissertation committee, Lamont Flowers, David Honeyman, James Pitts, and particularly my chair. Art Sandeen, for their patience, flexibility, guidance, and sincerity. I am honored to work alongside them on this project, and I thank them for sharing their lives with me. iii

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TABLE OF CONTENTS ACKNOWLEDGMENTS iii LIST OF TABLES vi LIST OF FIGURES vii ABSTRACT viii CHAPTER 1 INTRODUCTION 1 Statement of the Problem 3 Theoretical Background 7 Purpose of the Study 9 Overview of Research Methodology 10 Definition of Terms 11 Delimitations and Limitations 12 Organization of the Study 12 2 REVIEW OF THE LITERATURE 14 Turnover and Personality 14 Turnover and Motivational Theory 14 Turnover and Job Satisfaction 16 Employee-Organization Linkages 18 Intended Turnover 19 Burnout Theory 19 Areas of Organizational Life 20 Engagement with Work 23 Areas of Management Policy 24 Areas of High Turnover and Burnout 28 Disability Services Staff 30 iv

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3 METHODOLOGY 31 Sample 31 Instrumentation 31 Areas of Worklife Survey 32 Maslach Burnout Inventory — Educators Survey 33 Continued Employment Questionnaire 35 Data Collection 35 Data Analysis 36 Summary of Methodology 37 4 RESULTS 38 Response Rate 38 Demographic Information 39 Research Questions 40 Summary of Results 42 5 SUMMARY AND DISCUSSION 44 Summary of Major Findings 46 Conclusions and Implications 48 Suggestions for Further Research 49 REFERENCE LIST 51 BIOGRAPHICAL SKETCH 56 V

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LIST OF TABLES Table 3-1 Areas of Worklife Survey normative values, including mean, standard deviation, and alpha level 33 32 Maslach Burnout Inventory subscale normative values, mean and standard deviation, for the overall sample and postsecondary education occupational subgroup 35 41 Mean and standard deviation of the responses given by participants for the Areas of Worklife Survey, the Continued Employment Questionnaire, and the MBI — ES 40 4-2 Relationships between the six areas of worklife and intended turnover within one, three, and five years 41 4-3 Relationships between the areas of worklife and the subscales of burnout 41 vi

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LIST OF FIGURES Figure 21 The relationship among management processes and structures, areas of organizational life, and engagement with work 27 31 The theorized relationship among the areas of worklife, feelings of burnout, and intended turnover 37 vii

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Abstract of Dissertation Presented to the Graduate School of the University of Florida in Partial Fulfillment of the Requirements for the Degree of Doctor of Philosophy THE APPLICABILITY OF MASLACH AND LEITER'S THEORY OF BURNOUT TO INTENDED TURNOVER AMONG DISABILITY SERVICES STAFF IN FOURYEAR COLLEGES AND UND/ERSITIES IN NORTH CAROLINA By Kelly A. Norton May 2004 Chair: Arthur Sandeen Major Department: Educational Leadership, Policy and Foundations Maslach and Leiter's theory of burnout suggests that stressful working conditions contribute to a high turnover rate. They identified six areas of organizational worklife: workload, control, reward, community, fairness, and values. They concluded that burnout is the negative extreme of each of these areas. Therefore, the six sources of burnout are work overload, lack of control, insufficient reward, breakdown of community, unfairness, and value conflict. The purpose of this study was to examine how Maslach and Leiter's theory of burnout may explain the intended turnover among disability services staff in colleges and universities. The study looked at participants' work environments in relation to the six areas of organizational worklife and the likelihood that participants will leave their current positions. viii

PAGE 9

The results of this study do not support disabihty services in higher education as an area of high intended turnover. The results show that, on average, disability services staff members in North Carolina do not perceive themselves to be faced with the six sources of burnout. Such feelings occur in low frequencies. High amounts of work are related to feelings of emotional exhaustion; however, on average, emotional exhaustion by itself is not enough to sway a disability services staff member to decide to leave a position. Value conflict is also related to feelings of emotional exhaustion, depersonalization of students, and low personal accomplishment. Like work overload, such conflict alone is not strong enough to prompt employees to leave their positions. ix

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CHAPTER 1 INTRODUCTION The turnover of personnel within academic and administrative departments of colleges and universities poses a multi-faceted problem and often comes at a high cost, financial and personal, to the person leaving as well as to those who remain. Staff members who choose to leave must find and adjust to new surroundings, new coworkers, and new management. Remaining staff must compensate for the departing person, distributing tasks as necessary, and then adjust to a new staff member in the position. Several theories have attempted to explain the reasons that professionals choose to leave a particular work situation. Previous research on turnover has focused on personality traits, such as narcissists and rigid perfectionists with imrealistically high standards that lead to a person not being able to sustain the work level required to complete the job-related tasks (Grosch & Olsen, 1994; Jevne & WiUiams, 1998). Whether the reason was poor work ethic, lack of mental or physical strength, or simply not having the fortitude to persevere, the person leaving the position was to blame. The person was said to have burned out. More recent research has taken a different approach to employee turnover (Maslach & Leiter, 1997). Maslach and Leiter examined the issues of turnover and burnout fi-om an environmental perspective. Their research indicates that personality is not necessarily the cause of the decision to leave. Instead, the position itself may involve numerous environmental characteristics that eventually lead an employee to leave. 1

PAGE 11

2 Moos (1979) discussed the importance of evaluating the physical, human aggregate, organizational structure, and perceptual aspects of a given environment. Although no research has created a formal link between Moos' s notion of environment to theories of turnover, Moos' s perspective plays a key role in examining the working conditions of an office. More specifically, it provides the means by which the environment can be examined for influences on intended turnover. Many colleges and universities have extensive student affairs programs, and turnover occurs in all areas of student affairs. Entry-level positions function as starting points that often lead to positions with more responsibility, more leadership, and higher salary. Most student affairs professionals enter the field having recently completed graduate programs. Within residence life, such entry-level positions include residence hall directors and assistant area coordinators. Within counseling and advising, recent graduates may enter part-time or administrative support positions. Within academic support, professionals in entry-level positions may work in a tutorial program or writing center, conduct study halls, supervise computer labs, plan and implement disability accommodations, or any combination of these duties. Very little research has been conducted on the employment trends of new professionals in student affairs (Rosser & Javinar, 2003), yet one can speculate that turnover in these positions may be related to a desire to ascend within the profession. New professionals often accept entry-level positions based on fiiture potential — the opportunity to learn and gain exposure to campus issues and establish their own professional reputations.

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3 Outside the expected ladder-climbing, both new and seasoned professionals may choose to leave their positions because of the conditions of the positions themselves. High stress, heavy workload, and lack of recognition are just a few of the ways in which poor working conditions may be related to turnover. If the difficulties experienced in the workplace are perceived to be not worth the compensation or incentives, employees may choose to leave. Statement of the Problem The 1994 National Health Interview Survey estimates that 39.1 milUon Americans, or 15 percent, have a disability, making people with disabilities the largest minority group in the country (Kaye, 1997). This number has steadily increased since the 1970s.The population of students with disabilities has also increased. An American Council on Education study estimates that approximately six percent of first-time, fulltime students enrolled at four-year institutions during fall 2000 reported having one or more disabilities (Henderson, 2001). Between 1988 and 2000, the number of entering freshmen reporting disabilities at four-year institutions varied between six and eight percent, up fi-om three percent in 1978 (Henderson, 2001). Disability services offices at colleges and universities assist these students by providing equal access to classroom learning, resource and testing materials, campus events, and other aspects of college life. For most students with disabilities, equal access to academic materials and institutional services and programs involves the implementation of one or more accommodations, or slight modifications to the way services are provided. Classroom accommodations may require staff to hire note-takers and captionists; schedule exam proctors, readers, and scribes; and make textbooks and

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other classroom materials accessible, by converting print material to enlarged font, Braille, electronic text, or audio format. Non-academic accommodations may include locating wheelchair-accessible classrooms and housing, scheduling interpreters for special events, and training faculty and staff about disability-related issues. The workrelated demands made of disability services staff may create stressful working conditions. However, the area of disability services is not noted in the literature as an area that exhibits high rates of turnover. It is the responsibility of disability services staff to decide which students qualify for accommodations as well as to plan and implement those accommodations. The daily responsibilities of disability services staff include assuring that the accommodations made provide equal access to students with disabilities. In some situations, disability services staff provide all accommodations. On many campuses, disability services are delegated, in part, to faculty, academic department staff, and staff from other student affairs offices. However, the obligations of the accommodation process ultimately fall on the disability services staff, regardless of who actually implements the accommodations. The responsibility of whether that accommodation is properly and effectively executed is that of the disability services staff. When there is a dispute over accommodations, the policies and operation of the disability services area are often placed under intense departmental, institutional, and legal scrutiny. While other areas within student affairs can limit the services offered to students, disability services offices are driven by legal mandates. Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 prohibited the exclusion, based solely on disability status, of people with disabilities from participating in or being denied the benefits of any service or program

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that receives federal funding (Rehabilitation Act, 1973). The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) of 1990 extended the non-discrimination legislation to include public and private institutions of higher education (Americans with Disabilities Act, 1990). Colleges and universities that receive federal funding or participate in Title IV federal student loan programs are legally mandated to provide equal access for students with disabilities. During the 2001-2002 academic year, ADA law governed more than 4,000 American colleges and universities (The Chronicle of Higher Education, 2003). Since the enforcement of ADA legislation in 1992, higher education institutions have been required to ensure equal access for students with disabilities. In many ways, the work environments of disability services staff resemble those of two other professional areas: 1) special education coordinators in elementary and secondary schools and 2) developmental educators in colleges and universities. Special education coordinators are trained to deal specifically with students' disabilities. They are viewed and treated as auxiliary staff, whose services are made available to a relatively low percentage of the school's student population. They must be creative in meeting students' needs in a limited amount of time and usually with a limited amount of fiinding. They must build professional relationships with teachers in order to ensure that students' accommodations are being delivered as prescribed. When time or resources are short, the responsibility of implementing accommodations falls on the special education staff The loss of a staff member within this area obviously increases the difficulty of meeting the needs of students with disabihties. The duties and responsibihties of developmental educators at colleges and universities also resemble those of disability services staff The existence of remediation

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in higher education has been and continues to be an issue of debate. Developmental educators augment previous educational deficiencies, primarily among firstand secondyear students. Such offices provide educational assistance to students who lack the basic skills necessary to be successful in college-level courses. The precarious position in which existing developmental educators find themselves creates a great deal of stress. Like special education coordinators, developmental educators often work with a limited number of at-risk students and with limited space and fiinding, especially at institutions with missions that focus on graduate study and research. Some institutions have disbanded remediation programs altogether. This link among special education coordinators, developmental educators, and disability services staff is drawn to show the similarities in job responsibilities in the two areas. Research has shown that turnover of professionals within special education is high (Abelson, 1986; Banks & Necco, 1990; Boe, Cook, Bobbitt, & Terhanian, 1998; Cooley & Yovanoff, 1996; Fore, Martin, & Bender, 2002; Lawrenson & McKinnon, 1982; Singh & Billingsley, 1996). High turnover is also common among developmental educators in higher education (Nieves & Hartman, 2002). To date, no information is available about turnover among disability services staff in higher education. Maslach and Leiter's theory of burnout suggests that poor environmental conditions contribute to a high turnover rate. An environmental examination of disability services may be usefiil in testing the viability of Maslach Leiter's theory. There is a good deal of concern among professionals in disability services in higher education about the turnover of staff in that area of student affairs.

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7 Theoretical Background Intention to leave has been found to be the strongest predictor of actual turnover (Bluedom, 1982a, 1982b; Steel & Ovalle, 1984; Tanaomi, 1990). However, turnover does not always imply burnout, nor does burnout always lead to turnover. A person may leave a position for any number of reasons ranging from salary to supervisory experience to support for professional development. Additionally, personal or familial issues may require the person to leave a position. On the other hand, some people can function successfiiUy, over an extended period of time, in what a reasonable person would consider poor working conditions, without exhibiting the most common sign of burnout — leaving. Maslach and Leiter (1997) identified six areas of organizational worklife: workload, control, reward, community, fairness, and values. They conclude that burnout is the negative extreme of each of these areas. Therefore, the six sources of burnout are work overload, lack of control, insufficient reward, breakdown of community, unfairness, and value conflict. Work overload is the demand to accomplish much in little time and with scarce resources. In an effort to combat increased workload, professionals often increase time dedicated to a project, contribute personal resources to compensate for funding deficiencies, and sacrifice professional excellence for functionality. Over a short period of time, such compensatory actions may succeed. However, work overload exists in environments that require additional attention and resources indefinitely. Work becomes more intense as the demands placed on individuals grow well beyond what the person is capable of accomplishing. Overload is a subjective measure, yet it falls just

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8 outside the reach of the employee. Emotional and physical exhaustion are often the result of work overload. Lack of control is evident in the inability to make decisions concerning the work a person does. However, this inability is due not to lack of competence, but rather to lack of permission. Being a trained professional in an area means the person has the necessary skills and experience to make decisions about the plan or progress of a project. Stifling a person's decision making limits the contribution he or she can make toward the project. Job security is often based on producing notable results in a limited period of time. Without control over the completion or success of a project, the employee has little control over productivity. Insufficient reward may take several forms. While potential rewards may include monetary compensation, professional recognition, and verbal praise, organizations may be unaware of the benefits of such positive reinforcement. Or perhaps worse, they may be unwilling to "waste" efforts and resources on a meaningful reward system. For unrewarded employees, the intrinsic motivation of a job done well loses the power it once held. The breakdown of community in the workplace occurs as interpersonal conflict increases, professional support systems fade, and employees become increasingly isolated. Maslach and Leiter (1997) address isolation in terms of perceived isolation. However, one can speculate that physical isolation and job specialization in the workplace are also included in discussions of community breakdown. For example, workplace communities are often formed among coworkers in close proximity to one another or employees who share similar responsibilities. It is difficult to include

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9 employees who work in remote areas of the workspace or whose duties require very Uttle interaction with coworkers. Maslach and Leiter (1997) discuss unfairness in terms of its opposite — fairness. Conditions are thought to be fair if trust, openness, and respect are present. Therefore, unfairness is a result of lack of trust, reticence, and lack of respect. Unfairness may involve secrecy in planning and hiring, the lack of involvement in budgeting and spending, and the need to remain covert in one's daily activities. Value conflict is a consolidation of the previous sources of burnout. The mission of the office is undermined by its own policies and procedures. The lack of cohesion between the means of an activity and its supposed end produces conflict in the workplace. For example, an institution's admissions office may recruit students with disabilities, while the student services office provides only limited services for students with disabilities. This conflict between the means and the end can lead to feelings of dissonance for admissions staff, student services staff, and the students themselves. Using the six sources of burnout, Maslach and Leiter' s theory of burnout attempts to explain employee tumover in terms of environmental influences. If an employee perceives a work environment to display one or more of the sources of burnout, the employee is more likely to leave the position. If the employee does not perceive these sources of burnout within the work environment, the employee is more likely to remain in the position. Purpose of the Study The purpose of this study was to examine how Maslach and Leiter' s theory of burnout may explain the intended tumover among disability services staff in colleges and

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10 universities. The study looked at participants' work environments in relation to the six areas of organizational worklife and the likelihood that participants will remain in their current positions. The Areas of Worklife Survey assessed participants' perceptions of their environments based on the six areas of organizational worklife (Leiter & Maslach, 2000). The Maslach Burnout Inventory — Educators Survey, Third Edition assessed the level to which participants are burned out based on three aspects of educator burnout — personal accomplishment, emotional exhaustion, and depersonalization (Maslach, Jackson, & Leiter, 1996). Participants were also questioned about the likelihood that they will remain in their current positions. Comparisons were made between the participants' perception of their work and their statement of continued employment. Overview of Research Methodology Study participants completed the Areas of Worklife Survey (Leiter & Maslach, 2000), the Maslach Burnout Inventory — Educators Survey, Third Edition (Maslach, Jackson, & Leiter, 1996), and a Continued Employment Questionnaire, designed by the researcher regarding the participants' intention to stay or leave their current position. Responses from the self-report instruments were analyzed for relationships between professional turnover and burnout. The sampling frame consisted of all disability services staff at fouryear institutions of higher education in North Carolina. Only participants who function primarily as disability services staff were included in the sample. The following research questions constituted the focus of the study: 1 . Is there a relationship between each of the six areas of worklife and the intent to leave?

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11 2. Is there a relationship between each of the six areas of workhfe and feeUngs of burnout? 3. Is there a relationship between feelings of burnout and the intent to leave? Definition of Terms Burnout refers to the emotional exhaustion and decreased sense of control and accomplishment felt by disability services staff. Burnout may or may not lead to intended turnover or actual turnover. Disability services staff refers to full-time professionals within institutions of higher education whose primary responsibilities include providing equal access for students with disabilities. Staff may include those who review students' medical and psychoeducational documentation; make arrangements for educational accommodations; hire and train exam proctors, readers, scribes, and other interpretive services; review and update policies and procedures; or provide assistive technology support. Disability services staff do not include student employees, part-time or temporary employees, or clerical staff. The term is used interchangeably with study participants and employees. Intended turnover refers to a person's decision to leave his/her current professional position, regardless of the reason for leaving. Intended turnover may or may not be associated with actual turnover. The term is used interchangeably with intent to leave. Turnover refers to a situation where a person actually leaves a professional position, regardless of the reason for leaving. Turnover may or may not be associated with burnout. The act of turnover is used interchangeably with leave.

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Delimitations and Limitations This study of turnover and bumout from the perspective of intended turnover provides a comprehensive, environmental examination of the working conditions experienced by disabiUty services staff in higher education. The study is limited by participants' abiUty to accurately assess their perceptions of their work environments and to honestly report that assessment on the study instruments — the Areas of Worklife Survey (Leiter & Maslach, 2000), the Maslach Bumout hiventory— Educators Survey, Third Edition (Maslach, Jackson, & Leiter, 1996) and the statement of continued employment. Confidentiality in the information-gathering process was emphasized in an effort to elicit honesty in reporting. Use of a small sample size may distort findings. The study is also limited by the following assumptions: 1 . The duties and responsibilities of disability services staff are similar among institutions of higher education. 2. Students with disabilities share similar needs in making institutional services and programs accessible. 3. The challenges of meeting the needs of students with disabilities are similar among institutions. Because the sampling frame was dravra entirely from the state of North Carolina, findings carmot be generalized to institutions from other states. The study focused on participants' perceptions of work environments at four-year institutions so findings cannot be generalized to disability services staff at two-year institutions. Organization of the Study This dissertation is organized into five chapters. Chapter 1 provides an introduction to the study, including its purpose, justification, and definitions of terms to be used throughout. The second chapter provides an examination of turnover-related

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13 research, including results and significance of similar studies. The study methodology and plan for analysis are discussed in Chapter 3. Chapter 4 includes the analysis of data. The final chapter addresses the study's findings and the impact of the findings on current turnover research.

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CHAPTER 2 REVIEW OF THE LITERATURE The study of turnover is not a new area for researchers. In fact, turnover research emerged in the mid-1950s. The construct has been examined from various viewpoints in an effort to analyze its complex relationships with engagement with work, morale, esteem, and the like. Most notably, turnover has been studied from four perspectives — personality, motivation, job satisfaction, and burnout. Turnover and Personality Some researchers have approached the concept of turnover from the perspective of personality, theorizing that, in certain vocations, employees with certain personality traits or typologies are more likely than others to leave their positions. Many researchers were unable to show a clear relationship between turnover and personality (Byrne, 1994; Mclntyre, 1984; Schuh, 1967). Schuh (1967) found no evidence to support the connection; however, he did find that vocational interest inventories and biographical information were predictors of turnover in certain areas. Turnover and Motivational Theory Peskin (1973) examined turnover from the perspective of motivational theory. Among others, McGregor's Theory X and Theory Y models, Maslow's Hierarchy of Needs, and Herzberg's Theory of Satisfiers and Dissatisfiers were examined. Under McGregor's Theory X management, all employees dislike work and are reluctant to cooperation, creative thought, and decision-making. Employees come to resent certain 14

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15 objects they associate with this treatment: time clocks, dress codes, production quotas, and other rules and restrictions. The same employees, under Theory Y management, are given the opportunity to play an active role within the organization, to make decisions that affect themselves and their work, and to pursue professional and career-oriented goals. The resented objects are removed from the workplace, which lends itself to creativity and individual contribution. McGregor speculates that employees under Theory Y management are less likely to leave their positions than employees under Theory X management. As presented in Peskin (1973), Maslow provides another motivation theory associated with work. According to the Hierarchy of Needs, people are motivated by a progression of needs: physiological, safety, social, ego, and self-actualization. Physiological needs may lead a person to seek employment to pay for food, clothing, and a place to live. Safety needs are then met through job security, which may be tied to production or performance efficiency. Social needs encourage a person to find acceptance or to identify with coworkers. Ego needs involve on-going efforts to build selfconfidence and competency in the workplace. The pinnacle of self-actualization is reached only if a person is completely satisfied with all aspects of life, including those related to work. Based on Maslow' s theory, an employee's decision to leave a position is rooted in the order of needs. An employee whose physiological needs are met may leave a position to find better job security. An employee whose social needs are met may leave in search of a sense of accomplishment in work. Herzberg's theory of satisfiers and dissatisfiers proposes that employees' motivation is influenced by the presence of satisfying elements, which are based in work

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16 content and contribute to job satisfaction, and dissatisfiers, which may or may not result in dissatisfaction (Herzberg, 1982). Instead, Herzberg argues that dissatisfiers work as non-satisfiers and succeed in numbing employees to the content of the work being performed. Large companies create a sterile, or hygienic, atmosphere through the creation of complex rules and regulations. Such a work environment leaves little room for individual thought. Creativity and innovation are squelched by structure and control. The result is a sterile working environment, filled with repetition and enforcement of status quo rather than efforts to increase productivity and efficiency while also increasing the satisfiers of the work content. The structural organization of the company has been found to play a role in the level of motivation. Peskin (1973) notes how the motivational approach to studying turnover is undermined by the impact of vertical stress caused by authority as well as horizontal stress caused by company-versus-worker goals. Employees in tall organizations often work in professional silos, have more limited interactions with coworkers, and fewer feelings of connection to the organization compared to those who work in flat organizations (Moos, 1979). Turnover and Job Satisfaction Job satisfaction has been a major research focus in models of turnover (Brayfield & Crockett, 1955; Herzberg, Mausner, Peterson, & Capwell, 1957; Lefkowitz, 1971, as cited in Mowday, Porter, & Steers, 1982; Mobley, Griffeth, Hand, & Meglino, 1979; Porter & Steers, 1973; Price, 1977; Rosser & Javinar, 2003). Although the studies approached the concept of job satisfaction and turnover from differing viewpoints, results showed that the relationship is mediated by a wide variety of elements. Lefkowitz (1971,

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17 as cited in Mowday, Porter, & Steers, 1982) identified six areas that influence turnover: job expectations, satisfaction, work environment, work involved, compensation, and supervisory style. Porter and Steers (1973) found similar results, in that turnover is largely influenced by personal factors, job characteristics, work environment, organizational factors, and emphasis placed on expectations. Price's model of job satisfaction incorporates five dimensions: pay, integration, instrumental communication, formal communication, and centralization (Price, 1977). He also argues a number of ways in which employee turnover affects the employer: a topheavy employment structure, higher amounts of formalization, lower degree of integration, lower levels of satisfaction, a higher degree of innovation, and a lower degree of centralization. Using a sample of university employees, Tanaomi (1990) examined the interrelationships among demographics variables, job satisfaction, and intended turnover. He measured job satisfaction in terms of work, pay, opportunity for promotion, supervision, and relationship with coworkers. More recently, Rosser and Javinar (2003) examined mid-level student affairs officers' intentions to leave from the perspective of satisfaction and morale. The researchers attempted to differentiate between satisfaction (job-related feelings) and morale (organization-related feelings), as defined by Johnsrud and Edwards (2001), using seven variables of worklife: career support, recognition for competence, intradepartmental relationships, perceptions of discrimination, working conditions, external relations, and review and intervention. Satisfaction was positively impacted by recognition, working conditions, career support, departmental relations, and external

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18 relations. Morale was impacted by working conditions, departmental relations, recognition, and satisfaction, and inversely impacted by perceptions of discrimination, salary, and years at the institution. Both satisfaction and morale were shown to have inverse relationships with intent to leave. Salary was the only demographic to have a direct (inverse) relationship with intent to leave. None of the previously mentioned worklife issues were found to be directly related to intent to leave. Employee-Organization Linkages Prior to the 1970s, the typical employee felt a certain amount of loyalty to the company, and in turn, employers expected loyalty from their employees (Mowday, Porter, & Steers, 1982). Mowday, Porter, and Steers (1982) included turnover in the examination of employee-organization linkages. According to the authors, contemporary models of employee turnover have ignored eight vital areas: 1) expectations of one's job or prospective job in the decision to stay in a position; 2) degree to which expectations of a job are met by actual experiences; 3) job performance as a factor in the decision to leave; 4) concentrating on one job aspect while ignoring others; 5) nonwork influences; 6) solutions other than leaving; 7) existence of alternative job opportunities; and 8) potential for feedback loops. Since the 1970s, the link between employee and organization has become strained or broken, resulting in each entity developing a focus on its own needs for survival and success. Among the reasons for changes in these links are focus on success through personal enrichment, gender division of work, emphasis on conservation, expectation of organizations to contribute to society, attention given to physical and mental health issues, increased acceptance of ethnic minorities, and increase in attention given to non-

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19 work life (Mowday, Porter, & Steers, 1982). Because many employees no longer had loyalty for the company, the prospect of employment elsewhere became an option. Intended Turnover Turnover is most often preceded by the employee's awareness of the opportunity to leave and then the decision to leave. March and Simon (1958) found the desire to leave and the ease of leaving have an influence on turnover. A similar study by Price (1977) found that turnover of an employee is influenced by the opportunity to leave. Mobley, Homer, and Hollingsworth (1978) found the correlation between intended turnover and actual turnover at r = .49, while the relationship between dissatisfaction and actual turnover was r = .21 . Being aware of the opportunity to leave and wishing to leave are followed by the decision, or intention, to stay in a position or to leave. Actual turnover occurs after the decision is made to leave. In fact, intention to leave is the strongest predictor of actually leaving a position (Bluedom, 1982a; Johnson, Futrell, Parasuraman, & Sager, 1988; Steel &Ovalle, 1984). Tanaomi (1990) examined the relationship between job satisfaction and intended turnover. In a study of 259 new faculty, Bechhofer and Bamhart (1999) found that 23 faculty had left their positions by the end of three years. Those who had left were more likely than those who remained to report early indication of their intention to leave within three years. Burnout Theory In 1991, Farber defined burnout as "a person's reaction to high levels of stress, which may cause him or her to either work harder or care less, which both lead to

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20 exhaustion" (Nieves & Hartman, 2002, p. 134). The notions of organizational life and management policy grew from a similar perception of burnout. Areas of Organizational Life The work of Maslach and Leiter in the late 1990s addressed burnout as a social environmental product (Maslach & Leiter, 1997). They identified six areas of organizational life: workload, control, reward, community, fairness, and values. Hence, the six sources of burnout caused by mismatches between employees and their work environments are: work overload, lack of control, insufficient reward, breakdown of community, unfairness, and value conflict. Work overload occurs when the daily demands of a position become unreasonable. In order to maintain high levels of productivity, professionals must increase time spent working while sacrificing personal resources and high standards of quality. In the short term, such compensatory reactions may yield a successful outcome with little long-term damage to the professional. However, such a pace cannot be sustained when the pressure to produce unreasonable yield is held constant over time. Quality is replaced by quantity. Getting the job done well is traded for getting the job done. Completing a project is accompanied by a sense of relief rather than satisfaction. Even the most hard-working professionals have limits of what can be accomplished. This limit is viewed as the line between workload and work overload. Emotional and physical exhaustion are often the result of work overload. Bechhofer and Bamhart (1999) found that the work demand placed on new faculty was a major concern among those who leave their positions.

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21 Lack of control exists when a professional is not able to make decisions that impact an assigned duty. The inabiUty is related to permission rather than competency. Even with a clear idea of the problem and possible solutions, the employee cannot take action because of procedure or perception. In some instances, the estabUshed procedure of an activity prevents an individual from taking immediate action. In other situations, the employee's ability to control a task may be hindered by the opinion of a supervisor. For example, a professional's action plans are repeatedly disapproved in favor of a supervisor's opinion. The staff member is far less likely to propose a solution to future dilemmas without first considering what type of remedy the supervisor would like to see. Peskin (1973) suggests that lack of control most negatively impacts "those with the largest potential contribution to make to the organization — college graduates, skilled technicians, and achievement-oriented people over 30.... who will feel the deepest sense of discontent and disappointment. . . [and] are the workers most likely to respond to their situations by quitting" (p. 17). Insufficient reward occurs when the fruits of the employee's work go unnoticed, unrecognized, or without reward at all or at a level which the employee believes is deserved. Some institutions do not have an established reward system and, as a result, the work of some employees goes unrecognized. One can speculate that some employees perform consistently and dependably on a daily basis. However, their work goes unnoticed because little attention is drawn to their work responsibilities, or perhaps because attention is drawn only when a problem exists. In the absence of external rewards (merit pay, public recognition, or other forms of appreciation), the internal satisfaction a position provides also limits the intrinsic motivation to perform at high

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22 levels of quality and productivity. Lack of mobility also contributes to feelings of insufficient reward (Porter & Steers, 1973). Once the motivation to work has faded, it may be difficult to restore. The breakdown of community may take several forms in the workplace. Work responsibilities that lend themselves to isolation often result in limited interaction with coworkers and the formation of professional silos, to the detriment of the working community. Differences in duties or field of work may lead an employee to experience isolation within the work community. Such isolation is perceived and may, therefore, be difficult to predict or to control. Differences in workload may lead to one employee working fi-antically throughout the day while others are left with free time for socializing with coworkers. Depending on the cycle of work, one would hope that the perceived isolation from the workplace community is temporary and recoverable. The physical isolation of an employee also presents several problems. Employees who work in remote locations are not afforded the opportunity to socialize with coworkers and form a work community. It is unknown whether it is more detrimental to feel a sense of community and lose it or to have never felt a community bond at all. Regardless of whether the bond was lost or never formed, the sense of community does not exist to encourage retention in the company. Bechhofter and Bamhart (1999) cite the lack of coUegiality and support as a contributor to new faculty leaving their positions. Fairness is the perceptual measuring stick against which employees measure themselves and each other. When the workplace is fair, employees who perform well are compensated commensurate with their duties, responsibilities, and production. Employees whose work lacks quality or timeliness are not awarded with higher status or

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23 increased pay. Unfairness exists when employees who produce at lower standards hold position of status and authority or receive benefits beyond those conferred upon other, more productive employees. Actual workload may also affect the perceived level of fairness in the workplace. Employees, who are consistently busy but maintain high performance quality and quantity, may resent coworkers who they feel are not working as hard, producing as much, or sacrificing as often as they should but have comparable status and salary. Fairness among academic departments or offices, and fairness between genders or among ethnicities also contribute to perceptions of the organizational workplace (Bechhofer & Bamhart, 1999). Value conflict exists when the company makes decisions that do not align with its mission. In hiring, an applicant considers the future of the company and whether personal values coincide with company values. For example, a company that encourages diversity among its staff may attract an employee who supports such action. However, the employee may become disillusioned to discover that the company defines diversity in terms of gender, while omitting race, ethnicity, religion, ability, sexual orientation and other accepted forms of diversity. The conflict between the proposed mission or philosophy and actual practice may cause dissonance, which encourages the employee to reconsider continued employment. Engagement with Work Maslach and Leiter (1997) discuss the connection between the six areas of worklife and the three aspects of engagement with work: energy, involvement, and effectiveness. Energy is the presence of enthusiasm and the physical strength necessary to complete a task. An employee with energy provides a spark in the workplace, sets a

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24 standard for productivity, inspires success, and exudes an attitude of confidence. Involvement is the amount of personal attention given to each client. Employees who are involved with their clients may know them by name and be able to recall the details of their business without referencing notes. They are genuinely concerned in all aspects of their clients' businesses. Effectiveness is the impact made by employees' work. Effective employees make decision that lead to profitable outcomes for the company and for their clients. If engagement with work is best illustrated by energy, involvement, and effectiveness, then burnout is illustrated by emotional exhaustion, depersonalization, and lack of personal accomplishment (Maslach & Leiter, 1997). Emotional exhaustion occurs alongside chronic fatigue and the depletion of emotional, and oftentimes physical, energy. Depersonalization occurs when employees begin to treat people as objects, or dehumanize them. Personal accomplishment is the sense of worth associated with work and the degree to which work makes a difference in the world. For educators, feelings of personal accomplishment are crucial. According to Maslach and Leiter (1997), employees who experience such feelings of burnout are less engaged with work and more likely to leave their positions. Areas of Management Policy Studies at the Center for Organizational Research and Development of Acadia University in Nova Scotia, Canada, have identified eight areas of management policy and activity in an organization: perceptions of change, mission and goals, management, supervision, communication, performance appraisal, health and safety, and work and home (Maslach & Leiter, 1997).

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25 Perceptions of change are an employee's assessment of the improvement of current conditions or the potential for improvement. Moving into a larger workspace, hiring additional employees to reduce workload, and increased salary resulting from an increase in production are all examples of positive perceptions of change. Negatively perceived change may be reflected by increased client load, budget cuts, and blanket wage reductions. Mission and goals refer to the organization's overlying position in society — its purpose, its accomplishments, and its vision for the fiiture. Incorporated in this area is the employee's perception of progress made toward those goals. An organization, whose mission is to serve the community but foregoes the community's needs in search of financial gain, is not true to its mission. Such a lack of purpose may lead to feelings of dissonance among employees who joined the firm to aid the coirmiunity. Management addresses the balance in power between the administration of an organization and its employees. In an institution of higher education, the employees — faculty and staff — must assess the decisions of chief officers and how these decisions impact the classroom or the research laboratory. Administrators whose actions support the mission of the university — most notably, educating students — are looked upon more favorably than administrators who ignore the needs of faculty, staff, and students. Supervision reflects the perceptions an employee has of the immediate supervisor. To what extent does the supervisor allow the employee to make decisions about work? Is the supervisor available for consultation when needed? The amount of feedback and the degree of professional support is also reflected in this area of management policy.

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26 Communication involves the exchange of information. Organizations who keep their employees informed about company business in a timely manner build a supportive, encouraging environment in which employees feel valued. However, if an employee learns of a potential layoff in the newspaper, instead of from company officials, confusion and distrust will result. Performance appraisal reflects the periodic review of job performance. Is the employee working at full potential? Which areas of performance can be improved? The appraisal may be accomplished through peer, supervisor, or customer review; and it may be formal or informal. In order to be effective, the experience must be perceived by the employee to be worthwhile. Health and safety is the employee's perceptions of the dangers of the work environment and the risk involved in performing duties. Excessive noise, repeated physical movements, and exposure to harmful materials must be considered in an employee's evaluation of work. Also to be considered is the company's attitude toward the health and safety of its employees. This climate can be assessed through safety training made available to employees, timeliness and quality of repairs to machinery and employee-occupied areas, and company-sponsored health benefits. Work and home refers to the degree to which one entity influences the other. While the influence can be positive or negative, most often it is negative, thus the need to balance the demands of work with the demands of non-work. Does worklife interfere with homelife? Do the responsibilities of the job require the employee to work long hours, use personal resoiu-ces, or take work home? In a discussion of turnover, the question becomes: To what extent does work negatively influence non-work life?

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Based on existing research, Maslach and Leiter (1997) proposed that a connection exists between the areas of management processes and structures and engagement with work. As illustrated in Figure 2-1, the theory proposes that the six areas of organizational life represent the mediating variables. Two elements of management policy and activity — perceptions of change, work and home — ^were omitted from the model. Maslach and Leiter (1997) provide no explanation for the omission. The authors theorize that burnout and engagement with work exist along a spectrum and work in opposite directions. For example, an employee who is highly engaged with work exhibits little or no feelings of burnout, while an employee with high feelings of burnout is not engaged with work. Figure 2-1. The relationship among management processes and structures, areas of organizational life, and engagement with work. Management Processes and Structures Mission and goals Central management Supervision Communication \^ Performance appraisal Health and safety Six Areas of Organizational Life Workload Control Reward Community Engagement with Work Fairness Energy Values Involvement Effectiveness Source: Maslach, C, & Leiter, M. P. (1997). The trust about burnout: How organizations cause personal stress and what to do about it. San Francisco: Jossey-Bass. In a discussion of burnout, the omission may be explained in a discussion of confounding variables. In regard to perceptions of change, an employee may tolerate poor

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28 working conditions that would typically result in feelings of burnout if the person perceives positive change in the environment. This change, however small, may encourage the employee to remain in the position regardless of the current conditions. When aspects of non-worklife are included in discussions of worklife, many variables must be considered. An employee may continue to work in poor conditions in order to satisfy financial needs. The impracticality of relocating (due to a working spouse, familial responsibilities, etc.) may result in an employee remaining in poor working conditions. Because of these confounding variables, the authors were likely to omit perceptions of change and work and home from their discussion of burnout. Areas of High Turnover and Burnout Within education, several professions have been found to exhibit high rates of turnover. Within education, the work environments of disability services staff can be compared to those of two other professional areas: 1) special education coordinators in elementary and secondary schools and 2) developmental educators in colleges and universities. This link is drawn to show the similarities in job responsibilities, and perhaps turnover rates, of the two fields and disability services staff in higher education. Special education coordinators are trained to deal explicitly with students' disabilities. They are viewed and treated as auxiliary staff, whose services are made available to a relatively low percentage of the school's student population. They must be creative in meeting students' needs in a limited amoimt of time and usually with a limited amount of fiinding. They must build professional relationships with teachers in order to ensure that students' accommodations are being delivered as prescribed. When time or resources are short, the responsibility of implementing accommodations falls on the

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29 disability services staff. The loss of a staff member with this area obviously increases the difficulty of meeting the needs of students with disabilities. Research has shown that turnover within special education is high (Abelson, 1986; Banks & Necco, 1990; Boe et al., 1998; Cooley & Yovanoff, 1996; Fore, Martin, & Bender, 2002; Lawrenson & McKinnon, 1982; Singh & Billingsley, 1996). High turnover is also common among developmental educators in higher education (Nieves & Hartman, 2002). The existence of remediation in higher education has been and continues to be an issue of debate in academia. Developmental educators help students overcome previous educational deficiencies, primarily among firstand second-year students. Such offices provide educational assistance to students who lack the basic skills necessary to be successful in college-level courses. The precarious position in which existing developmental educators find themselves creates a great deal of stress, similar to that placed on special education coordinators. Developmental educators often work with a limited number of at-risk students and with limited space and fimding, especially at institutions focused on graduate study and research. Nieves and Hartman (2002) examined the threat of burnout among development educators in higher education. The researchers used the areas of Maslach and Leiter's (1997) burnout fi-amework in a selection of case studies. The study found that developmental educators are not immune to the effects of burnout. By searching for areas of mismatch between organizational life and the employee, employers, and the employees themselves, can make strides toward alleviating the mental and physical exhaustion associated with burnout.

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30 Disability Services Staff Disability services began to catch the attention of student affairs professionals as early as 1981, when at least six disability-related programs were presented at the American College Personnel Association national convention (American College Personnel Association, 2003). Two years later, the commissions for Administrative Leadership and Wellness sponsored the Task Force for Handicapped Services. Later known as the Task Force on Disability, the group was established as the Standing Committee on Disability in 2000, a decade after the passing of Americans with Disabihties Act. In the thirteen years since ADA was passed into law, the Standing Committee on Disability has continued to increase visibility and membership. However, disability services staff have not captured the interest of convention presenters or educational researchers. Consider the close resemblance between job responsibilities of disability services and other related fields. Special education coordinators in elementary and secondary schools exhibit high turnover rates as well as developmental educators in higher education. The factors that contribute to the act of turnover in these other areas are environmentally related. However, the lack of research on disability services staff leave researchers to wonder whether the same factors affect turnover in higher education. This study addressed an area of student affairs and burnout literature that has gone largely unnoticed by educational researchers. By establishing the relationship between the six areas of organizational worklife, or the six sources of burnout, and the intent to leave the position, perceptions of the work environment were clearly coimected to the decision to leave the work situation.

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CHAPTER 3 METHODOLOGY The purpose of this study was to examine how Maslach and Leiter's theory of burnout may explain intended turnover among disabiUty services staff in colleges and universities, hi the design of the study, the following elements were considered: sample, instrumentation, data collection, and data analysis. Sample The sampling frame and participants include all disability services staff at fouryear colleges and universities in North Carolina: public and private; small, medium, and research; predominantly White and historically Black; religiously affiliated and secular; and women-only and coeducational. Due to differences in size, structure, and mission between two-year and four-year institutions, the study is limited to four-year colleges and universities. Doing so also limits the number of study participants to a manageable scope and allows for in-depth follow-up of study participants. One four-year institution was omitted from the study because of the researcher's professional role as disability services coordinator at the institution. Instrumentation Comparisons were made among employees' perceptions of their work situations, the likelihood that they are burned out, and their statements of continued employment. Perceptions of work were measured using the Areas of Worklife Survey (Leiter & Maslach, 2000). The likelihood that employees are burned out was measured by the 31

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32 Maslach Bumout Inventory— Educators Survey (MBI— ES) (Maslach, Jackson, & Leiter, 1996). The likelihood that employees would remain in their current position over time was determined using a brief questionnaire developed by the researcher. For simplicity in completing the instruments, the Areas of Worklife Survey, the MBI — ES, and the Continued Employment Questionnaire were combined into three sections of a single survey. Areas of Worklife Survey The Areas of Worklife Survey (Leiter & Maslach, 2000) assessed employees' environments in the six areas of organizational worklife: Workload, Control, Rewards, Community, Fairness, and Values. Statements in the Areas of Worklife Survey were developed to address a variety of occupations and work situations. The instrument consists of 29 statements, with each area of worklife measured by a specific set of questions. Study participants were asked to rate the extent to which they agree with survey statements, using a scale of one to five (l=Strongly Disagree, 2=Disagree, 3=Hard to Decide, 4=Agree, 5=Strongly Agree). For example, a statement contained in the survey asked participants to respond to the following statement, using the one-to-five scale: "My work is appreciated." In scoring, the ratings were reversed as necessary. The ratings of each worklife area were then averaged, resulting in six averages between zero and five. A normative sample of 8,609 participants consisted of employees in public service and retail (n=604), post office (n=813), hospital (n=3,866), university (n=2,234), university library (n=673), and teachers (n=419). Table 3-1 lists the mean, standard deviation, and correlation of each of the organizational worklife areas for the overall

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33 sample. Normative values for occupational subgroups were not reported. Low mean scores indicate the potential for improvement in various areas of the work environment. Leiter and Maslach (2004) found the instrument items to load on six factors. Written comments from participants were analyzed qualitatively to confirm the validity of the instrument items. Table 3-1. Areas of Worklife Survey normative values, including mean, standard deviation, and alpha level. Area Mean* SD a Workload 2.87 0.84 0.76 Control 3.36 0.89 0.69 Reward 3.20 0.93 0.82 Community 3.46 0.84 0.82 Fairness 2.84 0.83 0.82 Values 3A2 074 072 Note: *n=8,609 Maslach Burnout Inventory — Educators Survey The Maslach Burnout Inventory — Educators Survey (MBI — ES), Third Edition assessed the level to which participants are burned out based on three aspects of educator burnout — Emotional Exhaustion, Depersonalization, and Personal Accomplishment (Maslach, Jackson, & Leiter, 1996). Emotional Exhaustion considered feelings of fatigue and low energy levels. Indifferent or negative attitudes displayed toward students were measured through the Depersonalization aspect of burnout. A particularly critical aspect for educators, low Personal Accomplishment considered the degree to which educators feel they are no longer contributing to students' growth and development. Three forms of the Maslach Burnout Inventory were developed to target various professional populations (Maslach, Jackson, & Leiter, 1996). The Maslach Burnout Inventory — General Survey (MBI — ES) is a 16-item instrument that can be used in generic employment situations. The 22-item Maslach Burnout Inventory — Human

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Services Survey (MBI — HSS) considers the interaction between the employee and recipients of the services provided. The Maslach Burnout hiventory — Educators Survey (MBI — ES), also containing 22-items, targets employees working in educational settings. The MBI — ES is a slightly modified version of the MBI — ^HSS, where the term student replaces the term recipient. For the study, the MBI — ES was called the Educators Survey to avoid instrument sensitization to the concept of professional burnout. The authors also used this title during instrument development. Participants were asked to report how often the survey's statements occurred, using a scale of zero to six (0=never, 1=A few times a year or less, 2=0nce a month or less, 3=A few times a month, 4=0nce a week, 5= A few times a week, 6=Every day). For example, a statement contained in the survey may ask participants to respond to the following statement, using the zero-to-six scale: "I feel depressed at work." In scoring, responses items m the Emotional Exhaustion and Depersonalization subscales are added independently to determine a measure of frequency. Responses to items in the Personal Accomplishment subscale are reversed and added to determine a measure of frequency. Participants are more likely to experience feelings of burnout when the subscales reach cut-off scores showing low, moderate and high levels of burnout. Two factor analysis studies tested the validity and reliability of the MBI — ES (Gold, 1984; Iwanicki & Schwab, 1981). Gold (1984) reported Cronbach alpha estimates of .88 for Emotional Exhaustion, .74 for Depersonalization, and .72 for Personal Accomplishment. Iwanicki and Schwab (1981) reported .90, .76, and .76, respectively, for the subscales. A normative sample of 1 1,067 participants consisted of employees in teaching (n=4,163), postsecondary education (n=635), social services (n=l,538),

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1 35 medicine (n=l,104), mental health (n-730), and other (n=2,897). Table 3-2 lists the normative values for the overall sample and the postsecondary education occupational subgroup, including mean and standard deviation for each of the MBI subscales. Table 3-2. Maslach Burnout Inventory subscale normative values, mean and standard deviation, for the overall sample and postsecondary education occupational subgroup. Sample Mean SD Overall Sample* Emotional Exhaustion 20.99 10.75 Depersonalization 8.73 5.89 Personal Accomplishment 34.58 7.11 Postsecondary Education Sample** Emotional Exhaustion 18.57 11.95 Depersonalization 5.57 6.63 Personal Accomplishment 39.17 7.92 Note: *n=ll,067; **n=635 Continued Employment Questionnaire In addition to inquiries about demographics, participants were also questioned about the likelihood that they will leave their current positions. Using a scale of one to ten, participants were asked to report the likelihood that they would leave their current positions within the next one year, three years, and five years (l=Strongly Disagree, 3=Disagree, 6=Hard to Decide, 8=Agree, 10=Strongly Agree). The researcher reports a Cronbach alpha estimate of .94 for the Continued Employment Questionnaire. Data Collection A list of 5 1 fouryear colleges and universities in North Carolina was obtained fi"om the State Library of North Carolina (2003). Study participants' names and email addresses were then obtained from the institutions' websites and through telephone inquiries.

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Each participant received an email from the researcher that included: a brief explanation of the inquiry, a statement of confidentiality, and instructions for the completing the study instruments. The email also contained an HTML link to the study survey and an access code. Instructions asked study participants to complete the survey honestly and thoroughly and submit their responses within one week. By completing the survey, participants voluntarily agreed to take part in the study. Prior to emailing, each participant was assigned an access code that was used to track survey responses. A follow-up emailing was sent to participants who did not submit responses within one week. Names and access codes were used only to increase the return rate of survey responses. They were stored separate from survey responses to ensure the anonymity of study participants. Data Analysis In the study, the dependent variable (intended turnover) was measured by the Continued Employment Questionnaire. The independent variables (the six areas of worklife) were measured by the Areas of Worklife Survey. Figure 3-1 illustrates the theorized connection among the constructs in the study. Since intended turnover is the most powerfiil predictor of actual turnover, it can be theorized that actual turnover will follow intended turnover. In this study, actual turnover was not the focus of inquiry in the design. The following research questions constitute the focus of the study: 1 . Is there a relationship between each of the six areas of worklife and the intent to leave? 2. Is there a relationship between each of the six areas of worklife and feelings of burnout? 3. Is there a relationship between feelings of burnout and the intent to leave?

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37 Given the continuous data of the Areas of Workhfe Survey and the Continued Employment Questionnaire, the data were analyzed using the Pearson Correlation Coefficient. Significance was set at a = .05. hi their research, Maslach and Leiter (1997) reported no confounding variables. Peskin (1973) recommended a demographic analysis of turnover to illustrate trends and to increase efficiency in hiring. Areas to consider include age, gender, job classification and/or pay grade, time in position, and date of departure (Peskin, 1973). Demographics for this study included the employee's age, gender, ethnicity, job classification and/or pay grade, time in position, and time at institution as well as the institution's size and type. Figure 3-1 . The theorized relationship among the areas of worklife, feelings of burnout, and intended turnover. Perceptions of Worklife Work Overload Feelings of Burnout Lack of Control Emotional Exhaustion Insufficient Reward < — Depersonalization — Intended Turnover Breakdown of Low Personal Accomplishment Community Unfairness Value Conflict Summary of Methodology By compiling environmental perceptions, the researcher was able to examine the worklife trends of disability services staff at institutions of higher education in North Carolina. The study further supports the connection between these environmental factors and employees' intentions to leave their positions. The relationship among perceptions of worklife and intended turnover was tested using the procedures outlined in this chapter. The following chapters examine the results of data collection, the analyses of the research questions, and conclusions and recommendations based on the findings of the study.

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CHAPTER 4 RESULTS Upon completion of data collection, the data were analyzed to determine what relationships, if any, exist among the six measures of worklife, three measures of intended turnover, and the three subscales of burnout. The response rate of the study survey, demographic information of participants, and the analysis of the research questions are addressed below. Response Rate A list of 51 four-year colleges and universities in North Carolina was obtained from the State Library of North Carolina (2003). Study participants' names and email addresses were then obtained from the institutions' websites and through telephone inquiries. One university was intentionally omitted due to the researcher's position in disability services at the institution. The survey was sent to 84 disability services staff at 39 four-year colleges and imiversities in North Carolina. Contact information was not available for staff at the remaining 1 1 institutions. Surveys were completed by 39 participants at 24 institutions for a 46% response rate. Participants were given the option to not respond to statement they did not want to answer. On the Areas of Worklife Survey, a total of 3 responses were left blank by 3 different participants. Each area of worklife is scored by averaging the responses to the statements associated with the area. For example, the Workload score is determined by averaging responses from questions 1-6. To prevent an underestimate of perceptions due 38

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39 to missing responses, the researcher inserted the neutral response of "3 — Hard to Decide" into the 3 statements that had been left blank by participants. On the MBI — ES, a total of 4 responses were omitted by 2 participants, unique to those who omitted responses above. The MBI — ES is scored by adding together the responses associated with each subscale. To prevent an underestimate of perceptions due ' to missing responses, the researcher inserted the neutral response of "3 — A few times a month" into the 4 statements that had been left blank by participants. On the Continued Employment Questionnaire, 1 participant, also unique to participants previously mentioned, failed to respond to the statements regarding intended turnover within 3 years and within 5 years. The participant's response to intended turnover within 1 year, "10 — Strongly Agree" and the comment about reasons for the response made it clear that the participant intended to leave the position within 1 year. It is logical then that the person would also strongly agree to leave the position within 3 years and within 5 years. Based on this conclusion, the researcher inserted the response "10 — Strongly Agree" into the questions regarding intended turnover within 3 years and within 5 years. Demographic Information The 39 participants were comprised of 32 females and 7 males. On the survey, 31 participants described themselves as White; 5 as Afiican American; 1 as Hispanic/Latino; and 1 as Other. One participant did not response to the question about race/ethnicity. Participants' ages ranged from 23 to 64. Public institutions employ 23 participants, while private institutions employ 15. One participant did not respond to the questions about institution type. Time in position ranged from less than 1 year to more than 15 years. Two

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participants did not respond to the question about time in position. Time in the field of disability services ranged fi-om less than one year to more than 34 years. Research Questions The purpose of this study was to examine how Maslach and Leiter's theory of burnout may explain intended turnover among disability services staff in colleges and universities. Maslach and Leiter theorized that employees' perceptions of six areas of worklife — workload, control, reward, community, fairness, values — ^will determine their likelihood of experiencing feelings of burnout. Table 4-1 illustrates the descriptive statistics associated with this sample. Table 4-1. Mean and standard deviation of the responses given by participants for the Areas of Worklife Survey, the Continued Employment Questionnaire, and the MB I — ES. Instrument Mean* SD Areas of Workhfe Survey Workload 2.893 .836 Control 3.692 .811 Reward 3.590 .895 Community 3.974 .907 Fairness 3.214 .863 Values 3.800 .702 Continued Employment Within 1 year 2.487 2.733 Within 3 years 4.103 3.401 Within 5 years 5.974 3.445 MBI— ES Personal Accomplishment 39.872 5.722 Emotional Exhaustion 19.539 10.055 Depersonalization 4.026 3.731 Note: *n = 39 When analyzing responses of all participants, a correlation was found between Values and intended turnover within one year (r = -.277 at a = .044). Relationships between the remaining five areas of worklife and intended turnover within one year were not statistically significant as shown in Table 4-2. Relationships between the six areas of

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41 worklife and intended turnover within three and five years were also not statistically significant for this sample. Table 4-2. Relationships between the six areas of worklife and intended turnover within one, three, and five years. Area of Worklife' Intended Turnover Intended Turnover hitended Turnover within 1 year within 3 years within 5 years Pearson Correlation Sig. Pearson Correlation Sig. Pearson Correlation Sig. Workload .150 .181 .087 .299 -.051 .378 Control -.093 .287 .024 .441 -.081 .311 Reward -.260 .055 .094 .284 -.040 .405 Community -.182 .134 .079 .316 .124 .225 Fairness -.187 .127 -.151 .179 -.209 .101 Values -111 .044* -.172 .148 -.213 .096 Note: *a<.05;^n = 39 Statistically significant relationships were found between the areas of worklife measures and the subscales of the MB I — ES, as shown in Table 4-3. A statistically significant relationship was found between Personal Accomplishment and Reward at a < .05, and between Personal Accomplishment at a < .01. A correlation was also found between Emotional Exhaustion and Workload and Values, both at a < .01. The relationship between Depersonalization and Values is significant at a < .05. Table 4-3. Relationships between the areas of worklife and the subscales of burnout. Area of Worklife Personal Accomplishment Emotional Exhaustion Depersonalization Pearson Correlation Sig. Pearson Correlation Sig. Pearson Correlation Sig. Workload Control Reward Community Fairness Values -.006 .194 .285 .106 .046 .455 .486 .119 .039* .261 .391 .002** .570 .172 .221 .114 .104 .481 .000** .148 .088 .245 .265 .001** -.054 -.015 -.178 .034 -.081 -.344 .372 .465 .139 .418 .313 .016* Note: *a<.05; **a < .01; ^n = 39 Relationships were found among the measures of worklife. All measures of worklife were related to all other measures of worklife at a < .01, with the exception of

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42 Workload. Measures of Workload showed no relationship to any other measures of worklife. Other relationships were found among subscales of the MBI — ES. Relationships among all subscales of burnout were correlated at a < .01. On the Areas of Worklife Survey, 18 out of 39 participants scored below the normative mean for Workload (2.87), meaning they perceive themselves to have a higher than average workload. In the area of Control, 17 participants scored below the normative mean (3.36), meaning they perceive themselves to have less than average control over their work. In the area of Reward, 12 participants scored below the normative mean (3.20). In Community, 1 1 participants scored below the normative mean (3.46). In Fairness, 12 participants scored below the normative mean (2.84). In Values, 1 1 participants scored below the normative mean (3.42). More than half of the study participants perceive themselves to experience average or lower-than-average stress levels in each of these categories. On the MBI — ES, only 1 participant scored in the high burnout category of Personal Accomplishment. On the Emotional Exhaustion scale, 12 participants scored in the high burnout category. On the Depersonalization scale, only 1 participant scored in the high burnout category. Only 2 participants scored in the high categories of 2 subscales. Overall, no participants fell in the high burnout categories of all 3 subscales. Summary of Results The study questioned the existence of relationships among the six areas of worklife, intended turnover, and feelings of burnout. A number of statistically significant relationships were found among the measures of worklife, intended turnover, and burnout. The relationship between Values and Intended Turnover indicates that an

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43 employee's beliefs are perhaps more closely linked to the decision to the leave a position than other areas of worklife. The lack of cohesion between the means of an activity and its supposed end produces conflict in the workplace. When an employee's values are strained, the overall perceptions of the employee are altered. The Values measure is a consolidation of the other five areas of worklife. Any dissonance between what an employee expects and what actually happens will be reflected in this scale. The relationships between Values and the 3 measures of the MBI — ES support this view. The connection between Workload and Emotional Exhaustion is also to be expected, kicreased workload motivates an employee to compensate in many ways: working late, working through lunches, substituting a lower quality product or service or the increased quantity that is required, etc. Over a short period of time, the compensation may appear to work well. Deadlines and students' needs are met. However, over time, the compensation requires the employee to dedicate even more time to accomplishing everyday duties. The productivity threshold is breached when the person is simply too exhausted to handle any more work. Within this sample, Workload is not related to the other areas of Worklife. This study was based on the assumption that the work environment of disability services staff was similar to those of special education coordinators and developmental educators. The results of the Areas of Worklife Survey, and more specifically the Workload scale, indicate that the majority of disability services staff surveyed do not perceive high levels of stress in their work environments. The results of the MBI — ES support this finding.

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CHAPTER 5 SUMMARY AND DISCUSSION The literature includes a number of established theories on the influences and processes associated with turnover. Theories of personahty, motivation, job satisfaction, and burnout have been used for nearly half a century to help explain the reasons why employees leave their professional positions and to help predict which employees are likely to leave. Some researchers have examined the relationship between personality and turnover; while others have concentrated their efforts on the environments in which employees work. High levels of actual turnover have been found in the stressful working conditions of special education coordinator in elementary and secondary schools and among developmental educators in higher education. It is logical to speculate that the same high timiover may exist in a professional that shares similar duties, responsibilities, and stresses — disability services staff in higher education. Regardless of the approach, leaving a position is most often preceded by the decision to leave, or intended turnover. In fact, the intention to leave a position is the most powerful predictor of actual turnover. In this study, the concept of intended turnover was combined with a theory of burnout to evaluate the working conditions of disability services staff in colleges and universities and to explain employees' decisions to leave. According to Maslach and Leiter's theory of burnout, employees' perceptions of six areas of worklife — workload, control, reward, community, fairness, values — determine their likelihood of experiencing feelings of burnout. This theory adds 44

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45 categorical structure to Herzberg's work with satisfiers and dissatisfiers, by creating the six areas of workUfe. Workload is related to the quantity and complexity of tasks an employee must complete in a given time period. The more tasks to be completed, the more likely the employee will feel the stress associated with meeting the deadline. Control is the extent of decision-making ability the employee has about the work to be completed. An employee with less freedom to be creative in the approach to work will experience more stress than the same person given the authority to govern the decisions and progress of each project. Reward is the extent to which employees feel appreciated, by whomever it is they feel should appreciate them, hi many cases, employees expect appreciation from supervisors; however, for some employees, reward comes from their customers, in the form of a high-quality product. Community is the connection among employees in proximal areas or with similar job duties. Employees who feel a sense of community are more likely to be retained in their positions than those who feel no connection or a sense of hostility. Fairness exists when employees are able to trust coworkers and supervisors, when mutual respect is the expected standard, and when an atmosphere of openness is sharing among colleagues. Values are the degree to which employees' expectations are met by the practices of the company. Values are the culmination of all other categories. The higher employees' feelings of burnout, the more likely they will make the decision to leave their positions. In the study, feelings of burnout were examined using three subscales: Personal Accomplishment, Emotional Exhaustion, and Depersonalization. Personal Accomplishment is closely linked to the difference employees' are making in the world. In this study, feelings of Personal Accomplishment

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46 lie in whether disabiUty services staff beUeve their role in working with students with disabiUties is worthwhile and meaningful outside of themselves. Emotional Exhaustion involves the degree to which employees are chronically depleted of emotional, and oftentimes physical, energy. Depersonalization occurs when employees dehumanize their students, treating them as cases instead of students. Working conditions in the six areas of worklife, feelings of burnout, and the likelihood that the employee intended to leave the position were measured by the Areas of Worklife Survey, the Maslach Burnout Inventory — ^Educators Survey, and the Continued Employment Questionnaire, respectively. The three instruments were combined into a single survey which was distributed via email to disability services staff at four-year institutions in North Carolina. Attention was given to questions that were left blank and then the data were analyzed. A number of assumptions were made in the planning of the study. The researcher assumed that duties and responsibilities of disability services staff were similar among institutions. It was assumed that students with disabilities at these institutions shared similar needs in terms of accommodations. It was also assumed that disability services staff faced the same challenges in meeting the needs of students with disabilities. The study was limited by its sampling fi-ame — disability services staff in four-year institutions in North Carolina. Conclusions cannot be generalized to disability services staff in other states, or to staff at two-year institutions in or outside of North Carolina. Summary of Major Findings The results of the study indicate the disability services staff at four-year institutions in North Carolina do not perceive themselves to be working under high-stress

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47 conditions, and hence, do not exhibit high levels of intended turnover, hi all categories of worklife, fewer than half of participants perceive their working conditions as overly stressful. The majority of staff feel their working conditions are at average or belowaverage stress levels. The results show that, on average, disability services staff in North Carolina do not perceive themselves to be faced with the six sources of burnout. Such feelings occur in low frequencies. The one area found to show a relationship with intended turnover is Values, the area in which the stress of all areas of worklife culminates. As expected, high amounts of work are related to feelings of emotional exhaustion; however, on average, emotional exhaustion by itself is not enough to sway a disability services staff member to decide to leave a position. Perhaps workload varies during the academic year so staff are able to complete less important tasks when other duties are not as demanding. In such cases, staff are not chronically overloaded. Instead, their duties are structured based on the amount of work expected during various times in the academic year. In this respect, perceptions of workload may also be influenced by resources available: funding, equipment, and personnel. Is money available to provide the accessible services and programs? Is the necessary equipment or technology available that allows disability services staff to complete their duties effectively and efficiently? Are personnel available when necessary to assist in making services accessible? Value conflict is also related to feelings of emotional exhaustion, depersonalization of students, and low personal accomplishment. Value conflict may reflect feelings of dissonance between employees' expectations and the reality of the working being performed. Discord between the mission of the office and the mission of

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48 the university may also lead to feelings of value conflict. Or perhaps, efforts to be proactive in meeting the needs of students with disabiUties are squelched by administrators who seek only to meet the minimum requirements. In some cases, employees may feel they lack the support of legislators in the performance of their duties. There are a number of ways in which the connection between value conflict and feelings of burnout can be explained. However, like work overload, such conflict alone is not strong enough to prompt employees to leave their positions. Conclusions and Implications The application of Maslach and Leiter's theory of burnout to disability services staff illustrates relationships between areas of worklife and subscales of burnout. The theory identifies high stress within various areas of worklife; however, high stress in a limited number of areas does not support burnout. Therefore, the study does not support disability services in higher education as an area of high intended turnover. Results cannot be generalized outside the state of North Carolina so this finding may not be true of disability services staff in other states. Because the study focused on intended turnover, conclusions carmot be drawn regarding the actual turnover of employees. A longitudinal study of actual turnover may reveal that staff in North Carolina do leave their positions at high rates. Such a finding would challenge participants' ability to predict their intentions about continued employment. The study does not support disability services in higher education as an area of high stress. The results show that, on average, disability services staff in North Carolina do not perceive themselves to be faced with work overload, lack of control, insufficient reward, lack of community, unfairness, or value conflict. The generalizability of the

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49 results of this study was limited. A national study of disability services staff may conclude that working conditions in North Carolina are an exception. Perhaps student affairs practitioners who choose to pursue careers in disability services expect a certain level of work-related stress. Because stress levels are reflective of the people perceiving them, a study of actual stress would be impractical, and perhaps impossible. The study approached the concept of intended turnover from an environmental perspective. However, the researcher acknowledges that employees' personalities are reflected in every interpretation of their environments. The researcher made no attempt to objectively assess each working environment to distinguish the influence of perception in participants' responses. Perhaps certain elements of disability services attract and retain certain types of employees. If so, which aspects of the work are attractive? Previous studies have attempted to examine turnover from a number of environmental and psychological perspectives, and yet, the area continues to be attended to by educational researchers. By combining what is known about environmental working conditions and what is known about personality and work, an overall model of employee turnover may be found. Suggestions for Further Research Educational researchers should use this study as a basis for continued exploration of intended turnover, burnout, and the disability services workplace. The researcher proposes the following questions for fiirther research: 1 . What work-related sfress will be revealed by a national study of the disability services in at colleges and universities? Does stress interfere with professionals' ability to complete high-quality work in a timely manner? 2. Are rates of actual turnover among disability services staff higher than other professional fields?

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50 3. If disability services is found to be an area of high turnover, what can institutions do to modify the environment and retain valued employees? 4. What characteristics do disability services staff who remain in their positions share? 5. What impact, positive and negative, does turnover have on employees who leave? On employees who remain? On the institution? On students who use the services of the office? 6. In what ways does work-related stress differ between four-year and two-year institutions? Public and private? Coeducational and single-sex? 7. What other professional positions share similar duties and responsibilities with highturnover positions? Do they actually show high rates of turnover? 8. Mowday, Porter, and Steers (1982) reported a paucity in turnover literature that still exists. What are employees' expectations of their positions? To what extent are those expectations are met? How does the opportunity for employment elsewhere contribute to the decision to leave a position?

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52 Cooley, E., & Yovanoff, P. (1996, February). Supporting professional-at-risk: Evaluating interventions to reduce burnout and improve retention of special educators. Exceptional Children, 62(4), 336-355. Farber, B. A. (1991). Crisis in education: Stress and burnout in the American teacher. San Francisco: Jossey-Bass. Fore, C, III, Martin, C, & Bender, W. N. (2002). Teacher burnout in special education: The causes and the recommended solutions. High School Journal, 86(1), 36. Gold, Y. (1984). The factorial validity of the Maslach Burnout Inventory in a sample of California elementary and junior high school teachers. Educational and Psychological Measurement, 45, 377-387. Grosch, W. N., & Olsen, D. C. (1994). When helping starts to hurt: A new look at burnout among psychotherapists. New York: Norton. Henderson, C. (2001). College freshmen with disabilities: A biennial statistical profile. Washington, DC: American Council on Education. Retrieved May 8, 2003, from http://www.heath.gwu.edu/PDFs/collegefreshmen.pdf Herzberg, F. (1982). The managerial choice: To be efficient and to be human. 2nd ed. (rev.). Salt Lake City, UT: Olympus. Herzberg, F., Mausner, B., Peterson, R. O., & Capwell, D. F. (1957). Job attitudes: Review of research and opinion. Pittsburgh, PA: Psychological Service of Pittsburgh. Hom, P. W., Katerburg, R., & Hulin, C. L. (1979). Comparative examination of three approaches to the prediction of turnover. Journal of Applied Psychology, 64, 280290. Iwanicki, E. F., & Schwab, R. L. (1981). A cross-vaUdational study of the Maslach Burnout Inventory. Educational and Psychological Measurement, 41, 1 1671174. Jevne, R. F., & Williams, D. R. (1998). When dreams don 't work: Professional caregivers and burnout. Amityville, NY: Baywood. Johnson, M. W., Fufrell, C. M., Parasuraman, A., & Sager, J. (1988). Performance and job satisfaction effects on salesperson turnover: A replication and extension. Journal of Business Research, 16(1), 67-83.

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53 Johnsrud, L. K., & Edwards, R. L. R. (2001, November). Mediating the intent to leave: The affective responses of midlevel administrators to their worklives. Presented at Association for the Study of Higher Education Annual Meeting, November 2001, Richmond, VA. Kaye, U.S. (1997). Disability watch: The status of people with disabilities in the United States. Volcano, CA: Volcano Press. Lawrenson, G. M., & McKinnon, A. (1982). A survey of classroom teachers of the emotionally disturbed: Attrition and burnout factors. Behavioral Disorders, 8, 41-49. Leiter, M. P., & Maslach, C. (2000). Preventing burnout and building engagement: A complete program for organizational renewal. San Francisco: JosseyBass. Leiter, M. P., & Maslach, C. (2004). Areas of worklife: A structured approach to organizational predictors of job burnout. In P. L. Perrewe & D. C. Ganster (Eds.), Research in occupational stress and well being: Vol. 3. Emotional and physiological processes and positive intervention strategies, (pp. 91-134). Oxford, UK: JAI Press/Elsevier. March, J. G., & Simon, H. A. (1958). Organizations. New York: Wiley. Maslach, C, Jackson, S. E., & Leiter, M. P. (1996). The Maslach Burnout Inventory. (3rd ed.) Palo Alto, CA: Consulting Psychologists Press. Maslach, C, & Leiter, M. P. (1997). The truth about burnout: How organizations cause personal stress and what to do about it. San Francisco: Jossey-Bass. Mclntyre, T. (1984). The relationship between locus of control and teacher burnout. British Journal of Educational Psychology, 54{2), 235-238. Mobley, W. H., Griffeth, R. W., Hand, H. H., & Meglino, B. M. (1979). Review and conceptual analysis of the employee turnover process. Psychological Bulletin, 86, 493-522. Mobley, W. H., Homer, S. O., Hollingsworth, A. T. (1978). An evaluation of precursors of hospital employee turnover. Journal of Applied Psychology, 63, 408-414. Moos, R. H. (1979). Evaluating educational environments. San Francisco: JosseyBass. Mowday, R. T., Steers, R., & Porter, L. (1979). The measurement of organizational commitment. Journal of Vocational Behavior, 14, 224-227.

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54 Mowday, R. T., Porter, L. W., & Steers, R. M. (1982). Employee-organization linkages: The psychology of commitment, absenteeism, and turnover. New York: Academic Press. Muchinsky, P. M., & Tuttle, M. L. (1979). Employee turnover: An empirical and methodological assessment. Journal of Vocational Behavior, 14, 43-71. Nieves, E. E., & Hartman, K. A. (2002). Burnout in developmental education: A social environmental perspective on the risk for those who work with students at risk. Journal of College Reading and Learning, 32(2), 133-147. Peskin, D. B. (1973). The doomsday job: The behavioral anatomy of turnover. New York: AMACOM. Porter, L., & Steers, R. M. (1973). Organizational, work, and personal factors in employee turnover and absenteeism. Psychological Bulletin, 80, 151-176. Porter, L., Steers, R., Mowday, R. T., & Boulian, R. (1974). Organizational commitment, job satisfaction and turnover among psychiatric technicians. Journal of Applied Psychology, 59, 603-609. Price, J. L. (1977). The study of turnover. Ames: Iowa State University Press. Rehabilitation Act. 34 C. F. R. Part 104. 65 Fed. Reg. 68050. (1973). Rosser, V. J., & Javinar, J. M. (2003, March). Student affairs leaders' intentions to leave: Examining the quality of their professional and institutional worklife. Presented at National Association of Student Personnel Administrators Armual Conference, March 2003, St. Louis, MO. Schuh, A. J. (1967). The predictability of employee tenure: A review of the literature. Personnel Psychology, 20, 133-152. Singh, K., & Billingsley, B. (1996). Intent to stay in teaching: Teachers of students with emotional disorders versus other special educators. Remedial and Special Education, 1 7, 37-47. Spencer, D. G., & Steers, R. M. (1981). Performance as a moderator of the job satisfaction-turnover relationship. Journal of Applied Psychology, 66, 511-514. State Library of North Carolina. (2003). NC colleges and universities on the web. Retrieved September 17, 2003, from http://statelibrary.dcr.state.nc.us/library/univers.htm Steel, R. P., & Ovalle, N. (1984). A review and meta-analysis of research on the relationship between behavioral intentions and employee turnover. Journal of Applied Psychology, 69(4), 673-686.

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Tanaomi, M. (1990). Job satisfaction and intention to turnover: A comparison among groups in academic setting. Unpublished doctoral dissertation, University of La Verne, La Verne, CA.

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BIOGRAPHICAL SKETCH Kelly A. Norton is from Maryville, a small town in East Tennessee just south of Knoxville. Her father, Steve, is retired from the Aluminum Company of America, and her mother, Kay, works for East Tennessee Human Resources Agency. Her older brother, Kevin, earned a bachelor's degree from Middle Tennessee State University and is an Air National Guard crew chief on a KC-135 stationed at McGhee-Tyson Air Base. Kelly Norton participated in intercollegiate basketball for Walters State Community College and won numerous honors, team and individual, including the college's first-ever national tournament appearance. She returned to Heritage High School, her alma mater in East Tennessee, to coach girls' basketball and volleyball before leaving to begin doctoral work at the University of Florida. Kelly Norton earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in psychology in 1995 and a Master of Science degree in reading and young adult literature in 1998, both from the University of Tennessee, Knoxville. Since 2002, Kelly Norton has served as the Director of the Academic Services Center at High Point University in High Point, North Carolina, where she coordinates disability services and is the faculty advisor to the Panthers with P'zzazz dance team. She is an avid runner and kayaker and is a member of the Tarheel Paddlers Association. 56

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I certify that I have read this study and that in my opinion it conforms to acceptable standards of scholarly presentation and is fully adequate, in scope and quality, as a dissertation for the degree of Doctor of Philosophy. C. Arthur Sandeen Professor of Educational Leadership, Policy and Foundations I certify that I have read this study and that in my opinion it conforms to acceptable standards of scholarly presentation and is fully adequate, in scope and quality, as a dissertation for the degree of Doctor of Philosopt DaVid S. Professor of Educational Leadership, Policy and Foundations I certify that I have read this study and that in my opinion it conforms to acceptable standards of scholarly presentation and is fully adequate, in scope and quality, as a dissertation for the degree of Doctor of Philosophy. Lamont A. Flowers Assistant Professor of Educational Leadership, Policy and Foundations I certify that I have read this study and that in my opinion it conforms to acceptable standards of scholarly presentation and is fiilly adequate, in scope and quality, as a dissertation for the degree of Doctor of Philosophy. James/H. Pitts Associate Professor of Counselor Education This dissertation was submitted to the Graduate Faculty of the College of Education and to the Graduate School and was accepted as partial fulfillment of the requirements for the degree of Doctor of Philosophy. May 2004 Ao\^i[\)ay,^^J?>^ DfeaA, College oi Education Dean, Graduate School