Imagery of Regent people and campus

Dissertation Abstract

Beyond the Perceived Benefit of Employer Tuition Reimbursement Programs: A Qualitative Inquiry into Employee Graduate and Postgraduate Education as a Mediator of Employee Retention and Development

David R. Gray
August 2008

Employees pursuing graduate and postgraduate degrees generally anticipate career advancement opportunities. However, in delayered organizations, employees routinely face fewer opportunities for intraorganizational promotions or job changes. The subsequent skills and knowledge gained by employees, barring promotion or job change, may create job-fit dissonance and fuel turnover intentions. An insider action research employed a mixed method qualitative inquiry to gain a better understanding within a single organization of how an employee's advanced education relates to job-fit dissonance and turnover intentions. Further, the findings focus on how action research or action learning serve as a substitute for those employees seeking to translate their newly acquired knowledge and skills into promotion or job change. The qualitative research blended (a) phenomenological, (b) grounded theory, and (c) case study methodologies where the researcher was both participant and observer.