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Abstract

Voluntary turnover rate of information technology (IT) professionals within defense contracting organizations has increased by 12.6% since 2003. The perceptions and lived experiences of IT professionals in the defense contracting industry were explored in a phenomenological study to better understand the precipitating events, or shocks, that led to their decision to voluntarily leave an organization. Twenty IT professionals at a small, service-based, government contracting organization supporting the intelligence community in Ft. Meade, Maryland, were interviewed until data saturation was achieved. Analysis of interview responses revealed that managing relationships at multiple levels between employees, corporate management, and the direct supervisor or manager is one way that organizations can decrease their overall voluntary employee turnover. The results of the study can be used by business leaders to create innovative retention plans and enact positive organizational change to reduce the voluntary employee turnover of IT professionals.