College Graduates Motivated or Exploited in a High Turnover Company.

My Dissertation Proposal

1. Aims of the Dissertation Chapters 1,2

An internal investigation into the human resource elements of an industry leader: Enterprise Rent-a-Car, a company that recruits more college graduates than any other US corporation; yet, has a 48% turnover in their first year (Loomis.2006:141). With fears of a recession in the current US economy, now is the best time to conduct such a study (Greg.2008). My aim is to research into the factors controllable and uncontrollable that lead to such a high employee turnover in an employees first year of servitude with Enterprise Rent-a-Car. In the business world, Enterprise s reputation with regards to its human resource activities are viewed as either classy, and successful or exploitive (Kazanjian.2007). This dissertation intends to answer the following questions:

Is Enterprise Rent-a-Car concerned with such a high employee turnover? Can this work to the company s advantage?

What are the main reasons for employees leaving Enterprise at such an early stage?

What are Enterprise and other large organizations doing to help motivate employees to continue a career with their organizations.

What do employees believe could be done to decrease such a high employee turnover.

What concerns are preexisting, and what concerns are newer?

What level of management has the most influence in controlling turnover.

Would the employee turnover rate be higher if employees of Enterprise had more confidence in the US economy.

Can this issue be identified at the recruiting stage?

Is Enterprise exploiting young college graduates with ambitious dreams?

What part does this turnover play in the big picture of Enterprises success?

Is Enterprise s high turnover an issue the company is concerned with, or is this just the cost of doing business that has been accepted?

Is Enterprise selling the dream of a prosper, yet impossible to achieve career.


Methods Chapters 3,4,5

The main sources of research will come from: field research; desk research, and the opinions and recommendations of industry experts and psychologist. The field research will be made up of confidential surveys of those employees at the lowest level of the organization; the management trainee level. This is an area of focus my investigation will be concentrated on, as this is the level that has a 48% turnover (Loomis.2008:141). My sample size will consist of 50 confidential surveys concentrating on Northern California, California Central Valley area, and the California bay area for management trainees of Enterprise Rent-a-Car. These surveys will offer an insight into how newer employees; those employees that have been with the company for a period of less than 1 year, view Enterprise s ability to retain staff. Interviews with branch managers of Enterprise; employees who have been with the company for a duration greater than 18 months, will grant feedback from employees who have survived the 48% turnover (Ibid). However, in order to retrieve honest and a greater insight into this subject, I will also conduct confidential surveys with employees that are no longer with Enterprise, and interview up to five of these former employees. Due to the downfall in the current US economy, many Enterprise Rent-a-Car managers have left Enterprise seeking more profitable ventures (Greg.2008). Personally working with these individuals allows me the ability to contact these individuals. Interviews will also be conducted with Managers, area managers, and the regional vice president of California s Central Valley. If the resources are available, I will also interview the Regional Vice President of one of the other California regions.

I will also conduct desk research, and compare articles and text references of human resource management, employee motivation, and employee turnover. Enterprise Rent-a-Car has been mentioned in many publications, as the company s business plan, and strategies used have aided in catapulting the company from a single branch operation to an industry leader within 50 years (Deutsch.2007). However, since most articles and publications praise the techniques used by Enterprise, I will offset the skewed results through internal emails and counseling techniques used to increase employee retention; as internally, Enterprise has identified employee retention as an issue, and has introduced counseling techniques to reduce its employee turnover.

Reaching out to industry experts and college professors will allow me to explore new theories, and strategies used by other companies, or created as the results of past studies. This will allow me to compare and contrast the techniques used by other companies with a similar employee turnover. Through use of the internet I will be able to locate and contact hundreds of psychologist nationwide through email. I will keep these questionnaires brief to ensure maximum response and feedback. My approach to college professors will differ, as I will start by contacting college professors from institutes I have previously attended, and from their recommendations locate more college professors.

3. Feasibility

I do have the consent of my firm, and this will be reflected in the permission to interview the regional vice president. Although there has never been a study concentrating on the employee motivational aspects of Enterprise Rent-a-Car, I will be able to conduct the research adequately and effectively. I plan to reach out to other branch managers with Enterprise Rent-a-Car, to conduct confidential surveys within their branches. I plan to post an online advertisement on HYPERLINK Http://, a website dedicated to disgruntled customers and former employees of Enterprise (Scholler.2006). This system of research is economical and will allow me the ability to reach out to a large sample of former employees who worked within the California region my dissertation concentrates on. Using the  failing Enterprise website, will allow me to use an existing website to collect research from former employees, making it feasible to collect data that is unbiased, by reaching out to both current and former employees of Enterprise Rent-a-Car (Ibid).

Although their may be doubts that surveys conducted on current management trainees will be bias, I believe the current state of the economy may be having a negative effect on the ability of managers to pass down positive reinforcement. This combined with research collected from former employees will allow me the ability to collect impartial results. Contacting former employees may pose some difficulty, however, through friends and personal connections I am confident that I will be able to interview five former employees of Enterprise.

I will reach out to industry experts, college professors and psychologist that specialize in this area, through email and telephone. I will disclose to these individuals the reason behind my interest, and inform them their responses may be published in my dissertation. By disclosing to these industry experts my time frame, this will allow me to collect data in enough time to analyze results. With regards to desk research, I have collected many articles over the last 2 years about Enterprise, and intend to do library searches, and reference publications and articles currently available through the library.

4 How Your Work Fits Existing Published Work Chapters 6,7

There are many existing articles and publications that address employee motivation within high employee turnover industries. These articles focus on human resource management on the productivity and financial performance of corporations (Huselid, 1995, 635). My dissertation looks to concentrate on what motivates employees; especially those employees working in a high turnover industry. There are conflicting publications in this area, as some research shows employees are more motivated by money, than they are by recognition. Where other research reflects this to be fal