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Quantitative descriptive research study of automobile sales consultants' intentions to terminate

Dissertation
Author: Devora Alyce Cooper
Abstract:
Employee turnover is a subject of interest for all organizations in terms of identifying the key determinants and developing strategies to decrease voluntary terminations. In retail industries, turnover may disrupt the flow of business by preventing the retention of the firm's customer base. To attract, train, and retain sales consultants, dealers must identify and other industry leaders must understand the intrinsic and extrinsic motivators that enhance job satisfaction for sales consultants to ensure the integration of primary motivators into compensation plans and organizational structures resulting in a decrease of sales consultant turnover. The research study explored the relationship between the demographic characteristics of automobiles sales consultants in Central Texas and their intentions to terminate because of compensation, training, or managerial leadership. The study used Herzberg's two-factor theory of job satisfaction and Ouchi's theory z as theoretical framework to determine if specific factors and organizational processes contribute to turnover. Results of the study indicated no relationship between intent to quit and gender, years of experience, or level of education with the exception of an association between years of experience and intent to quit because of managerial leadership.

vii TABLE OF CONTENTS LIST OF TABLES……………………………………………………………………………xi LIST OF FIGURES………………………………………………………………………….xii CHAPTER 1: INTRODUCTION……………………………………………………………..1 Background of the Problem…………………………………………………………………...1 Statement of the Problem……………………………………………………………………...4 Purpose of the Study…………………………………………………………………………..5 Significance of the Problem…………………………………………………………………...5 Compensation………...……………………………………………………………….7 Training……..…………………………………………………………..……….........8 Managerial Leadership…..……………………………………………………………9 Nature of the Study……...………………..………………………………………………….13 Research Questions………...………………………………………………………………...14 Hypotheses……………...…………………………………………………………………....16 Theoretical Framework………...…………………………………………………………….18 Definition of Terms…………...……………………………………………………………...21 Assumptions………………...………………………………………………………………..22 Scope ………………………...……………………………………………………………....23 Limitations……………...…………………………………………………………………....23 Delimitations………...……………………………………………………………………….23 Summary…………...………………………………………………………………………...24 CHAPTER 2: REVIEW OF THE LITERATURE………...………………………………...27 Documentation……………...………………………………………………………………..28

viii Search Process…………...…………………………………………………..............28 Literature Review…………………………………………………………………………….30 Predictor Variables…………………………………………………………………...30 Gender…………...…………………………………………………...............30 Education Level……...………………………………………………………31 Years of Experience………...………………………………………………..32 Criterion Variables…………...………………………………………………………32 Compensation……...………………………………………………………...32 Training……..…………………………………………………………….....37 Managerial Leadership……..………………………………………………..39 Intentions to Terminate……...……………………………………………………….40 Turnover…………....………………………………………………………………...43 Organizational Culture ……………………………………………............................45 Theoretical Perspective……………………………………………………………....49 Social Exchange Theory……...……………………………………………...50 ETM…………...……………………………………………………………..51 Two-Factor Theory of Job Satisfaction……...………………………………51 Theory z………...……………………………………………………………52 Conclusion…………...………………………………………………………………………53 Summary…………………...………………………………………………………………...54 Implications…………...……………………………………………………………………..56 CHAPTER 3: METHOD………………………………………………………………….....57 Research Design……………………………………………………………………………...57

ix Appropriateness of Design………...………………………………………………………...58 Measures……...……………………………………………………………...............59 Independent Variables……...………………………………………………..59 Dependent Variables……...………………………………………………….59 Research Questions…………...……………………………………………………………...60 Hypotheses…………...………………………………………………………………………61 Population ………...…………………………………………………………………………64 Informed Consent..…...………………………………………………………………………64 Sampling Frame………...……………………………………………………………………65 Confidentiality…………...…………………………………………………………………..66 Instrumentation……...……………………………………………………………………….66 Data Collection………...…………………………………………………………………….67 Data Analysis……...…………………………………………………………………………68 Sample Size Justification……...………………………………………………...…...68 Validity and Reliability……...……………………………………………………………….69 Summary………………...…………………………………………………………………...71 CHAPTER 4: RESULTS…………...………………………………………………………..73 Results of the Pilot Study………...…………………………………………………………..73 Demographic Information on Respondents…………...……………………………………..75 Outcomes of Hypotheses Testing…...……………………………………………………….76 Summary……………...……………………………………………………...........................90 CHAPTER 5: CONCLUSIONS AND RECOMMENDATIONS……...……………………92 Conclusions………...………………………………………………………………………...92

x Recommendations………………………………………………………..............................94 REFERENCES……………………………………………………………………………...96 APPENDIX A: INFORMED CONSENT FORM………………………………………...113 APPENDIX B: RESPONDENT LETTER………………………………………………..114 APPENDIX C: SURVEY……..………..………………………………………................116 APPENDIX D: SAMPLE LETTER TO DEALERSHIP MANAGEMENT …………….118

xi LIST OF TABLES Table 1 Literature Reviewed to Support Variables and Theories…….….…..…..……..39 Table 2 Compensation Influences Intentions to Stay or Leave by Gender......................87 Table 3 Mann-Whitney Test Results for Testing Hypothesis 1…………………………88 Table 4 Training Influences Intentions to Stay or Leave by Gender……………...........89 Table 5 Mann-Whitney Test Results for Testing Hypothesis 2…………………………89 Table 6 Managerial Leadership Termination Intentions by Gender………….………..90 Table 7 Mann-Whitney Test Results for Testing Hypothesis 3…………………………90 Table 8 Compensation Influences Termination Intentions by Education Level…..........92 Table 9 Mann-Whitney Test Results for Testing Hypothesis 4…………………………92 Table 10 Training Influences Intentions to Stay or Leave by Education Level….……..93 Table 11 Mann-Whitney Test Results for Testing Hypothesis 5………….……….........93 Table 12 Managerial Leadership Influences Termination Intentions…….………........95 Table 13 Mann-Whitney Test Results for Testing Hypothesis 6……….……………….95 Table 14 Correlation – Intent to Quit Due to Compensation & Length of Time………96 Table 15 Correlation – Intent to Quit Due to Training & Length of Time……….........98 Table 16 Correlation – Intent to Quit Due to Mgr Leadership & Length of Time…….99

xii LIST OF FIGURES Figure 1. Two-factor Theory of Job Satisfaction…………………………………..........29 Figure 2. Annual U.S. Employee Voluntary Turnover Rates……………………………53 Figure 3. Managerial Leadership Influences Decision to Leave…………………...……87 Figure 4. Distribution: Intent to Quit Due to Training for Males and Females………….88 Figure 5. Distribution: Intent to Quit Due to Managerial Leadership by Gender….........90 Figure 6. Distribution: Intent to Quit Due to Compensation by Education Level…...….91 Figure 7. Distribution: Intent to Quit Due to Training by Education Level………..........93 Figure 8. Distribution: Intent to Quit Due to Mgr. Leadership by Education Level.........94 Figure 9. Relationship: Intent to Quit Due to Compensation and Length of Time....…...96 Figure 10. Relationship: Intent to Quit Due to Training and Length of Time…………..97 Figure 11. Relationship: Intent to Quit Due to Mgr Leadership & Length of Time….…99

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CHAPTER 1: INTRODUCTION Employee turnover is a subject of interest for all organizations in terms of identifying the key determinants and developing strategies to decrease voluntary terminations. In retail industries, turnover may disrupt the flow of business by preventing the retention of the firm’s customer base. Leman (2006) found sales consultant turnover in automobile dealerships affects operational efficiency and customer relationships. To attract, train, and retain sales consultants, dealers and other industry leaders must understand the intrinsic and extrinsic motivators enhancing job satisfaction for sales consultants and ensure the integration of primary motivators into compensation plans and organizational structures resulting in a decrease of sales consultant turnover. According to Saranow (2006), salesperson turnover reached 51% in 2004; up 10% from 2003. Dealer principals, general managers, and sales managers require information to diminish the likelihood of high turnover for automobile sales consultants. Background of the Problem Scholars have studied employee turnover in sales-related jobs for many years. An empirical study of sales force turnover was conducted by Lucas, Parasuraman, Davis, and Enis (1987) to determine the negative impact of salesperson turnover on organizational profitability. Johnston, Varadarajan, and Futrell (1987) conducted a study to determine the relationship between organizational commitment, job satisfaction, and turnover among new salespeople. The study identified attitudinal differences between individuals who remain or leave a company during their first year to identify “patterns of change among new salespeople’s organizational commitment and job satisfaction” (Johnston et al., 1987, p. 29). Organizations should identify the key drivers of job satisfaction in the

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early stage of employment to prevent turnover. Sager, Varadarajan, and Futrell (1988) performed a study to understand and evaluate salesperson turnover. Results of the study implied, “Thinking of quitting, attitude towards quitting, and intentions to quit are synonymous in the minds of salespersons” (p. 32). The costs of hiring and training salespersons and the ability to retain customers are key factors organizations must address. Identifying the key determinants of turnover may assist firms in decreasing replacement costs. Studies in the 1990s indicated the turnover rate for the average employee was different for each industry and type of employment (Richardson, 1999). The focus of the Richardson (1999) study was the impact of sales consultant turnover on sales. According to Richardson (1999), turnover of a sales force increases an organization’s business expenses in the areas of lost sales, separation costs, recruitment, and training. Analysis of the primary factors leading to turnover may assist firms in mitigating unnecessary expenses. Adidam (2006) investigated the costs and reasons associated with high sales professional turnover. Studies by Richardson (1999) and Adidam (2006) offered suggestions on increasing retention through better hiring practices, training opportunities, trust and commitment development, and the establishment of reasonable and equitable sales quota setting procedures. Without knowledge of the factors affecting turnover, businesses may spend time and money without correcting the problem. A study by Zimmerman (2008) indicated employees’ personality traits influence turnover intentions. Specifically, individuals possessing low emotional stability may have intentions to terminate for reasons other than job dissatisfaction or performance and individuals low on agreeableness or high on openness may leave at any given time (¶ 1).

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Zimmerman (2008) suggested employees with low job satisfaction have higher intentions to terminate. Organizations retaining employees on a long-term basis have a better chance of promoting employee commitment, aligning the firm’s mission, vision, and structure to obtain goals, and achieving organizational efficiency. Turnover may cause interruptions in business operations, reduce the successful development and implementation of teams or work groups, and increase the workload of human resources managers and payroll administrators. Organizational leaders face the challenges of understanding the causes of voluntary terminations within their respective industries and organizations to retain employees who assist the firm in realizing the organizational vision. Darmon (2008) posited, “Sales force turnover is pervasive and affects most sales organizations” (p. 211).

Information addressing the causes of turnover in the automobile dealerships may ameliorate the retention of sales consultants and organizational procedures. Research closely examining the turnover of automobile sales consultants is absent from the literature. Leaders in all industries have concerns regarding the management and implementation of strategies decreasing employee turnover. Turnover is especially important to automobile dealerships. The cost of hiring, retraining, and rebuilding a sales team functioning efficiently to obtain organizational goals requires dealerships to analyze variables affecting turnover, manage employees effectively, and promote job satisfaction. The components of job satisfaction are different for every person and dealerships should make continuous strides to understand employee needs and address job satisfaction as a primary initiative. Understanding whether compensation, training, or managerial leadership could be determinants of job satisfaction created a need to complete a study

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expanding on this knowledge and providing leaders with information potentially leading to a reduction of sales consultant turnover. Reduction of sales force turnover is a requirement to maintain the policies and procedures of automobile dealerships and ensure the retention of customers. Statement of the Problem Turnover is a costly aspect of business operations. According to Paul Dorf (as cited in McAleavy, 2004), founder and managing director of Compensation Resources Inc., recruiting fees, advertisements, salaries, and training and interviewing costs for a person earning $50,000 a year could cost an organization between $75,000 and $125,000. The 2006 total separation rate across all non-farm industries in the United States was 40.7% (U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, 2007) and the average turnover rate at new vehicle automobile dealerships was 46% in 2006 (NADA, as cited in Moore, 2007). From 2007 to 2008, the unemployment rate at automobile dealerships remains unchanged at 4.6% (NADA, 2008). Richardson (1999) and Fahey (2003) found turnover as a growing dilemma in many industries; however, a lack of research exist specifically addressing turnover of automobile salespersons. High turnover rates are costly for automobile dealerships because of increased training costs and “lost sales from returning customers” (Darmon, 2008, p. 211). This quantitative descriptive research study sought to determine the existence of relationships between automobile salesperson’s demographic characteristics and their intentions to terminate because of compensation, training, or managerial leadership in an effort to provide information to decrease salesperson turnover and improve management practices in automobile dealerships.

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Purpose of the Study The purpose of this quantitative descriptive research study was to determine if a relationship exists between automobile sales consultants’ demographic characteristics and their intentions to terminate as a result of compensation, training, or managerial leadership. In quantitative studies, the relationship among variables is advanced and questions or hypotheses are posed (Creswell, 2005). This study correlated variables using the Mann-Whitney test and Spearman’s rho correlation statistic. Data was collected from surveys completed by automobile salespersons near Austin, Texas and Killeen, Texas. The independent, or predictor, variables for this study included salesperson gender, education level, and years of experience. The dependent, or criterion, variables were intentions to terminate employment as a result of compensation, intentions to terminate employment as a result of training, and intentions to terminate as a result of managerial leadership. The quantitative descriptive research study proposed different subgroups of automobile sales consultants terminate employment for different reasons; either because of poorly-constructed compensation plans, lack of training, or insufficient managerial leadership. Significance of the Study The study sought to contribute information to the topics of organizational commitment, job satisfaction, and turnover by adding knowledge specific to automobile sales consultants. The automobile industry directly affects the health of the American economy as one of the country’s oldest industries (Joetan & Kleiner, 2004). During hard times and periods of recession, dealerships must implement strategies to remain profitable. Formulating plans to recruit, hire, and train the right individuals to sell

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vehicles is one of the primary strategies. Retaining good talent is a critical success factor for automobile dealerships. Maintaining a competitive advantage, nurturing employee satisfaction, and building customer loyalty are major initiatives of automobile dealerships. Miller, Eisenstate, and Foote (2006) posit, “Competitive advantage comes not from imitation but from using organizational processes and designs to identify emerging asymmetries and build them into capabilities” (¶ 7). Automobile manufacturers have a responsibility to manufacture quality products, provide safety assurances to customers, and offer product warranties to ensure proper operation of products. However, automobile dealerships must attract customers, negotiate sales, and nurture relationships to retain a customer base with the opportunity of long-term dealership profitability. Addressing dealer principals, Welch (2007) remarked, Leadership is composed of energy, the ability to energize others, keeping the edge, and having the ability to execute and the passion to succeed…Staffers need to be nurtured, because turnover in business is a killer (¶ 2). The leadership of automobile dealerships should formulate strategies to increase the likelihood customers will visit the showroom or company website to purchase vehicles. Sales consultants play a vital role in cultivating relationships with customers and assisting the company in increasing their customer base. Dealerships require a strategy to hire, train, and retain sales consultants. Turnover of sales consultants may result in the loss of customers as many customers may follow the sales consultant to another dealership if a solid relationship does not exist with the dealership. Organizations must actively seek methods of creating an environment sustaining job satisfaction for sales consultants.

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Job satisfaction for sales consultants can stem from different variables. Intrinsic and extrinsic rewards may affect a sales consultant’s job satisfaction and intentions to terminate employment with the dealership. The rewards may include compensation packages, training, managerial leadership, organizational culture, and company structure. According to Freed (2003), job satisfaction significantly relates to productivity levels and high levels of job satisfaction relate to low levels of turnover. This study sought to describe the relationship between the demographic characteristics of automobiles sales consultants in the vicinity of Austin, Texas and Killeen, Texas (predictor variables) and their intentions to quit as a result of compensation, training, and managerial leadership (criterion variables) to determine if automobile dealerships should focus on different areas for different subgroups of salespersons to prevent excessive turnover. Compensation Automobile dealerships use a variety of compensation packages to motivate sales consultants to meet specific sales quotas such as unit bonuses, fast-start bonuses, old- aged unit bonuses, monthly unit bonuses, credit life and accidental death bonuses, extended service agreement bonuses, and commissions based on a percentage of commissionable gross, unit count, and finance reserve. Satisfaction with compensation is a key element in retaining employees and increasing organizational commitment (Vandenberghe & Tremblay, 2008). Securing a position offering value for sales consultants may be a high priority. Dealerships must acknowledge other factors contributing to a salesperson’s job satisfaction and organizational commitment. Dealerships should ensure monetary motivation is not a short-term solution for obtaining the company’s goals and analyze different aspects of the company’s structure and

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environment with the potential to influence the intentions of sales consultants to terminate. Training Automobile sales consultants must receive training on the product features of new vehicle models, manufacturer warranties, and gas mileage. Individuals may require guidance on the appropriate interaction with customers, sales techniques to nurture relationships, vehicle demonstrations and delivery, customer referrals to sales managers, and the compilation of required documentation. Proper training assists sales consultants to perform duties according to the dealership’s strategic goals and sales processes. The absence of training may result in intentions to terminate if salespersons cannot perform job duties or meet sales objectives. Firms implement strategic customer relationship management (CRM) programs to create a customer-focused culture, promote customer satisfaction, share customer information, and convert information into useful knowledge (Lassar, Lassar, & Rauseo, 2008). Sales consultants must receive information on customer preferences to reap the benefits of a strategic CRM program. Many organizations use programs, such as Six Sigma, as a measurement tool to improve quality control. The methodology of Six Sigma demands the training of employees, the improvement of the value chain within an organization, and a culture of proactive improvement through the development, empowerment, and involvement individuals within the firm (Morgan, 2005). Automobile manufacturers promote customer satisfaction programs to ensure dealerships maintain the highest level of customer satisfaction. Sales consultant training programs may create value through

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dealership processes and employee contributions with CRM, quality control programs, and managerial leadership. Managerial Leadership Hooijberg and Lane (2007) describe strategic leadership as “non face-to-face activities emphasized at the top of the organization” (p. 1). The description by Hooijberg et al. (2007) is based on Dubin’s characterization of leadership of and leadership in, wherein leadership in is synonymous with strategic leadership and leadership of refers to face-to-face, managerial leadership. When organizational leaders create an environment encouraging the sharing of ideas and best efforts from employees, “the total of the employees’ efforts and ideas will almost always surpass what the leaders could have conceived themselves” (p. 1). Stakeholders must understand the messages of organizational leaders. Specifically, automobile sales consultants must understand the expectations of the firm. To manage the meanings in their messages, organizational leaders should (p. 2): 1. Justify their actions and the changes that they introduce to the organization. 2. Recruit followers and motivate members of the organization to support the actions of leaders. 3. Create shared perceptions and interpretations so that the member’s actions are guided by a common definition of the situation. 4. Create a common understanding of the environment in which the organization operates and which actions matter most. Organizations require intra-organizational strategies to ensure effective communication and teamwork, manage enculturation, increase employee empowerment,

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and share knowledge. To implement strategies advancing the firm competitively and profitably, dealerships must formulate intra-organizational strategies enhancing the transfer of knowledge. The transfer of knowledge is an essential tool to achieve organizational effectiveness. Knowledge transfer occurs with the communication of information or data from one entity or individual to another and can be unintentional or deliberate (Welch & Welch, 2008). Individuals transfer knowledge through face-to-face interactions, virtual meetings, intranets, and written communication. Many firms use an Intranet to disseminate information regarding employee benefits, organizational news, and industry information. For the transfer of highly valuable tacit knowledge, firms must develop intra-organizational strategies offering appropriate communication channels, build a common language, and embrace a cross-site structure and culture (Kasper, Mühlbacher, & Müller, 2008). According to Mintzberg, Lampel, Quinn, and Ghoshal (2003), “Managerial objectivity is the power to stand outside of a situation, map it onto a logical framework, and initiate the action it suggests” (p. 201). Organizational cultures demanding and rewarding fast action require education on the benefits of objectivity and critical thinking. The negative effects of making uninformed decisions may prevent the firm from achieving goals. Organizations may require transformation of the culture, structure, and design to maintain a competitive advantage, operate in a global environment. According to Wischnevsky and Damanpour (2006), “Organizational transformation is a transition between organizational states that differ substantially in crucial features such as strategy and structure” (¶ 2). Managers in automobile dealerships must transform cultures to include strategies for an Internet-based business to enhance the traditional business

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structure. Leaders should influence followers to embrace the firm’s culture, buy-in to the organization’s brand, and commit to the organization’s purpose. The managerial leadership of automobile dealerships must understand the benefits of innovativeness and critical thinking, educate others in the negative components of groupthink, and discourage organizational politics. To achieve organizational effectiveness, firms should adopt and implement strategies considering several components. Among the various components are the consideration of short-term and long-term goals, the cultivation of the organization’s culture, and the implementation of processes to execute the strategy (Lawrence, Vlachoutsicos & Michailova, 2005). By playing the devil’s advocate in meetings, leaders should offer alternative solutions and methods of analyzing operations to receive optimal results. Groupthink (Janis, 1972) may emerge when “a leader actively promotes his or her own solutions” (Chapman, 2006, p. 1392) Diminishing the effects of groupthink may decrease the effects of poor decision-making as individuals lose their critical evaluative capabilities, are unwilling to criticize the suggestions of others, or wish to avoid confrontations (Bowditch & Buono, 2001). In 1995, Neck and Moorhead proposed an enhanced model to Janis’ groupthink model by introducing a moderator variable – closed leadership behavior. A leader using the closed leadership style does not encourage member participation, states his or her personal opinion at the onset of meetings, does not encourage alternative opinions, and does not identify the importance of the decision (Neck et al.). The ability of the leader to influence group members to concur may result in poor decisions. Leaders exhibiting open-style leadership behaviors may “counteract

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the concurrence-seeking pressures acting with a group that exhibit groupthink” characteristics (p. 551). Organizational leaders must emphasize the need to be innovative and bring new ideas to the market first. Parsons (1992) lists three skills to build innovative corporations (p. 8): 1. Invention. The ability to generate new ideas for providing value to customers. 2. Innovation. The capacity to develop and commercialize the new product, service, or business system that derives from the idea. This includes developing distinctive new methods of production or distribution as well as new products or services. 3. Innovativeness. The power to capture ideas and commercialize value to the customer time and again, continually for years. Innovativeness is a broad concept that encompasses the whole organization of a firm’s mode of operations and its relationships with customers. Innovativeness demands that an institution develop self-renewing characteristics. Organizational leaders must determine methods of augmenting organizational capabilities with new capabilities enabling the firm to meet new challenges (Chowdhury, 2002). The study focused on specific variables to promote job satisfaction for sales consultants in Central Texas, decrease sales consultant turnover, reduce expenses associated with turnover, and improve employee morale. The leaders of Central Texas automobile dealerships require updated information to offset decreased gross margins and attract new candidates as sales consultants. Salespersons should be capable of adapting to

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new sales methodologies and environmental changes in the retail industry, such as Internet sales and customer relationship programs. The face of franchise automobile dealerships in the U.S. is changing. In the next 50 years, dealers will have multiple franchises and fewer family-owned dealerships will pass to the next generation (Kachadourian, 2006). Rising U. S. unemployment and financial problems affect the automobile industry directly. Automobile dealers should be innovative in implementing methods to maximize profitability. Turnover is a major factor decreasing profitability through increased expenses and turnover costs. The study could provide insight into new strategies to align an organization’s vision, goals, culture, and structure with the job satisfaction motivators of sales consultants. Nature of the Study This quantitative descriptive research study sought to describe the phenomenon of voluntary turnover in automobile dealerships near Austin, Texas and Killeen, Texas. The study correlated the relationships between the predictor variables of salesperson gender, education level, and years of experience and the criterion variables of intentions to terminate employment as a result of compensation, training, or managerial leadership. A quantitative method was appropriate for the study because quantification made observations more explicit and easier to compare and summarize (Babbie, 2007). The quantitative research process involved asking specific questions, employing a process to collect data, and analyzing data through the use of statistics. In the study, quantitative data was collected from surveys completed by automobile sales consultants. Quantitative methodology is appropriate to explain how the variables of the problem influence the questions posed for the research. A pilot study

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assisted in designing a survey instrument specifically for automobile sales consultants. Responses to the quantitative survey questions produced data that could be analyzed statistically to evaluate the existence of a relationship between salesperson demographic characteristics and their intentions to quit as a result of compensation, training, or managerial leadership. Answers to the qualitative survey questions assisted in understanding perceptions in the quantitative data. The selection of a descriptive research study provided the opportunity to describe the causes of voluntary turnover, explore sales consultants’ perceptions regarding job satisfaction, and discover how sales consultants’ perceptions influence decisions to terminate. According to Creswell (2005), research designs are used to gather, evaluate, and interpret data, and the research design must match the problem under investigation. A descriptive research study involves collecting data to describe events or characteristics of a particular population within a contextual framework (Cooper & Schindler, 2003). Descriptive research assisted in defining the specific variables increasing voluntary termination of automobile sales consultants. According to Leedy and Ormrod (2005), conducting a descriptive research study yields information on “the nature of how things are” (p. 198). The use of qualitative and quantitative survey questions in this study increased the ability to offer information to industry leaders regarding variables influencing turnover other than compensation, training, and managerial leadership. Research Questions The primary research question driving the information needed from the survey was: Does a relationship exist between automobile sales consultants’ demographic characteristics and their intentions to quit the job as a result of compensation, training, or

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managerial leadership? The following nine research questions were addressed in the study: R 1 . Does a difference exist between male and female (GEN) automobile sales consultants with respect to their intent to quit as a result of compensation (COM)? R 2 . Does a difference exist between male and female (GEN) automobile sales consultants with respect to their intent to quit as a result of training (TRA)? R 3 . Does a difference exist between male and female (GEN) automobile sales consultants with respect to their intent to quit as a result of managerial leadership (MAN)? R 4 . Does a difference exists between automobile sales consultants whose highest level of education is a high school diploma versus those with an associates degree or higher with respect to their intent to quit as a result of compensation (COM)? R 5 . Does a difference exists between automobile sales consultants whose highest level of education is a high school diploma versus those with an associates degree or higher with respect to their intent to quit as a result of training (TRA)? R 6 . Does a difference exists between automobile sales consultants whose highest level of education is a high school diploma versus those with an associates degree or higher with respect to their intent to quit as a result of managerial leadership (MAN)? R 7 . Does a relationship exist between automobile sales consultants’ years of experience (YE) and their intent to quit as a result of compensation (COM)? R 8 . Does a relationship exist between automobile sales consultants’ years of experience (YE) and their intent to quit as a result of training (TRA)?

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R 7 . Does a relationship exist between automobile sales consultants’ years of experience (YE) and their intent to quit as a result of managerial leadership (MAN)? Hypotheses The nine statistical hypotheses tested in this study are listed below: H 01 No difference exists in the median intent to quit as a result of compensation (COM) score between male and female automobile sales consultants. H 1 A difference exists in the median intent to quit as a result of compensation (COM) score between male and female automobile sales consultants. H 02 No difference exists in the median intent to quit as a result of training (TRA) score between male and female automobile sales consultants. H 2 A difference exists in the median intent to quit as a result of training (TRA) score between male and female automobile sales consultants. H 03 No difference exists in the median intent to quit as a result of managerial leadership (MAN) score between male and female automobile sales consultants. H 3 A difference exists in the median intent to quit as a result of managerial leadership (MAN) score between male and female automobile sales consultants. H 04 No difference exists in the median intent to quit as a result of compensation (COM) score between automobile sales consultants whose highest level of education is a high school diploma versus those with an associates degree or higher. H 4 A difference exists in the median intent to quit as a result of compensation (COM) score between automobile sales consultants whose highest level of education is a high school diploma versus those with an associates degree or higher.

Full document contains 131 pages
Abstract: Employee turnover is a subject of interest for all organizations in terms of identifying the key determinants and developing strategies to decrease voluntary terminations. In retail industries, turnover may disrupt the flow of business by preventing the retention of the firm's customer base. To attract, train, and retain sales consultants, dealers must identify and other industry leaders must understand the intrinsic and extrinsic motivators that enhance job satisfaction for sales consultants to ensure the integration of primary motivators into compensation plans and organizational structures resulting in a decrease of sales consultant turnover. The research study explored the relationship between the demographic characteristics of automobiles sales consultants in Central Texas and their intentions to terminate because of compensation, training, or managerial leadership. The study used Herzberg's two-factor theory of job satisfaction and Ouchi's theory z as theoretical framework to determine if specific factors and organizational processes contribute to turnover. Results of the study indicated no relationship between intent to quit and gender, years of experience, or level of education with the exception of an association between years of experience and intent to quit because of managerial leadership.