Levi N. Davis

Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Science in Engineering Management


Department of Systems Engineering and Management

First Advisor

Daniel T. Holt, PhD


High degrees of organizational turnover have been associated with decreased customer satisfaction, increased customer turnover, decreased employee productivity, decreased organizational performance, and decreased profitability. As such, more than 1,500 studies have been performed in the past 50 years on the topics of retention and turnover. This study aimed to examine possible relationships between the personality make up of Air Force officers and their retention within the United States Air Force. If present, such relationships might offer avenues for improving recruitment and retention efforts within the Air Force. Between 1996 and 1997, 318 officer candidates attending the United States Air Force Officer Training School were administered personality surveys, including measures for extraversion, agreeableness, conscientiousness, openness to experience, emotional stability, positive and negative affect, and general self-efficacy. In 2009, the Air Force Personnel Center records of these officers were examined, and separation and retention data was collected for each participant. A correlation study was performed in order to determine which (if any) personality measures held significant relationships with observed turnover. Other variables were also considered, including job satisfaction, organizational commitment, and prior enlisted service. None of the personality measures demonstrated a significant relationship with turnover.

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DTIC Accession Number