Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Science


Department of Systems Engineering and Management

First Advisor

Mark A. Ward, PhD


The United States Air Force (AF) has experienced a downward trend in retention of information systems (IS) workers over the past five years. This research draws on the employee turnover model proposed by Mobley et al. (1979) and the work of Schein (1987) to measure the career anchors, job satisfaction, and turnover intention of AF IS workers to determine if those whose job type and career anchor match report higher satisfaction and lower turnover intention than those with a mismatch. A portion of the AF IS workforce (AFSCs 3C0X1, 3C0X2, and 3C2X1; N = 10,133) was surveyed through an online instrument that returned 2,724 responses. Job security, service, and life-style anchors emerged as dominant. Partial support was found showing that job satisfaction is positively influenced by compatibility between job type and career anchor. Partial support was also found for the proposed link between turnover intention and compatibility. The most significant finding was that managerial and technical anchors did not dominate this population. This suggests that AF IS workers do not possess the same career anchors as civilian IS workers and may require different incentives to reduce turnover. Further research should be expanded throughout the AF and should explore other factors in addition to job type/career anchor compatibility as contributing factors.

AFIT Designator


DTIC Accession Number