Date of Conferral

2018

Degree

Doctor of Business Administration (D.B.A.)

School

Management

Advisor

Peter Anthony

Abstract

Fire and Emergency New Zealand experiences voluntary turnover at local volunteer fire brigades. The purpose of the quantitative component of this sequential explanatory study was to examine the relationship between volunteer chief fire officers' leadership styles, perceptions of organizational support, and voluntary firefighter turnover; the purpose of the qualitative component was to explore strategies that volunteer chief fire officers used to reduce volunteer firefighter turnover. The population for the quantitative study was 21 volunteer chief fire officers, and the population for the qualitative study was 6 volunteer firefighters. The theoretical frameworks that grounded this study were transformational leadership theory (TL) and organizational support theory (OST). The data collection process for the quantitative component was 2 surveys, and the data analysis process was Pearson's correlation. The data collection process for the qualitative component was face-to-face, semistructured interviews, and the data analysis process was thematic analysis. The quantitative results showed a significant statistical relationship between OST and turnover (p.001). The qualitative results yielded 5 themes for strategies that reduce firefighter turnover: family acknowledgment and involvement, a positive culture and satisfaction, robust vetting and induction processes, flexibility in training, and communication and recognition. The implications for positive social change included the identification of strategies for fire service leaders to use in promoting the worth, dignity, and development of volunteers, to foster unity and enhance safety within communities.

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