Author(s)

Andrew ReitzFollow

Date

2-2009

Department

Graduate School of Business

Degree

Doctor of Business Administration (DBA)

Chair

Edward M Moore

Keywords

Focus Groups, Grounded Theory, Organizational Attraction, Pilot Recruitment, Pilot Shortage

Disciplines

Business | Business Administration, Management, and Operations | Business Analytics | Human Resources Management

Abstract

The purpose of this study was to identify which organizational attributes affected the decision to apply to or accept an employment offer as a pilot for a regional airline. The regional airlines in the United States faced a significant shortage of qualified pilot applicants. The shortage was expected to worsen over the next decade. It came from an increase in mandatory retirements, major airline growth and hiring, an increase in pilots leaving the profession coupled with a reduction in the number of candidates beginning flight training. Those regional carriers that could meet the most needs and desires of applicants would be able to fill their cockpits, while those that ignored these needs would continue to cancel flights as a result of crew shortages. Completing these flights would provide the successful airlines with a significant competitive advantage. The study was qualitative in nature, utilizing focus groups consisting of aviation management or flight students at four universities. By identifying the variables that attracted applicants, an airline could more clearly understand how to attract pilots. This would allow a company to focus its finite resources on a particular area, attracting enough high-quality pilots to properly staff the airline.

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