Graduate School of Business


Doctor of Business Administration (DBA)


Emily Knowles


Women, STEM, Organizational Commitment, Work-Life Balance, Turnover Intention


Business | Human Resources Management


Higher education institutions in the United States experience high levels of faculty turnover (Klein & Takeda-Tinker, 2009). Colleges and universities have allowed the phenomenon of high turnover of faculty to become a cultural norm (Figueroa, 2015). Colleges and universities within the United States are specifically facing challenges retaining women faculty in the STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) disciplines (Burnett, Bilen-Green, McGeorge, & Anicha, 2012; Carrigan, O’Leary, Riskin, Yen, & O’Donnell, 2017; Hill, Corbett, & St. Rose, 2010). In this quantitative, correlational study, the relationship of organizational commitment, work-life balance and voluntary turnover intention of women faculty in STEM disciplines working at colleges and universities within the United States was examined. This study was based on the Social Exchange Theory, Mobley’s Job Satisfaction Model and the Three-Component Model of Organizational Commitment. Four hundred and twenty-four women faculty in the STEM disciplines across the United States completed a survey that asked them about their organizational commitment (affective, continuance and normative), work-life balance and turnover intention. The resulting analysis indicated that the relationship between these variables was statistically significant, but ranged from weak to moderate, with affective commitment having the most impact on turnover intention. This study may enable human resource professionals and organizational leaders to better provide human resource programs that may decrease turnover intention, and ultimately turnover, of women faculty in the STEM disciplines at colleges and universities within the United States.