Graduate School of Business


Doctor of Business Administration (DBA)


John Borek


leadership, volunteer, job satisfaction, employee retention, fire department




The need for volunteer firefighters continues to grow as communities expand and requests for emergency service response rises. The purpose of this study was designed to examine the relationships between the leadership behaviors of chief fire officers and the volunteer satisfaction and turnover intention of volunteer firefighters in North Central North Carolina. This study focused on the three leadership styles that comprise the full range leadership model, including transformational, transactional, and passive/avoidant. Three research questions supported this study which looked at the effects of leadership behaviors on volunteer satisfaction, leadership behaviors on turnover intention, and volunteer satisfaction on turnover intention. The research study questions were answered through testing the research hypotheses using statistical analysis techniques. Responses from 353 volunteer firefighters were analyzed to measure the significance of the relationships between study variables. The findings of the study indicate a statistically significant relationship between transformational and passive/avoidant leadership behaviors with both volunteer satisfaction and turnover intention. The findings show a positive relationship between transformational leadership and the volunteer satisfaction of volunteer firefighters, while a negative relationship existis between passive/avoidant leadership behaviors and volunteer satisfaction. The study also found a negative relationship between transformational leadership and turnover intention, which represents a decrease in the intention of volunteer firefighters to leave the organization. Alternatively, passive/avoidant leadership behaviors indicated a positive relationship with turnover intention, thus increasing the potential for turnover. Finally, the study results indicated a negative relationship between volunteer satisfaction and turnover intention of volunteer firefighters.

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