School of Education


Doctor of Philosophy in Education (PhD)


Christopher Clark


job embeddedness, parochial schools, private schools, retention


Education | Educational Leadership


The purpose of this hermeneutic phenomenological study was to explore educators’ experiences of job embeddedness in southeastern United States parochial schools and communities. The theory guiding this study was the job embeddedness theory, which states that people within an organization have links or connections with other stakeholders or activities in the organization and that an employee’s professional life must be a good fit with other aspects of their life. I explored educators’ experiences of job embeddedness during this study. The central research question asked, “How do educators describe experiences of job embeddedness while teaching in a parochial school system in the southeastern United States?” Twelve educators from a school system in the southeastern United States were interviewed regarding their lived experiences of being an educator in the school system and their experiences of job embeddedness. Data collection took place through an initial questionnaire, an interview, and a journal entry. Following Moustakas’ data analysis procedures, I divided questionnaire responses, interview responses, and journal entries into units for meaningful analysis. The themes of this study represented the lived experiences of 12 educators in a parochial school system and their descriptions of job embeddedness. The five themes were as follows: (a) strong relationships with students, (b) mixed relationships with parents, (c) strong fit to the school, (d) strong relationships with colleagues, and (e) lack of people connections to the community.