A grounded theory study of retention among rural speech-language pathologists
The purpose of this qualitative study is to investigate rural speech-language pathologists' motivations for remaining in rural practices. Administrations and recruiters frequently offer monetary incentives to professionals who are hired for hard-to-fill positions in rural areas. However, initial incentives do not ensure that individuals will remain at their jobs once the benefits of the incentives have ended. To better understand factors contributing to retention, we interviewed eight speech-language pathologists who had practiced in rural Kansas for five years or longer. Through semi-structured interviews, we collected data concerning the participants' motivation, satisfaction, and dissatisfaction regarding their jobs. We coded and analyzed their narratives, which were compared to theories of motivation developed by Staw (1989), Herzberg (1964), and Deci and Ryan (2002). Through this comparison and coding, we found major themes of motivation shared by most of the participants. Using these themes, we developed a grounded theory of rural retention, which brings the standard practice of providing incentives into question. Finally, we offer alternative suggestions for administrators and recruiters to consider to improve retention.
Thesis (M.A.)--Wichita State University, College of Health Professions, Dept. of Communication Sciences and Disorders