Graduation Year


Document Type




Degree Granting Department

Business Administration

Major Professor

Paul Spector, Ph.D.

Co-Major Professor

Joann Quinn, Ph.D.

Committee Member

Eric Eisenberg, Ph.D.

Committee Member

Pryia Dozier, DBA


extrinsic motivation, intrinsic motivation, psychological meaning, workplace turnover


The lack of financial resources has long challenged government institutions to move employee wages toward the market rate average for hourly and salaried positions. This area of public employment, where motivation other than a pay increase is necessary due to constrained budgets, is not well studied or understood. The primary purpose of this longitudinal case study is to investigate factors that influence Administrative Service employees and increase their level of retention at the University of South Florida (USF), a state funded university. The objective of the case study was to better understand how enhanced psychological meaningfulness, and increased employee engagement influences service employee retention in a public-sector environment. The secondary purpose was to explore the relationship between employee engagement, intrinsic motivation, and psychological meaningfulness, and their linkage to employee retention. An exploratory conceptual model, derived from an experienced-based perspective, was used to examine the factors that were identified to influence the OAS employees. In this study, personal observations were combined with employee survey and turnover data. The research support to the employee engagement conceptual framework for this case study. The study's findings determined that employee retention strategies can be explored through employee engagement, intrinsic motivation, and psychological meaningfulness. The results confirm that meaningfulness is a psychological condition that intrinsically motivates members in the workplace, influencing employee engagement. The results from this exploratory case study can be utilized by academia for further future research. The practitioners can use it to explore factors that are considered the best fit for their organization.