Dissertation Proposal

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The Effects of Non-Monetary Incentives on Turnover in the AmeriCorps and Peace Corps Non-Profit Organizations


Angela M. Wilson

An Applied Dissertation Submitted to the

Fischler School of Education and Human Services

in Partial Fulfillment of the Requirements

for the Degree of Doctor of Education

Nova Southeastern University


This study is expected to provide insight into the reasons that organizations experience high turnover rates including issues of cross-cultural interaction that may impact employee attitudes. This study aims to determine if incentives other than pay can increase retention and reduce low morale, address issues of multicultural diversity that may affect retention and productivity. The investigation will consist of primary research in the form of surveys distributed to retired members of Americorps and the Peace Corps. Survey data from AmeriCorps will be compared with that from the Peace Corps , because it has been very successful at retaining volunteers in multi-cultural situations through the use of non-monetary compensation thus provides an excellent resource (Peace Corps, 2008a). Additional secondary research as encapsulated within the literature review will be used to support the primary research and provide additional suggestions for solutions to the problems discovered in the primary resarch.

Table of Contents

Chapter 1: Introduction1


Statement of the Problem4

Purpose of the Study5

Chapter 2: Literature Review7


Cross-cultural Influences on Organizations7

Organizational Culture8

Peace Corp10

The Demographics of the Peace Corps16


Demographics of the AmeriCorps23

Research Methods and Methodologies25

Chapter 3: Methodology28







Chapter 1: Introduction


Two of the largest government-sponsored, public-service organizations in the United States are the Peace Corps and Americorps. The Peace Corps was established in 1961 to provide development support to areas around the world (Peace Corps, 2008a). The program currently has volunteers in 74 countries around the world, working within local organizations and communities to provide support in areas including education, information technology, community development, and environmental support (Peace Corps). Volunteers work in a wide range of areas depending on their expertise and area of interest, and many volunteers work alone or with only a small amount of support from a central location (Peace Corps). Americorps is a national service organization, but it faces the some of the same challenges that for-profit businesses face as well as those faced by schools, such as low morale and high turnover. Americorps volunteers work within the United States, with similar tasks and duties as Peace Corps volunteers, including medical support (where appropriate skills are available), education, housing, community support services, and other areas (Americorps, 2009). Both organizations are operated as volunteer organizations, although volunteers do work full time and are given a stipend to fund living expenses during their period of service (Americorps, Peace Corps). There are also similarities between the Americorps and Peace Corps organizations. Retention is a problem, and employees focus on professional development, recognition, and rewards as extrinsic motivators rather than holding internal motivations for the work. Americorps and the Peace Corps provide an excellent environment for study when the intent is to determine the correlation between incentives and job performance. The Peace Corps has a turnover rate of approximately 8.9%, but the turnover rate for the Americorps is currently unknown, ...
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