Date of Award

Spring 2007

Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)


Public Administration and Urban Policy

Committee Director

Berhanu Mengistu

Committee Member

William Leavitt

Committee Member

Hailu Abatena

Committee Member

Nancy A. Bagranoff

Committee Member

John Morris


This study explored the influence of public service motivation on recruits' decisions to complete the Navy Delayed Entry Program and proceed to basic training, or to quit the program, having changed their minds about joining the Navy. The study was motivated by a problematic attrition rate, up to 25% in some instances, from the Navy Delayed Entry Program. Given the increased domestic and international demands placed on the U.S. military amidst significant political debate about the deployment of forces, military recruiting faces tough challenges in meeting its authorized personnel requirements. This study examined the intrinsic and extrinsic motivation, and associated job characteristic preferences of recruits who stayed in the program and those who quit.

Theoretical foundations for the study included prevailing theories of motivation to serve in the public sector. Respondents completed a survey which ranked in order of importance 15 motivation factors. Demographic data were obtained from a review of documents. Data were analyzed using descriptive and nonparametric data analyses. The findings of the study indicated there were no significant differences between the stay and quit groups on motivation preferences. The sample was found to be homogeneous and as a whole displayed motivation preferences associated with public sector employment. Demographic differences were also observed among the study group.