Tuesday, November 19, 2013

URSP Student Sofia Roth Investigates Family and Cultural Influences on the Retention of Diverse Employees

I have always been interested in individuals at work and organizational behavior. Through my major in Psychology (with a concentration in Work and Organizational Psychology) and minor in Business, I have been able to learn about different challenges faced by organizations. One topic that attracted my attention was employee turnover and I wondered if cultural heritage would have any influence on an employee’s decision to stay in or leave an organization. As I read what the management and organizational psychology literature had to say about the topic, I decided I wanted to pursue my own research project. My research consists of investigating diversity-related differences in employee turnover in the United States. By having the support of the Psychology Honors Program and my mentor, I applied and received URSP funding for my research project.
                  Having the opportunity to conduct my own research project at the undergraduate level has been very rewarding. The knowledge I have obtained through working on my research, collaborating with my mentor, and interacting with my fellow URSP funded fellows has been very beneficial to my professional growth. This research project directly relates to my long-term goals of pursuing graduate education and becoming a management consultant. The analytical thinking skills I have developed will help me in the future when examining complex organizational issues for businesses.
                  On a weekly basis I try to complete as many tasks as possible related to my research project. I always break down the workload into small tasks and prioritize my time accordingly. My time is split among reading journal articles, writing my manuscript, overseeing the progress of data collection, and meeting with my mentor.
                  One thing I learned from conducting my research is the challenges associated with obtaining participants. In particular I wanted to have an adult working sample and had to contact over 20 professional associations inviting them to participate in my research. Thankfully one of them agreed and their employee members completed my online survey. I have some data collected and hope to analyze it by the end of the fall 2013 semester.