Advertisement

Exit, Voice, Loyalty: Using an Exit Phone Interview to Mitigate the Silent Departure Phenomenon

  • Wendy Y. Carter-VealeEmail author
  • Michelle Beadle Holder
  • Lenisa N. Joseph
Article

Abstract

Doctoral student attrition is often referred to as a silent epidemic whereby students tacitly withdraw without ever being given an exit interview or follow-up. While most studies focus on the departing students, few studies focus on the institution’s implicit and explicit policies and practices that encourage silence. Drawing upon the “Exit, Voice, Loyalty” framework, we examined how the pathways to student voice that institutions provide for departing students contribute to the silent departure phenomenon. We recommend that campus stakeholders, policymakers, and administrators solicit critical feedback from departing students and develop instruments to assess their own departure process, rather than relying on national assessments.

Keywords

Exit phone interview Silent departure Doctoral attrition Exit-voice-loyalty Doctoral training Graduate audience 

Notes

Acknowledgments

We recognize support from the staff researchers in the Office of Institutional Research, Analysis and Decision Support at MAU. The exit survey was originally developed in part with the funding and support for the Ph.D. Completion Project by the Council of Graduate Schools. Any opinions, findings, and conclusions or recommendations expressed in this project do not necessarily reflect the views of the Council of Graduate Schools.

References

  1. Barry, B. (1974). Review article: “Exit, voice, and loyalty”. British Journal of Political Science, 4, 79–107.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. Bass, S. A., Rutledge, J. C., Douglass, E. B., & Carter, W. Y. (2007). Lessons learned: Shepherding doctoral students to degree completion. Washington, DC: Council of Graduate Schools.Google Scholar
  3. Bauer, E. R. (2004). An examination of the effect of departmental factors in student completion of doctoral requirements. Unpublished doctoral Dissertation, University of Massachusetts Boston.Google Scholar
  4. Bowen, G. A. (2009). Document analysis as a qualitative research method. Qualitative Research Journal, 9, 27–40.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. Bowen, W. G., & Rudenstine, N. L. (1992). In pursuit of the Ph.D. Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press.Google Scholar
  6. Carnegie Foundation (2017). The Carnegie Classification of Institutions of Higher Education. Retrieved July 10, 2017, from http://carnegieclassifications.iu.edu/lookup/lookup.php.
  7. Cassuto, L. (2013, July 1). Ph. D. attrition: How much is too much? The Chronicle of Higher Education. Retrieved August, 10, 2018 from https://www.chronicle.com/article/PhD-Attrition-How-Much-Is/140045.
  8. Council of Graduate Schools (2008). Ph.D. Completion Project. Retrieved August 10, 2018, from https://cgsnet.org/Ph.D.-completion-project.
  9. Dowding, K., John, P., Mergoupis, T., & Vugt, M. (2000). Exit, voice and loyalty: Analytic and empirical developments. European Journal of Political Research, 37, 469–495.Google Scholar
  10. Gardner, S. K. (2009). Student and faculty attributions of attrition in high and low-completing doctoral programs in the United States. Higher Education, 58, 97–112.  https://doi.org/10.1007/s10734-008-9184-7 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. Golde, C. M. (2000). Should I stay or should I go? Student descriptions of the doctoral attrition process. The Review of Higher Education, 23, 199–227.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. Golde, C. M. (2005). The role of the department and discipline in doctoral student attrition: Lessons from four departments. The Journal of Higher Education, 76, 669–700.  https://doi.org/10.1080/00221546.2005.11772304 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. Gordon, M. E. (2011). The dialectics of the exit interview: A fresh look at conversations about organizational disengagement. Management Communication Quarterly, 25, 59–86.  https://doi.org/10.1177/0893318910376914 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. Grasso, M., Barry, M., & Valentine, T. (2009). A data-driven approach to improving doctoral completion. Washington, DC: Council of Graduate Schools.Google Scholar
  15. Haynes, K. N. (2008). Reasons for doctoral attrition (Technical Report). The University of Georgia: The Graduate School. Retrieved August 8, 2017, from http://grad.uga.edu/wp-content/uploads/2013/06/Haynes.pdf.
  16. Hirschman, A. O. (1970). Exit, voice, loyalty: Responses to the decline in firms, organizations, and states. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press.Google Scholar
  17. Hirschman, A. O. (1992). Rival views of market society and other recent essays. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press.Google Scholar
  18. Hutchinson, A. (2002). Exit interviews: A missed opportunity for the compliance professional. Journal of Health Care Compliance, 4(2), 58. Retrieved August 11, 2017, from http://search.ebscohost.com.proxy-bc.researchport.umd.edu/login.aspx?direct=true&AuthType=ip,url,uid&db=buh&AN=6968498&site=eds-live&scope=site.
  19. Izzo, N. (2016). The exit interview as a tool to reduce the employee turnover. Unpublished Bachelor's thesis, Università Ca'Foscari Venezia. Retrieved October 10, 2017, from http://hdl.handle.net/10579/7449.
  20. Johns, R., & Gorrick, J. (2016). Exploring the behavioural options of exit and voice in the exit interview process. International Journal of Employment Studies, 24(1), 25–42.Google Scholar
  21. Jurkiewicz, C. L., Knouse, S. B., & Giacalone, R. A. (2001). When an employee leaves: The effectiveness of clinician exit interviews and surveys. Clinical Laboratory Management Review, 15, 81–84.Google Scholar
  22. Lovitts, B. E. (1996, April). Who is responsible for graduate student attrition--The individual or the institution? Toward an explanation of the high and persistent rate of attrition. New York, NY: Paper presented at the annual meeting of the American Education Research Association.Google Scholar
  23. Lovitts, B. E. (2001). Leaving the ivory tower: The causes and consequences of departure from doctoral study. New York, NY: Rowman and Littlefield.Google Scholar
  24. Lovitts, B. E., & Nelson, C. (2000). The hidden crisis in graduate education: Attrition from Ph.D. programs. Academe, 86(6), 44–50.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  25. Mark, E. (2013). Student satisfaction and the customer focus in higher education. Journal of Higher Education Policy and Management, 35, 2–10.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  26. Mid-Atlantic University (n.d.). Enrollment and registration policies. Retrieved August 18, 2016, from http://catalog.umbc.edu/content.php?catoid=21&navoid=1258&withdrawal.
  27. National Science Foundation, National Center for Science and Engineering Statistics (2018). Doctorate recipients from U.S. institutions: 2016. (Special Report NSF 18–304.) Alexandria, VA. Retrieved January 13, 2019, from http://www.nsf.gov/statistics/2018/nsf18304/.
  28. Nelson, C., & Lovitts, B. E. (2001, June 29). 10 ways to keep graduate students from quitting. The Chronicle of Higher Education, p. B20. Retrieved August 23, 2008, from http://search.ebscohost.com.proxy-bc.researchport.umd.edu/login.aspx?direct=true&AuthType=ip,url,uid&db=tfh&AN=18231994&site=eds-live&scope=site.
  29. Nettles, M. T., & Millett, C. M. (2006). Three magic letters: Getting to Ph. D. Baltimore, MD: Johns Hopkins University Press.Google Scholar
  30. O'Donnell, G. A. (1986). On the fruitful convergences of Hirschman's exit, voice, and loyalty and shifting involvements: Reflections from the recent Argentine experience (Working Paper No. 58). Notre Dame, IN: Helen Kellogg Institute for International Studies, University of Notre Dame.Google Scholar
  31. Richards, L., & Morse, J. M. (2007). Read me first for a user's guide to qualitative methods. Thousand Oaks, CA: SAGE.Google Scholar
  32. Smallwood, S. (2004, January 16). Doctor dropout. The Chronicle of Higher Education, Retrieved August 22, 2009, from http://www.chronicle.com/article/Doctor-Dropout/33786.
  33. Sowell, R., Allum, J., & Okahana, H. (2015). Doctoral initiative on minority attrition and completion. Washington, DC: Council of Graduate Schools.Google Scholar
  34. Sowell, R. S. (2009). Ph. D. completion and attrition: Findings from exit surveys for Ph. D. completers. Washington, DC: Council of Graduate Schools.Google Scholar
  35. Spencer, D. G. (1986). Employee voice and employee retention. Academy of Management Journal, 29, 488–502.Google Scholar
  36. The Graduate School at MAU (n.d.). Enrollment & Registration. Retrieved January 13, 2016, from https://gradschool.MAU.edu/students/policies/registration/.
  37. Tinto, V. (2003). Student success and the building of involving educational communities. Retrieved September 16, 2018, from https://www.researchgate.net/profile/Vincent_Tinto2/publication/228541701_Student_success_and_the_building_of_involving_educational_communities/links/571d595c08aee3ddc56ac875.pdf.
  38. Yin, R. K. (2009). Case study research: Design and methods (4th ed.). Thousand Oaks, CA: SAGE.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Nature B.V. 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • Wendy Y. Carter-Veale
    • 1
    Email author
  • Michelle Beadle Holder
    • 2
  • Lenisa N. Joseph
    • 3
  1. 1.Graduate SchoolUniversity of MarylandBaltimoreUSA
  2. 2.Department of SociologyUniversity of MarylandCollege ParkUSA
  3. 3.Early Childhood Special EducationUniversity of MarylandCollege ParkUSA

Personalised recommendations