Retention Rates Amongst Danish Army Officers: The Effects of Changes in Recruitment Strategy

Christian S. E. G. Gerike & Thomas Aaen

Studenteropgave: Kandidatafhandlinger


The 2013-2017 Danish Defense Agreement entailed a change in the recruitment segment for the Army’s officer education. This means that the candidates (as of 2015) need to hold a higher accredited education of minimum level six. No studies have been conducted to provide an overview of how the turnover and retention rate compares to the prior recruitment segment. This thesis aims to uncover whether the change in the Army’s recruitment strategy has influenced the Army’s ability to retain its junior-grade officers. To investigate the differences, this thesis has followed a quantitative and qualitative framework. Quantitative data from 461 junior-grade officers representing the discontinued and current recruitment segments reveals a significant difference in retention rate. The juniorgrade officers with an academic background displayed lower retention rates. Utilizing a qualitative approach drawing upon frameworks of Herzberg et al.’s (1959) two-factor theory and Rousseau's (1995) psychological contract, the recruitment segments’ job attitudes, expectations, and preferences leading to satisfaction and dissatisfaction were examined. The findings show no significant dissimilarities in the recruitment segment’s motivational or hygiene factors capable of explaining the difference in retention rate. However, the violation of psychological contracts was expressed as the primary cause of turnover amongst junior-grade officers. In conclusion, the difference in the recruitment segments’ retention rate cannot be explained by differences in job factors or psychological contracts. The difference in retention rate is sought explained by other variables such as differences in age, educational background, and work-life balance. These variables potentially affect the junior-grade officers’ job satisfaction and explain the discrepancy in retention rates. Further research is encouraged, as it is essential to mitigate the low retention rates amongst junior-grade officers and evaluate whether the current recruitment segment is suited for the Army. By expanding the study to additional personnel groups in the Army or branches within the Armed Forces comprehensive HR recommendations can be derived.

UddannelserMSc in Economics and Business Administration Sales Management, (Kandidatuddannelse) Afsluttende afhandling
Antal sider129
VejledereMorten Thanning Vendelø