Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Business Administration (DBA)


Bisk College of Business

First Advisor

Denise Siegfeldt

Second Advisor

Gary Burns

Third Advisor

Alexander Vamosi

Fourth Advisor

Robert Schaller


The objective of the present study was to investigate the effect of human resource management (HRM) practices on female mechanical engineer turnover intentions while examining the mediating role of social capital. This study drew on insights from the HRM, social capital, and turnover theories and related models in the literature to formulate a set of hypothesized relationships and predictions that HRM practices positively influence social capital and social capital negatively affects female mechanical engineers' turnover intention. Turnover remains a challenging issue for all organizations, driving the need for measures that reduce employee quit intentions and, ultimately, turnover. After all, the literature provides evidence that turnover intention is an antecedent of actual turnover. Furthermore, women represent a small percentage of the employed engineering workforce amidst industry retention statistics indicating that female engineer turnover rates remain very high, making their retention a top priority for managers and industry leaders. Few studies have examined the impact of HRM practices on engineer turnover intentions, and no known research has investigated how HRM practices influence female mechanical engineer turnover intentions in a mediating social capital context. Filling the noted gap was an important motivation for this study. The data used to test the hypothesized relationships in this study was based on a reduced sample of 436 respondents, obtained through an anonymized survey drawn from employed male and female mechanical engineers with membership ties to the Society of Women Engineers (SWE) and the American Society of Mechanical Engineers (ASME). The researcher used exploratory factor analysis, confirmatory factor analysis, and structural equation modeling to assess the HRM practices, social capital, and turnover intention latent constructs. The findings reveal that social capital partially mediates HRM practices' effect on female mechanical engineers' turnover intention. HRM practices also negatively and directly influence female mechanical engineers' turnover intention, implying that more HRM practices can reduce female mechanical engineer turnover intentions. The findings give managers and HR practitioners a greater understanding of the interaction effects of HRM practices, social capital, and turnover intentions, which can facilitate organizational change that reduces female mechanical engineer turnover intentions.