Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Arts

Chairperson (Advisor 1)

Dr. Kimora Kachelmyer

Reader (Advisor 2)

Dr. Richard Brynteson

Reader (Advisor 3)

Dr. Charles Nuckles


The purpose of this case study is to investigate how Fluoroware, Inc. in Chaska, Minnesota can retain Management Information Systems (MIS) employees in a job market that is rich with opportunity. Along with this market demand, Fluoroware has just implemented new software of which knowledge and skills are in very high demand. This, coupled with the deep recession of the semiconductor business, has led to employees looking to other employers.

In addition, there have been recent developments at Fluoroware, Inc. which may be influencing employees' decisions to remain at Fluoroware or to pursue other opportunities. These developments include staff reductions, organizational restructuring and management changes. The past 15 months, Fluoroware's turnover rate in the MIS department has been 54%. This rate is extremely high considering the overall Fluoroware employee turnover rate averages just 4%.

Fluoroware has invested a great deal of time and money in training its MIS employees. Fluoroware also realizes replacing current employees would cost them dearly, as they would need to hire people experienced in the new software. Not only would they have to face increased productivity costs, they would have to offer prospective employees enough incentive to leave their current employer. These costs can be exorbitant. In an attempt to help avoid these costs, this case study investigates how Fluoroware can retain its current MIS employees.

Learning activities used in conducting this investigation included a literature review of employee retention issues and surveying the MIS employees of Fluoroware. An interview with a human resources staff representative was also used to gather information, as well as conversations with MIS management staff members. Recent exit interview data was also reviewed and analyzed in conjunction with the data collected from the employee surveys.

When the U.S. departments of Commerce and Education, the Information Technology Association of America and the University of California at Berkeley convened at the National Information Technology Workforce Convocation in late 1997 they warned "…that the IT work-force shortage is bad and will get worse. In fact, experts estimate, at least 10 percent of all IT jobs in the United States-about 346,000 jobs-are now vacant" (Gibson, 1998).

With a warning such as this, it is pertinent that Fluoroware address the issue of employee retention in its MIS department. Retaining employees and maintaining a low turnover rate is not going to come easy to the MIS department at Fluoroware, or to any other organization for that matter. However, from this research, Fluoroware will receive information needed to plan a strategy to address the retention issues from a perspective of understanding employees' wants and needs instead of from perceptions and assumptions.


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