Masters Theses

Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name

Master of Science


Human Resource Development

Major Professor

Ernest W. Brewer

Committee Members

Gregory C. Petty, Connie Hollingsworth, Max B. Dawson


The purpose of this study was to determine whether or not there was a relationship between work ethic and job satisfaction among full-time, volunteer emergency fire-rescue personnel. In addition, this study sought to determine whether or not participants' demographics had any impact on work ethic and job satisfaction.

Surveys were administered to gather data from the entire population (N=300) of full-time volunteer emergency fire-rescue personnel from nine rescue squads located in Calvert County, Maryland. A total of 173 responses yielded an overall response rate of 58% on the two surveys and demographics section. Part I of the survey determined participants' work ethic using an instrument deduced by Dawson in 1999. Part II determined participants’ job satisfaction using an instrument developed by Koeske in 1994. Part III gathered data on a researcher designed instrument.

Univariate analyses of variance (ANOVAs) were used to determine significant differences among participants' work ethic scale scores and job satisfaction scale scores and the variables of (a) position, (b) years of EMS experience, (c) years in current position, (d) level of education, (e) gender, and (f) age.

A scatter diagram indicated a relationship between work ethic and job satisfaction, and Pearson was applied to illuminate the relationship. Stepwise multiple regression analysis was used to predict the magnitude of effect between work ethic scale scores and job satisfaction scale scores

Findings showed that (a) participants' were similar (homogeneous) in their responses, (b)demographic data had no effect on work ethic or job satisfaction, (c) job satisfaction was related to work ethic by loyalty (model one) and by loyalty and carefulness (model two). To conclude, findings indicated that the traits of commitment and responsibleness were highly valued by the fire-rescue squads represented by the participants of this study, and that participants’ similarness resulted from group affiliation and assimilation of organizational social and cultural mores.

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