The relationship between organized recreational programs and job satisfaction/retention in the U.S. Navy

Date of Completion

January 2003






While the number of corporate recreational programs has grown, little research has been done to examine the relationship between the contributions of recreational participation, and its effects on a person's decision to continue in his/her present employment. Support for corporate recreational programs has been based primarily on anecdotal information. ^ This study explored the effect of the Navy's recreational program on a service member's decision to stay in the Navy. It specifically addresses the question of whether there is a relationship between a service person's participation in the Navy's recreational program and a service member's job satisfaction and decision to retention in the Navy? The investigation began with the distribution 1500 (N = 761) questionnaires to active duty Navy service members using a stratified random sample method approach. The survey asked the respondent to self-identify whether he/she considers themselves a regular participant in the Navy's recreational program. Using the Leisure Satisfaction Measure developed by Beard and Ragheb (1991), the survey instrument measured a respondent's degree of leisure satisfaction. The degree of job satisfaction was measured by using the Job Descriptive Index developed by Blazer, Kilm, Smith, Irwin, Bachiochi, Robie, Sinar, and Parr (1997). Data were analyzed using SPSS frequencies, descriptive statistics, correlations and analysis of variances, to determine the relationships of leisure satisfaction and job satisfaction scores with recreational participation. Additional exploration was done using the respondent's usage of Navy recreational activities as a measure of participation in lieu of self-declared participation data. Use of this data resulted in stronger correlation data. ^ The results of this study clearly showed a significant relationship between recreational participation and job satisfaction. There was no significant relationship found between recreational participation and leisure satisfaction. In addition to the use of the two survey instruments, respondents were asked to provide demographic information as to gender, marital status, length of service, rank/rate, career intentions, and recreational activity usage. While the relationship between leisure satisfactions could not be substantiated, the findings that support the relationship between job satisfaction and retention were consistent with previous research done on the subject. ^