Using a sequential explanatory mixed methods design which utilizes a quantitative component (an online survey) followed by a qualitative component (interviews), the triangulated findings should contribute to the existing research in a significant manner. The main section of the survey is an adaptation of an earlier instrument (Matier, 1990) which examined faculty motivations surrounding the decision to remain or leave their institutions. The Staying or Leaving Index (Bluedorn, 1982) is a secondary section of the survey which measures the intent to remain or leave an organization. The population targeted in this study includes all expatriate faculty at the five U.A.E. public higher education institutions. For the initial phase of the research a large random sample will be targeted. For the follow up interviews, typical case sampling will be utilized to target the average faculty person and delve deeper into the responses collected from the survey. Data will be analyzed through the theoretical framework provided by Social Exchange Theory (Blau, 1964) because of its applicability in analyzing relationships between organizations and employees. In particular, it has proven a valuable tool in interpreting the commitment of an employee to an organization and of faculty to a university.
It is hoped that the findings and recommendations generated from this research will guide the policy development and practices of higher education in the U.A.E.. As Ambrose, Huston, and Norman (2005) stated, it is only through institution specific research can the turnover issue be understood.