Date of Conferral

2017

Degree

Doctor of Business Administration (D.B.A.)

School

Business Administration

Advisor

Gergana Velkova

Abstract

Research suggests that disengaged employees have contributed to the 28.5% reduction in the mining industry's contribution to South African gross domestic product. Some South African mining leaders lack strategies for engaging employees. Using the employee engagement framework, the purpose of this single case study was to explore successful strategies that South African mining leaders use to engage employees. The target population was mining leaders, purposefully selected because of their success with engaging employees at a typical South African mining company. Data collection was through face-to-face interviews with 4 leaders; a focus group interview with 9 employees; and a review of archived organizational documents, including internal case organization surveys, reports, emails, and Facebook posts. Data were analyzed using inductive coding of phrases and words from interviews while additional data gathered from participants' displays, websites, and other documents supported theme interpretation through methodological triangulation. Within this group of South African leaders, findings revealed that leader behavior improved employee engagement, situationally relevant employee engagement strategies improved employee engagement, and communication strategies improved employee engagement. Improving employee engagement contributes to social change by shaping employees' experience of their work environment, thereby improving their personal well-being and living conditions while maintaining a balance between work and personal interests.