Date of Conferral

2017

Degree

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

School

Business Administration

Advisor

Beverly C. Muhammad

Abstract

Owners of family businesses in the private sector must be cognizant of nepotism to reduce skilled employee turnover. Guided by Herzberg two-factor theory as the conceptual framework, the purpose of this multiple case study was to explore strategies used by family owned and operated business leaders to minimize nepotistic practices that reduce skilled nonfamily employees' voluntary turnover. The population for this study included 3 family owned and operated funeral establishments in the Midwest region of St. Louis, Missouri. These participants had sustained their family businesses longer than 5 years while minimizing skilled nonfamily employees' voluntary turnover. Data were collected from semistructured face-to-face interviews, the review of proprietary documents, and public information. Data analysis included a 5-step process: compiling the data, disassembling the data into common codes, reassembling the data into themes, interpreting their meaning, and then reporting the themes. Member checking and methodological triangulation increased the trustworthiness of interpretations. Five themes emerged from the data analysis: work environment, effective communication, education and training, promotion opportunities, and policies and procedures. The implications for social change include (a) reducing nepotistic employment practices in family owned and operated businesses; (b) increasing economic growth potential while simultaneously benefiting employees, families, and communities; and (c) decreasing the unemployment rate. Family owned and operated business leaders can use the results of this study to implement change and to motivate and retain their skilled nonfamily employees.