Date of Conferral

2017

Degree

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

School

Management

Advisor

Rocky Dwyer

Abstract

Fire departments in the United States accounted for 31% of municipal budgets with increases of 85% spending between 2015 and 2016. The purpose of this single case study was to explore leadership strategies fire officers used to manage costs associated with hazardous operations. The conceptual framework grounding this study was transformational leadership theory. The participants in this study were 10 fire officers who manage hazardous operations in central Wisconsin. The data collection process included open-ended questions in a semistructured format resulting in transcripts, a review of fire department staffing documents, and personal journal notes. Methodological triangulation was used to compare the collected data and verified through member checking for accuracy. Upon completion of data collection, the data analysis process consisted of transcripts involving coding, grouping key words, and reconstructing data into themes. Four central themes emerged from the study: servant leadership, partnership, accountability, and creative staffing. The fire officers used servant leadership to ensure the provisions of services to internal and external customers. The servant leadership practice created trust and integrity. Creative staffing provided innovative cost management and fiscal responsibility to include partnership. Partnership and accountability worked in every facet of the fire department soliciting input from every level of staff. Fire officers in the study practiced transformational leadership daily in both emergency and nonemergency situations. Social implications include innovative leadership strategies and application that may help fire officers promote positive social change through saving lives of firefighters and the citizens they serve.