Date of Conferral



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




Gwendolyn Dooley


The overall scope of naval missions has remained largely unchanged despite the loss of more than 8,000 naval personnel each year since 2002. The downsized naval workforce experienced an overload in work assignments and an increase of health-related issues resulting in lowered morale, motivation, job satisfaction, and productivity. Maslow's theory of hierarchy of needs links personal satisfaction to work productivity, which is critical for naval personnel to protect national security, provide humanitarian services, and respond to international crises effectively. This phenomenological study included semi-structured interviews with military and civilian leaders at naval bases located in San Diego and El Centro, CA. Participants reflected on their lived experiences, feelings, and interactions concerning the downsizing phenomenon. Primary themes, generated by a modified van Kaam technique, were related to the change of personal values, Navy readiness and balance force, and leadership's effectiveness and efficiency. The primary finding was the need for naval leaders to communicate downsizing decisions effectively. Additional research is needed to expound on the perceived unfairness in the implementation of downsizing decisions. Social change may occur for naval personnel, community members, and other external stakeholders through the improvement of downsizing communication practices that might reduce health risk factors, economic deflation, and population migration.