Date of Conferral



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


Information Systems and Technology


Lisa K. Pearo


Retaining experienced and knowledgeable employees is a challenge for public sector managers. Voluntary employee turnover is problematic for leaders in the public sector because their organizations incur increased costs of recruiting and training new employees who replace those who leave. Grounded in Goleman’s theory of emotional self-awareness, the purpose of this qualitative single case study was to identify and explore public sector middle managers’ strategies for using emotional self-awareness to reduce voluntary employee turnover. Participants were five public sector middle managers with a minimum of 3 years of experience in their current position who used emotional self-awareness to reduce voluntary employee turnover. Data were collected using semistructured interviews and by reviewing the organization’s documents on employee turnover. A thematic analysis process resulted in four themes that reflect the key components of managers’ self-awareness strategies: efficient communication, leadership style adjustment, supportive management, and conflict management. A key recommendation for managers is to leverage their emotional self-awareness in developing and maintaining effective relationships with their employees. The implications for positive social change include the potential to provide public sector managers with effective strategies to reduce voluntary employee turnover, stabilize economic growth by reducing the amount of taxpayer dollars spent on recruiting and training new employees, and improve the service quality customers receive.