Date of Conferral



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


Business Administration


Gwendolyn Dooley


Leaders with high employee dissatisfaction have excessive absenteeism, complaints, and attrition, leading to low employee motivation. Dissatisfied employees are directly linked to customer dissatisfaction, resulting in decreased sales revenue. Grounded in Herzberg’s motivation–hygiene theory, the purpose of this qualitative single case study was to explore motivation strategies that three department store managers have used to increase job satisfaction and empowerment in a retail store in South Carolina. Data were collected from semistructured interviews and company documents, including employee handbooks, strategic plans, and business forecasts. The three primary themes that emerged using thematic analysis were (a) effective leadership attributes, (b) understanding motivational influence, and (c) relationships and environments. A key recommendation for department store managers is to develop motivating strategies that include empowering employees and reevaluating a manager’s role to understand the motivational and hygiene factors that can affect employees’ job satisfaction and motivation to increase sales revenue. Potential implications for positive social change could include increasing employment opportunities in the community.

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Business Commons