Date of Conferral



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


Business Administration


Anne Davis


An engaged workforce can increase organizational productivity and decrease employee turnover. Current research on employee engagement exists, yet little research exists on how the communication behaviors of management affect employee engagement. Guided by the conceptual framework of systems theory and communications theory, an exploration of the influence of management communication behaviors on employee engagement was conducted. A descriptive research design helped explore the influence of management communication behaviors on employee engagement within local, government entities of the Tidewater, Virginia, area. Data included semistructured interviews with 23 participants (11 managers and 12 employees). Data analysis occurred using the modified van Kaam method, which resulted in 4 emergent themes including (a) open, respectful, and transparent communication; (b) positive communication promoted an engaged workforce; (c) favorable communication increased engagement; and (d) negative communication decreased engagement. The results of the study may contribute to positive social change by providing managers a tool to reduce turnover in organizations, which, in turn, may lower the local unemployment rate. Indicators of economic cycles with low rates of unemployment include greater economic activity, stronger demand for workers, and a higher demand for goods and services. A lower unemployment rate may lessen the overall burden on government and society.

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Communication Commons