Date of Conferral



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


Business Administration


Matthew D. Gonzalez


The cost of losing a manager in the retail sector is 2 to 3 times their yearly salary. The purpose of this exploratory single case study was to explore strategies general managers in large retail organizations can use to improve assistant manager retention. Building upon Ramlall's adaptation of motivation theory, research was conducted to determine factors that contributed to retention of assistant managers in a general merchandise retail store operating in Virginia and North Carolina. Data were collected through semistructured interviews with 20 general managers of stores in the same organization located in Virginia and North Carolina, reflective journals, and researcher observations and were then coded by themes and analyzed using Moustaka's method of thematic analysis. Seven themes emerged from the study including needs for a supportive work environment, training and communication, pay, and appreciation and feedback. Implications for positive social change include increased wages through higher retention, which can affect the economy of the communities in which the company operates. The company operates nationally, so the potential insight on in increased wages could have a wide impact on the economy if applied to all stores. Assistant managers will also benefit from consistency and growth within the company and in turn be able to provide more stability to employees that work for them. If applied to other companies, this study could also have a positive impact on a wider scale. General managers from different companies in different areas may use the results of this study as a starting point to assess and improve assistant manager retention within their stores. This improved retention could lead to more stability in their team and better knowledge retention for the organization.

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