Date of Conferral



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


Business Administration


Peter Anthony


Creating successful leaders is one of the challenges that social services organizations are facing. Employees may lack essential managerial skills to become productive leaders, and some managers may lack viable succession planning methods for preparing employees for leadership positions. The purpose of this case study was to explore methods that executive managers use to prepare employees for leadership positions. Path-goal theory and transformational leadership represent the conceptual framework that grounded this study. Semistructured interviews were conducted with 10 executive managers in the social services industry within southwest Georgia with experiences and skills specific to implementing successful succession planning. Company archives of corporate reports, government records, and business and management records were used for triangulation. The data were coded and analyzed using a modified van Kaam method. Participants verified the accuracy of the analysis of their responses through member-checking. The findings revealed 4 emergent themes: organizational management, hiring employees that fit the culture, leadership capabilities, and talent management. A recommendation from the study was that executive managers find methods to prepare employees for leadership positions. These findings may contribute to positive social change by identifying methods to prepare employees for leadership positions, thereby generating organizational sustainability, increasing organization revenue, and creating community economic development.