Date of Conferral



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


Business Administration


Mohamad Hammoud


Head Start, the largest early childhood organization in the United States, was federally mandated to employ bachelor degreed operational employees, with no additional funds. The purpose of this multiple case study was to explore effective strategies that successful leaders of Head Start Nonprofit Organizations use to retain operational employees. The population of this study included 5 Head Start CEOs/Program Directors in 5 Head Start nonprofit organizations in Alabama who successfully retained operational employees in their organization. Kouzes and Posner's transformational leadership theory provided a conceptual framework for this study. Data were collected via telephone interviews and employee records from the human resources department. Reviewed human resource documents included the highest level of credentials for the leader, the policy for degree requirement for operational employees, and the number of operational employees, and the participants' highest level of education. The data were analyzed using inductive analysis which consisted of a line-by-line approach to review data identifying words, phrases, ideas, and actions consistent among participants and organizations to identify patterns and themes. Results indicated that Head Start leaders used incentives, continuous training, educational support, and job benefits to retain their operational employees. The implications for social change include the potential for young children to receive optimal teaching and caregiving from retained qualified operational employees.

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