Date of Conferral



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


Business Administration


Brodie Johnson


In the South Carolina state government, 43.4% of all full-time equivalent employees will be eligible to retire by the mid- to late-2020s. The potential loss of core organizational knowledge may occur as a result of the retirement of seasoned employees. Grounded by the transformational leadership theory, this qualitative case study explored the successful succession strategies of 8 Certified Public Managers (CPMs) in South Carolina state government organizations. Purposeful sampling led to selecting the 8 CPMs who each had more than 11 years of experience managing employees and each directly influenced the programmatic operations for their respective state government organizations. Data were obtained through individual semi-structured interviews and through state government organizational documents. Analysis included using codes to identify similar words and phrases, then recoding to categorize the codes into themes. Data transcriptions, coding, member checking, and methodological triangulation were used to strengthen the credibility of the findings. Thematic analysis identified 3 emergent themes within the data: succession implementation, succession continuity, and succession hindrances. The implications for positive social change include the potential for state government executive leadership to implement a succession program for all South Carolina state government organizations. The positive social change implications may provide standardization and structure for retaining core knowledge that could contribute to continuity, an increased focus on sustainable workforce capital, customer satisfaction, and social responsibility throughout communities in South Carolina.

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