Date of Conferral



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




Tim Truitt


Labor union membership decline spans more than 4 decades since 1954. In 2012, union membership decreased from 14.1% to 11.3%, which is the lowest since the post-Second World War Era. Union membership decline leads to the inability of some union leaders to retain union members, resulting in a loss of profitability. The purpose of this qualitative multiple case study was to explore strategies union leaders use in improving membership retention. Twenty union, former union, and nonunion participants from governmental and industrial firms of Jefferson County, Alabama participated in the study offering their lived experiences in industries with active union environments. In this study's conceptual framework, 3 models were used, consisting of demographic factors of union and non-union members, recruitment factors, and collective bargaining factors to explore the issues that affect membership recruitment and retention. Participants engaged in semi-structured, face-to-face interviews. Interview data were collected, transcribed, and inductively coded, revealing emergent trends that membership sizes influenced the number of people joining unions, and that poor union representation adversely affected union decline. These findings could improve the relationship between union representation and union members, thereby affecting positive social change by improving employee attitudes and social values regarding unions.