Date of Conferral



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


Business Administration


Diane Dusick


Senior executive leaders face ongoing challenges assessing whether their leadership teams have the competencies to respond to rapidly changing business conditions resulting from negative leader-employee interactions. The purpose of this qualitative single-unit case study was to explore strategies that team leaders at an online, for-profit high school education system located in Delaware, used to sustain positive leader-employee relationships to increase employee productivity. The population consisted of 5 current team leaders (faculty members and executives) at the study site who had experienced team member losses, yet had implemented effective strategies to sustain positive leader-employee relationships and increased employee productivity. The conceptual frameworks that grounded this doctoral study were path-goal and transformational leadership theories. Thematic analysis was used to analyze data collected through semistructured interviews, note taking, and company documents, with member checking implemented to validate the findings. Four themes emerged from the analysis: leadership styles and strategies, motivation, goal setting, and employee engagement and productivity. The implications for positive social change include the potential for top executives, stakeholders, and team leaders to increase the number of positive leader-employee relationships resulting in increased productivity, a favorable organizational reputation, and lower turnover rates, contributing to the financial stability and prosperity of not only employees but also communities and families.