Date of Conferral



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


Business Administration


Jorge A. Gaytan


Business leaders face the challenge of developing their employees to assume leadership positions within their organizations. However, business leaders devote less than 10% of their time to developing employee leadership capabilities through leadership development programs, resulting in poor leadership development programs designed to prepare employees to assume leadership positions. Using transformational leadership theory, the purpose of this multicase study was to explore strategies that human resource managers use to improve their employee leadership development programs. Participants were purposefully selected for their experience improving employee leadership development programs in organizations in Silicon Valley. Data were collected via semistructured interviews over Skype with 3 human resource managers and a review of organizational documents related to the improvement of leadership development programs. Data were analyzed using methodological triangulation through inductive coding of phrases and words. Three themes emerged from this study: CEO involvement was paramount for leadership development program success; fostering a learning organizational culture promotes innovation, engagement, and trust; and training is most successful when completed as a series. The implications for positive social change include the development of local and global leaders empowered to address larger problems, including homelessness, disease, lack of cultural acceptance, and environmental sustainability.