Date of Conferral







Kenneth C. Sherman


In the last 10 years, the number of remote workers has increased by 80%. Remote workers are more productive than their traditional in-office colleagues, cheaper to maintain for the organization because of the major decrease in overheard costs, and drastically increase organizational leaders' hiring options. The problem was that over half of the nation's disengaged employees work remotely, contributing significantly to associated annual costs of employee disengagement to businesses of upwards of $550 billion. The purpose of this exploratory case study, using a critical incident technique, was to create a taxonomy of responses to the incidents that are critical for maintaining, strengthening, or eroding the workplace engagement of 14 remote workers nationwide. The data collection method included in-depth interview questions, open and selective coding, and thematic analysis from the data provided by the 14 participants. The 9-step analysis process, triangulation, and member checking consisted of structure and credibility of the findings. The taxonomy derived from this study that strengthens and maintains the engagement of remote workers is directly related to the primary theme of connectedness and organizational culture; the taxonomy derived from this study that erodes workplace engagement is directly related to the secondary themes of organizational fit and disconnectedness. The findings suggested that remote workers experience strengthened and sustained levels of workplace engagement more when working environments where they have a personal connection to the organization's mission and vision and where they feel the work culture is familial. The taxonomy derived from this research could provide organizational leaders with techniques to engage and inspire the talent of remote workers to create positive and sustainable social change