Date of Conferral



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




Jaime J. Klein


Millennial workers occupy the majority of employment positions worldwide, which is a concern to business leaders in the United States related to having knowledge and ability to train, motivate, and retain millennial employees. Using Gilbert's behavior engineering model as a conceptual framework, this multiple case study explored the strategies that business leaders used to motivate their millennial employees. The study population included 4 leaders of small restaurant businesses in eastern North Carolina. Data were collected from semistructured, face-to-face interviews using 7 open-ended questions and review of company documents, websites, and social media. Data were coded and analyzed following Morse's method of data analysis. Three themes emerged from data analysis: rewards and recognition, high-quality leader-member relationship, and professional development. The findings of this research are significant for small business leaders who want to implement effective motivational strategies to manage millennial employees to keep their organizations productive and profitable. The implications of this study for positive social change include the potential to help millennial workers grow in their careers, become financially stable, and develop into prospective leaders prepared to propel their organizations and societies in the future.

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