Date of Conferral



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


Business Administration


Christopher Beehner


Research shows that 50% to 70% of higher education employees in the United States are disengaged in the workplace. Some higher education institutions are negatively affected by imposing strict guidelines restricting employees' freedom of self-expression in the workplace. Using Herzberg's 2-factor theory of motivation as the conceptual framework, the purpose of this multiple case study was to explore strategies used by higher education institution leaders to manage workplace self-expression without negatively affecting motivation and work productivity. The population was 9 leaders from 3 higher education institutions in central and northern New Jersey. Data collection was conducted through semistructured interviews and review of institutional data and information. Data were analyzed using inductive coding, and member checking was used to ensure credibility. Three themes emerged: workplace environment, management relationships, and barriers in the workplace. The study findings revealed that the policies implemented in higher education institutions to restrict self-expression in the workplace did not have a negative effect on employee motivation and work productivity. Leaders in higher education institutions might apply these findings to develop an enriched workplace environment, which could improve employee retention rates. The implications for positive social change include the potential to increase economic contributions of the students who receive the education delivered by engaged higher education employees, and the subsequent increased tax base resulting from increased earnings.