Date of Conferral



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




Susan Fan


More than 21% of public sector fire chiefs lack effective succession plans for employees, and 45% of fire chiefs do not provide adequate succession plans. Grounded by Burns's transformational leadership theory, the purpose of this multiple case study was to explore successful strategies that 2 fire chiefs from 2 firehouses in the southern United States used to improve succession planning for employees. Data were collected through semistructured interviews and review of organizational standard operating procedures. Data were analyzed using Yin's 5-step approach, which included: compiling data, disassembling data, reassembling data, interpreting data, and concluding data. The 3 themes that emerged from data analysis were: identify monetary influences that improve employee performance, create a mentoring plan, and promote recognition incentives. Findings from this study may contribute to positive social change by providing fire chiefs with successful strategies to improve employee succession planning. Fire chiefs can use these strategies for succession planning and for improving employee performance. The results contribute to positive social change through identifying the demands that fire chiefs consider when filling critical leadership positions, which may improve organizational efficiency and safety education in the community.

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