Date of Conferral



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


Business Administration


Jill A. Murray


Replacing an employee can cost a firm as much as 200% of that employee's annual salary, and small business owners may be especially sensitive to voluntary employee turnover due to their limited resources. The purpose of this multiple case study was to explore the strategies that some owners of small professional services businesses in the midwestern region of the United States used to reduce voluntary employee turnover in their firms. The conceptual framework for this doctoral study was Barney's resource-based theory. Data were collected from 4 participants whose firms were at least 5 years old and had experienced lower turnover than the average as reported by the Bureau of Labor Statistics, using semistructured interviews and a review of company policies and procedures found in employee handbooks, as well as publicly available information on company websites. Data were analyzed by compiling all the data, using coding to organize the data, identifying themes that emerged, and then making observations about those themes as they pertained to the research. Member checking, along with the review of company documents, served as methodological triangulation for reliability and validity of the research. The 3 major themes that surfaced were how voluntary employee turnover impacts small professional services firms, how hiring reduced voluntary employee turnover, and how corporate culture and employee engagement reduced voluntary employee turnover. Data about strategies for reducing voluntary employee turnover may bring about positive social change in local economies by helping to ensure stability in local commerce and national economies by supporting the success of small businesses that account for many businesses in the United States.