Date of Conferral



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


Business Administration


Marilyn Simon


Companies lose an average of $1,000 in profit each year for every employee who feels disengaged and uncommitted to the firm's success. Employee engagement is critical to an organization's productivity, profitability, and competitive edge. The purpose of this single case study was to explore strategies that business leaders in a service organization use to increase employee engagement and work performance. The conceptual framework for this study was Homans's social exchange theory. A purposeful sample of 6 company leaders participated in the study based on their success in developing strategies that enhanced employee engagement and performance in an advertising services firm headquartered in Indiana. The study included semistructured interviews to gather in-depth information from participants about their successes related to employee engagement. Conducting member checking with participants and triangulating the data with company documents reinforced the validity of the findings. Data analysis involved using a manual and a computer-aided approach to compile the data, disassemble the data into codes, and reassemble the data into themes. Four key themes emerged: leaders offer attractive company benefits, including flexible work arrangements; leaders empower and appreciate employees; leaders provide professional development opportunities; and leaders foster unity through open communication and team building. The implications for positive social change include the potential to increase employee engagement and performance within firms in the service industry, which can help increase profitability. Higher profitability can enable organizational leaders to financially address social issues such as poverty, which may benefit members of their communities.

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