Date of Conferral



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




Dorothy Hanson


The turnover cost of specialized employees in the oil and gas industry can exceed 400% of an employee's annual salary. The purpose of this multiple case study was to explore successful strategies that oil and gas company managers used to retain specialized employees. The specific population for the study was 8 managers from 4 oil and gas companies in a metropolitan city in the southern United States, which included 5 hiring managers and 3 engineering managers who had demonstrated success in retaining specialized employees. The conceptual lens used in this research study was the job embeddedness theory. Study data were collected through semistructured interviews, observations of participants' nonverbal cues, a review of company documents, and organizational websites. The interview data were analyzed using Yin's 5 steps for qualitative data analysis. The analysis resulted in 3 themes: (a) leadership engagement improved specialized employee retention, (b) flexibility through work–life balance improved specialized employee retention, and (c) monitoring and assessing retention through research tools and data analysis improved specialized employee retention. The implications of this study for positive social change include the potential to provide successful strategies for oil and gas company managers to retain specialized employees, which may contribute to improving promotion from within the oil and gas industry, reducing the study location area unemployment rates, and improving local job economies.