Date of Conferral



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


Business Administration


Denise Land


Engaged employees contribute to the efficiency and effectiveness of an organization’s service to their community. Many organizational leaders struggle to engage their employees before, during, and after organizational mergers. The purpose of this multiple case study was to explore strategies 9 leaders from 3 merged higher education organizations in the state of Georgia used to encourage employee engagement when their organizations were merging. The conceptual framework for this study was a combination of the transformational leadership theory, the self-efficacy theory, and the acquisition integration approach. After collecting data through semistructured interviews, organizational documentation, and member checking, data analysis through thematic review and triangulation revealed 4 key themes. The major themes for engaging employees during mergers were: strategies establishing a communication plan; strategies creating a cohesive culture, identity, or team; strategies mitigating barriers to employee engagement; and strategies assessing successful implementation for ongoing modification and adjustment of engagement strategies. The implications of this study for social change are that engaged employees might increase the institution’s productivity in educating students to be more successful in the workforce after graduating, and therefore, have a greater capacity to provide for their families and strengthen their communities.