Date of Conferral



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


Business Administration


Rollis D. Erickson


Owners of small food service businesses experience high levels of voluntary employee turnover causing loss of productivity and profit. Grounded in the transformational leadership theory, the purpose of this qualitative multiple case study was to explore strategies that foodservice business owners used to reduce voluntary employee turnover. A purposeful sample of 5 business owners of small food service businesses in the Midwest region of the United States participated in the study. Data were collected from semi-structured interviews as well as reviewing internal company documents such as employee surveys, training materials, and documented procedures. Data were analyzed using thematic analysis with 4 themes emerging to include: consideration, knowledge sharing, effective leadership through leadership development, and strong teamwork dynamics. A key recommendation is that leaders should always strive to retain their employees through a concerted effort of exercising consideration and a willingness to evolve their managerial style to suit the needs of the food service industry and their workforce. The implications for positive social change include the potential to reduce turnover, which can result in increased profits for small business owners of foodservice businesses that, in turn, can support economic growth in local communities.

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