Date of Conferral



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


Business Administration


Ronald Jones


Employee turnover in U.S. colleges and universities negatively affects productivity, resources, employee morale, and job satisfaction. The failure of U.S. colleges and universities’ leaders to retain a viable and productive workforce negatively affects students’ educational success and learning opportunities. Grounded in the motivation-hygiene theory, the purpose of this qualitative multiple case study was to explore strategies college and university leaders used to retain employees. Data were collected through semistructured interviews with 5 university leaders in 5 higher-education institutions in the Midwest region of the United States, and a review of publicly available organizational documents and university websites. Data were analyzed using Yin’s 5-phase data analysis process, which revealed 3 major emergent themes: employees’ compensation and benefits strategy, organizational employee commitment strategy, and employee feedback systems to improve working conditions strategy. A key recommendation is that university leaders increase salaries, benefits, and professional development opportunities to improve employee retention rates. The implications for positive social change include the potential for leaders of U.S. universities and colleges to improve the retention of instructors and support personnel, which may lead to enhanced learning experiences, outcomes, and graduation rates for students.

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