Graduate School of Business


Doctor of Business Administration (DBA)


Jean N Gordon


Community College, Employee Engagement, Inspirational Motivation, North Carolina Community Colleges, Rapidly Changing Environment, Transformational Leadership


Business | Business Administration, Management, and Operations | Human Resources Management | Organizational Behavior and Theory | Other Business | Training and Development


Over the past five years, North Carolina community colleges have experienced a plethora of rapid changes, which can have a negative impact on employee engagement. Individuals who possess a transformational style of leadership typically inspire employees to engage in their work despite a rapidly changing environment. The specific business problem in this research study was a lack of understanding of how transformational leaders in North Carolina community colleges were inspiring employees to engage in their jobs during a rapidly changing environment. To address this significant issue, the researcher interviewed a group of senior transformational leaders from various community colleges within the system, to learn specific narrative accounts of how inspiration was occurring. The findings of this study contained six themes, which provided a selection of best practices that future leaders could follow. The best practices included activities, processes, ideas, and events that the transformational leaders were using to address employee engagement issues. The overarching theme discovered in this study was that there are no perfect examples of how inspiration should take place. The best way a leader could attempt to inspire employee engagement was to embody the character traits associated with the transformational leadership style by building relationships, providing them with resources, or investing in their future. From a biblical application standpoint, the findings of this study should challenge Christian business leaders to utilize a transformational leadership style to develop employees to use their God-given talents and abilities for his glory.