Graduate School of Business


Doctor of Business Administration (DBA)


Colleen A. McLaughlin


Community College, Higher Education, Human Capital, Strategy, Succession Planning


Business | Business Administration, Management, and Operations | Higher Education


Higher education institutions provide programs and services in support of personal, professional, and community development. The positive impact of higher education is threatened by the imminent departures of experienced employees responsible for implementing institutional programs and services. Research suggests succession planning assists organizations in responding to the potential departures of experienced employees while successfully serving stakeholders, yet a majority of higher education institutions do not possess adequate succession planning programs. Employee perceptions are essential to developing and evaluating programs, however, there is currently a lack of available insight into employee perceptions pertaining to succession planning within the field of higher education. In addition, the perceptions of employees pertaining to succession planning serving within a southeastern United States community college were unknown and created an inability to assess the strategic importance of succession planning within the institution. Therefore, this qualitative study utilized a single-site case study methodology to examine employee perceptions pertaining to succession planning. Semi-structured interviews were conducted with qualified research participants and the interview data were triangulated through the utilization of field notes and existing data obtained through the scholarly and professional literature. Employees within the researched institution perceived succession planning to be non-existent. In addition, employees believed succession planning deficiencies impeded the researched institution’s ability to respond to change, move forward, implement its mission, and serve its stakeholders. Finally, employees perceived the development of a succession planning program would have a positive strategic impact. Findings were applied to the fields of business, human resources, and higher education.