Graduate School of Business


Doctor of Business Administration (DBA)


Kimberly Johnson


ERG, Aviation, Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, Strategy, Communication, engagement


Aerospace Engineering | Human Resources Management


In this qualitative case study, the research explores the importance of strategic communication for building employee resource groups in aviation, specifically at a regional airline. To expand and develop knowledge regarding employee resource groups, the researcher looks at a widely distributed workforce to understand how the lack of strategically planned communication can impact employee resource group development and employee engagement. The data were collected through semi-structured interviews and a focus group of the employee resource group members, which provided insight on their experience engaging with the employee resource groups, preferred communication methods and tools, and their perception of leadership involvement. The worldwide pandemic influenced the results, COVID-19; at the time of the data collection, all communications at the regional airline had transitioned fully to a virtual platform. Finally, the findings show that strategic communication is vital to ensure effective communication and employee engagement, critical for growing employee resource groups. The results showed that for a widely distributed in an unconventional industry such as aviation, the virtual platform allowed for a centralized meeting location accessible to everyone at any site. Unfortunately, the findings highlighted the discrepancy in access to some of the media based on employee job classification, which is a barrier that prevents many from engaging. Additionally, the findings highlighted the preference for having multiple engaging methods within the virtual platform, the convenience of media available through portable devices, and the need for leadership involvement in strategic communication for growing employee resource groups.