Graduate School of Business


Doctor of Business Administration (DBA)


Sandra Bartholomew


strategic management, organizational culture, education, competition, collaboration




Educated and trained workers represent the primary critical success factor needed for all organizations to achieve their mission. Organizations depend on a constant flow of educated applicants competing for their jobs at any given time. Traditionally, public, private, and charter schools prepared U.S. citizens for college, trade schools, military, or university, enabling them to then compete successfully for jobs of the era. Today, a myriad of problems face these schools, including disruptive change, uninvolved parents, lack for funding, teacher unions, politics, school overcrowding, COVID-19, outdated training methods, security, race issues, and more. The result is that this education model is in decline and the flow of skilled workers into companies is affecting the United States, which risks losing its ability to compete locally and globally. Consensus that transcends party politics, religious infighting, and greedy decision-making must be reached in time to analyze this big-picture problem. The United States has reached a strategic inflection point and must respond to this disruptive change by developing creative, innovative, and state-of-the-art solutions to this problem, or she may not fulfill God’s will for this country. Companies strive to reach critical mass where they are self-sustaining, but this cannot be done without a change in how people are educated in the United States, which may require business and education to collaborate to reach the same goals, combining education and opportunity. This qualitative case study examined the problem that organizational leaders in the United States face, and specifically the challenges they encounter when strategically planning initiatives that will ensure a pool of educated, skilled, and talented workers available to their organizations now and in the future. Semi-structured interviews with the working population in Eastern Tennessee provided insights to this problem facing organizations across the spectrum.

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Business Commons