Dissertation/Thesis Abstract

The Relationship Between Authentic Leadership and Employee Retention in Small Businesses
by El Jamal, Maher, Ed.D., Manhattanville College, 2019, 140; 22584374
Abstract (Summary)

The purpose of this qualitative study was to examine the relationship between authentic leadership and job retention in a small business setting. Businesses, including small businesses, can be put at risk if their skilled workers leave (James & Mathews, 2012).

Upon identifying 5 authentic leaders who operate small businesses located in the New York metropolitan area; I randomly selected 5 employees from each business who met the established criteria for participation. First, I surveyed the small business leaders using the Self-Rater version of the Authentic Leadership Questionnaire (ALQ). Second, I administered the Rater version of the ALQ on their employees to verify that the employees also saw them as following an authentic leadership style of leading; suggested by Edwards, “to properly rate the level of authenticity of the leaders, it must be done by the followers” (interview, 2015).

The surveys were then followed with a set of open-ended questions along with follow-up questions as needed (Creswell, 2013). The leaders were interviewed first and then the employees. The process and findings are documented in this dissertation. Although many factors were mentioned that influenced the employees’ decision to stay or not, the way they were treated by their leader was always a factor. Some employees stated that the way they were treated by their leader affected their decision to remain. The five participants agreed that an employee staying at the job can have multiple levels of benefits to the leader, employees and to the customers.

The themes that emerged were grouped into six qualities: empathy, loyalty, consciousness, feeling of family, trust, and reciprocity. The employees stated that their perception of their leader to be authentic is the main reason why they chose to stay. The leaders explained how they understood the value of employee retention in their business. They all understood through their experiences that losing employees can cause leaders to go through the burden of additional expense to recruit and develop new talent. The employees overwhelmingly thought that their business leaders were outstanding and caring individuals who are learning every day.

Indexing (document details)
Advisor: Monson, Robert, Hyland, Richard
Commitee: Wan, Yiping
School: Manhattanville College
Department: School of Education
School Location: United States -- New York
Source: DAI-A 81/2(E), Dissertation Abstracts International
Source Type: DISSERTATION
Subjects: Educational leadership, Business education
Keywords: Authentic leadership, Educational leadership, Employee, Job retention, Loyalty, Small business
Publication Number: 22584374
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