Date of Award


Degree Name

PhD Leadership Studies

Dissertation Committee

Lea A. Hubbard, PhD, Chair; Fred J. Galloway, EdD, Member; Athena I. Perrakis, PhD, Member; Steven A. Gelb, PhD, Member


employees, Grounded theory, job rotation program, Leadership studies, management, organizational development, qualitative


Job rotation programs are known in the organizational development field as one of the primary components used in a successful employee development program. To date little research has gone beyond the quantifiable reporting of practices. The view of program participants has been unaccounted for, and consequently the organizational development field has lacked a holistic understanding of how employees succeed and fail in these programs. This research offers a current perspective on job rotation: A means of accelerating the development of high potential employees in order to build a strong management bench. A qualitative grounded theory approach was used to investigate how, when, and why employees succeeded and/or failed in a management development, job rotation program of a national financial services organization. Interviews were conducted with the employees who graduated from the program to capture the perspectives of the participants. The purpose of this research was to: (1) understand the employees' perspective of their experiences participating in a job rotation program, (2) identify the factors employees perceived as facilitating or constraining their ability to assimilate into, and be successful, within their program, and (3) identify the program factors they viewed as having contributed most to their succeeding in the job for which they were being prepared, as well as identify those factors missing from the experience that they felt would have been more supportive. Findings suggest that the experiences and ultimate preparation of the participants to assume management positions were the result of the organization arrangements and policies (structural factors), the beliefs and ideologies of the employees and participants (cultural factors), and the individual characteristics and actions of the employees and participants (agentive factors). Ten significant interactions among structural, cultural and agentive factors emerged from the data, exposing complex relationships that offered explanations about sustainability of participant participation, hidden obstructers and facilitators of development goals, and unique challenges to the manager-in-training role. The results of this study are heuristic for those trying to ensure the capital and energy invested in job rotation programs are maximized, thus supporting organizational goals.

Document Type

Dissertation: Open Access


Leadership Studies