Prioritizing the Employee: A Participatory Action Research Study Evaluating How Organizations Can Support Teams and Create Community within Remote Work Environments during a Crisis

Date of Award


Degree Name

Ed.D. in Leadership for Organizations


Department of Educational Administration


Matthew Witenstein


The purpose of this study is to identify and evaluate how organizations are able to create a sense of community and support teams within remote work environments, especially within times of crisis. The study emphasizes the need for BAC Consulting leadership teams to assess and understand the demographic and cultural makeup of the organization as a means for determining its specific needs. Details from BAC Consulting Baseline Sustainment team members’ lived experiences will also be gathered to gain an understanding of the individual and collective challenges they have faced as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. The goal of the study is to aid in the fostering of a sustainable partnership between employees and leadership as they work to improve employee engagement and create a thriving organizational culture. This qualitative participatory action research study will add to the developing knowledge base while also being a useful tool for administrators interested in making impactful organizational change during times of crises. This study utilized Funds of Knowledge (FoK) and William Kahn’s Theory of Employee Engagement as guiding frameworks for improving the employee experience and creating a greater sense of belonging. To collect relevant qualitative data, participants in the study were interviewed individually and also contributed to a working group session. The results were analyzed and common themes were identified. The information was valuable in developing an effective action plan and organizational checklist. These tools were designed to aid in fostering organizational change by providing greater access to training and company resources while increasing employee engagement and team collaboration.


employee, engagement, community, partnership, COVID-19, pandemic, Funds of Knowledge, FoK, William Kahn, Theory of Employee Engagement, remote work, organizational change, improvement, sense of belonging, collaboration, training, employee experience, employee community, team, team collaboration

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