Date of Conferral

2016

Degree

Doctor of Business Administration (D.B.A.)

School

Management

Advisor

Godwin Igein

Abstract

In central North Carolina, small and medium-sized discount retailers have had a high failure rate, which is troubling considering that small businesses create jobs and drive successful innovation that is critical for economic development. The purpose of this phenomenological study was to explore experiences regarding successful innovation strategies of 20 discount retail industry owners and general managers located in central North Carolina. This study was grounded in Rogers`s diffusion of innovations conceptual framework and Christensen`s disruptive innovation theory. Data collection occurred through semistructured face-to-face interviews with owners and general managers of discount retail industry. Data analysis strategies included a modified Van Kaam method to identify essential ideas and coded data into categories of relevant themes. Three prominent themes emerged during data analysis: (a) Discount retailers supported innovation, (b) innovation was the source of economic growth for these retailers, and (c) discount retailers said they need innovation for competitive positioning. The results may help strengthen innovation strategies of local discount retail businesses, which could produce greater profitability and growth. Further, social change implications include the potential to provide business owners with new ideas, leading to increases in tax revenues, which could help local governments provide better services in their communities.