Date of Conferral
Doctor of Business Administration (D.B.A.)
In 2014, 547 new breweries opened in the United States and more than 2 million barrels of beer were produced by American homebrewers. Craft brewery owners face challenges in increasing profit because of intense competition from existing breweries, new ventures, and homebrewers. The purpose of the study was to explore the strategies that craft brewery owners used to increase profits by collaboratively working with internal and external stakeholders, such as employees, distributors, customers, suppliers, lending groups, and community organizations. The conceptual framework of this multiple-case study was the stakeholder theory. The basic tenet of the stakeholder theory is that a business owner can maximize the firm's financial performance if the business owner proactively meets the needs of the relevant stakeholders. Face-to-face interviews were conducted on a purposeful sample of 5 craft brewery owners who met the study criteria of operating a profitable brewery in southern Maine for a minimum of 5 years. Transcripts, direct observations, and industry documents were organized to create common themes for coding in accordance with Yin's method of data analysis. Through methodological triangulation, the following 4 themes emerged: employee satisfaction and retention, nontraditional marketing, commitment to quality, and development of local relationships. Within these themes, craft brewery owners can apply a number of strategies to increase profits through stakeholder collaboration. The implications for social change include partnering of breweries with local establishments, which can foster increased sales for both businesses and provide better jobs for the local community.