Date of Conferral

2016

Degree

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

School

Management

Advisor

James Fletcher

Abstract

Small and medium-sized enterprise (SME) managers struggle to stay competitive. The purpose of this multiple case study was to explore the strategies SME managers located in Canada use to engage third-party logistics (3PL) providers to improve their supply chains. Porter's value chain theory formed the conceptual framework for this study. Data collection included semistructured interviews with 3 managers from 3 different SMEs in the province of Ontario and a review of the documents related to the use of 3PL providers. Member checking was conducted to enhance credibility of interpretation of the data collected. Data analysis was used to identify key themes, and data triangulation was performed on data from interviews and relevant company documents. Main themes that indicated the benefits of 3PL providers were identified through data analysis. The main themes included access to resources, competitive advantage, and enhanced customer service. Study findings may contribute to social change by helping SME managers improve their survival rate in Canada, maintain or create employment, and generate more personal income and taxes.