Date of Conferral

2016

Degree

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

School

Management

Advisor

Dr. Beverly C. Muhammad

Abstract

Despite the effects of natural disasters on small business owners, the owners' communication strategies to alleviate loss to their companies' profitability remain problematic. The purpose of this qualitative descriptive multiunit case study was to explore what communication strategies some small business owners developed and implemented for facilitating resuming their business operations after a natural disaster. The targeted population consisted of 2 small business owners located along the Belmar Boardwalk in Belmar, New Jersey. The conceptual framework for this study was Coombs' situational crisis communication theory. The case data collected were from semistructured interviews and company documents. Employing member checking and methodological triangulation increased the assurance of the study's credibility and trustworthiness. The data analysis consisted of separating the data into groupings, identifying major groupings, assessing the information within the major groups, and developing thematic interpretations. The 4 validated themes that emerged were communication, community, disaster recovery, and stakeholders (employees). The findings from this study may contribute to social change by providing communication strategies that small business owners can use to mitigate losses from disasters, and facilitate businesses' and communities' recovery for reducing further losses.