Date of Conferral

2016

Degree

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

School

Business Administration

Advisor

Patricia Fusch

Abstract

Ninety-five percent of all aviation businesses are small businesses; from 2009-2012, small aviation business operations decreased by 10.2% and resulted in a loss of $4.4 billion in revenue. The purpose for this multiunit case study was to explore what strategies small aviation businesses leaders used to reduce or control operating expenses for profitability. The sample comprised 3 small aviation businesses located in Middle Tennessee. The conceptual framework for this study built upon systems theory and sustainability theory. The data were collected through semistructured interviews and company documents. Member checking was completed to strengthen creditability and trustworthiness. Based on the methodological triangulation of the data sources collected, 5 emergent themes were identified after completing the 5 stages of data analysis: buying or purchasing power, being customer focused, having the right employees, having the right equipment, and leadership. When small aviation business owners incorporate these themes into their business model, they may increase the prosperity of their companies, the employees, their families, the surrounding communities, and the local economy. The findings from the study may contribute to social change by providing insights and strategies for small aviation business leaders in reducing operating costs for profitability. The data from this study may contribute to the prosperity of the small aviation business leaders, their employees, their families, the surrounding community, the local airport, and the local economy. By reducing operating expenses, small aviation business leaders will have more money to invest in the local community and the economy.