Date of Conferral

2016

Degree

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

School

Information Systems and Technology

Advisor

Irene Williams

Abstract

Eighty-five percent of all firms operating in Nigeria are small-and medium-sized business enterprises (SMEs) and contribute almost 55% to the gross domestic product (GDP) in Nigeria. Capital flight and other growth inhibitors pose threats to the sustainability of SMEs in Nigeria. This exploratory multiple-case study was to determine strategies SME leaders use to sustain business operations in Nigeria. The study participants consisted of 15 SME leaders from 3 regional manufacturing firms who had successfully implemented strategies to sustain SMEs in Nigeria. Bertalanffy's general systems theory and Freeman's stakeholder theory were the conceptual frameworks used in the research. The data collection processes included semistructured interviews and reviewing company documents. After analyzing the interview data and validating through member checking, 5 core themes emerged during the data analysis process: creating new markets, encouraging opportunity for sustainable growth, securing additional funding sources, employee participation in decision making, and gaining competitive advantages. The findings may promote social change among the business community leaders by identifying essential characteristics to improve the posterity of SMEs in Nigeria.