Date of Conferral

2016

Degree

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

School

Management

Advisor

Michael J. Campo

Abstract

Zimbabwe's catastrophic economic decline resulted in a high unemployment rate (95%), declining socioeconomic indicators, pharmacy stores' unprofitability and lower sustainability. Profitable pharmacy stores play a fundamental role in ensuring public access to medication. Lack of pharmacy profitability leads to poor healthcare delivery, resulting in increased morbidity and mortality. A healthy population is panacea to economic growth and prosperity and enhances human dignity, social cohesion, and the quality of life. In this qualitative, descriptive multicase study design, using Porter's business strategies theory and the Deming process of quality assurance as conceptual frameworks, data from 11 pharmacy stores leaders in Bulawayo, Zimbabwe were collected during interviews with open-ended questions. Participants were assumed to have influence, knowledge, and a personal stake in the pharmacy sector and that their views and experiences could address the research question of lack of pharmacy profitability and sustainability. Data were explored, categorized, and tabulated to assist drawing empirical findings and conclusions that could answer the research question. Using software the data were analyzed and themes such as the centrality of strategy in running profitable pharmacies, customer care, reimbursements by medical insurance firms, the role of the legal and regulatory frameworks on pharmacies, and mergers of single-owner pharmacies emerged. Findings from the results might provide strategies for those in the pharmacy retail sector and individuals who intend to explore the sector. Individuals who read results of the study might be influenced to lobby government on behalf of the sector to relax prohibitive regulations.