Date of Conferral



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




Beverly C. Muhammad


Small and medium enterprises (SMEs) participation in the Nigerian oil and gas industry has remained low despite their importance in income generation, employment, local capacity building, and poverty eradication. The purpose of this multiple case study was to explore the strategies SME owners use to improve profitability in the Nigerian oil and gas industry. The target population consisted of 5 business owners who had successfully managed SMEs in Warri, Delta State, Nigeria for more than 5 years. The resource-based view and Porter's 5 forces of competition served as the conceptual framework for the study. Data collection was through semistructured interviews and review of company documents to triangulate the data. Data analysis included transcription, coding, querying, interpreting and reporting the themes, and the use of member checking strengthened the trustworthiness of interpretations. Findings suggested themes of low-cost strategy, knowledge of the business environment, competent personnel, collaborative partnerships, integrity, and financial management. These findings may contribute to positive social change because SME business leaders could use low-cost strategies, hire competent personnel, collaborate with other partners, and demonstrate integrity in financial management. Doing so may improve profitability, generate employment, reduce poverty, and enhance standards of living.