Date of Conferral

2017

Degree

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

School

Business Administration

Advisor

Janet Booker

Abstract

The survival of the small business industry is important to the United Sates workforce and economy. The purpose of this multiple case study was to explore leadership strategies of 2 small business managers in a manufacturing setting who had a demonstrable record of improving employee performance to meet organizational goals. The conceptual framework for this study was Burns and Bass's transformational leadership theory. The small business managers were from 2 small manufacturing plants in the coastal plains region of South Carolina. Data were collected from semistructured interviews, archival documents, and observations of the managers during their daily activities. Data analysis included identifying relevant themes using the comparison method. Data were compared at each phase of the data collection process, revealing themes of following a vision, self-efficacy, self-determination, and need fulfillment. Findings suggest that other small business managers in similar contexts may improve employee performance using the transformational leadership approach, especially when employee encouragement, managerial experience, and adaptation are present. Small business managers and owners can benefit from the study results by using these findings to improve employee performance.