Date of Conferral



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




Lisa Pearo


Ineffective performance management in small and medium enterprises (SMEs) can inhibit organizational growth. SME leaders understand that a lack of organizational growth can lead to business failure. The purpose of this qualitative multiple case study, guided by the leader-member exchange theory, was to explore strategies SME leaders used to support performance management to promote organizational growth. The participants included 7 leaders of SMEs with at least 3 years of leadership experience of successfully using performance management strategies to promote SME organizational growth in Washington, DC. These leaders participated in semi structured individual interviews that were conducted virtually. Qualitative thematic analysis yielded 5 themes: components of performance reviews that promote organization growth, key obstacles in implementing performance reviews, performance review strategies influence supervisor-employee relationships, overcoming key obstacles, and benefits of positive employee-supervisor relations. A key recommendation for leaders of SMEs is to establish positive employee-manager relations through their performance management practices. The implications for positive social change include SME leaders’ potential to improve employees’ job satisfaction, job retention, quality of life, and productivity, resulting in enhanced economic stability within local communities.

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