Date of Conferral



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




Janie Hall


Lack of alignment between leadership style and strategy contributes to the failure of many small and medium-sized enterprise (SME) leaders to realize their potential for creating shared value (CSV). Aligning leadership styles with CSV strategies improves the ability of Nigerian SME leaders to create economic and social value for all stakeholders of their enterprise. Using four contingency theories of leadership as a conceptual framework, the purpose of this multiple case study was to explore strategies SME leaders use for aligning leadership style and business strategy for CSV. The participants comprised 11 owners or senior managers from four SMEs in the retail industry in southwest Nigeria with over 5 years of operation and CSV evidence. Data were collected from semi-structured interviews, company documents, company websites, newspaper articles, customer review websites, and analyzed using content and thematic analysis. Five major themes emerged from the data: SME leaders set the tone or lead by example, adapt leadership style based on situational factors, deploy organizational systems and procedures, obtain feedback and evaluate performance metrics, and have good communication skills. A key recommendation is for SME leaders to develop a wide variety of leadership skills to improve alignment strategies and leadership effectiveness. The implications for positive social change include the potential for SMEs to contribute more to the local communities’ sustainable development through job creation, employee retention, tax payments, and products or initiatives that address customer needs and social challenges.