Date of Conferral



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


Business Administration


Theresa Neal


E-commerce entrepreneurs who fail to develop and implement strategies to sustain business operations beyond the first 5 years face high business failure rates. Grounded in Porter’s five forces model, the purpose of this qualitative multiple case study was to explore strategies used by e-commerce entrepreneurs to achieve and maintain sustainability beyond the first 5 years of operations. Participants were e-commerce entrepreneurs from five companies in Texas who implemented successful strategies to achieve and maintain sustainability for more than 5 years. Data were collected from semistructured interviews and reviews of company documents and were analyzed using thematic analysis. Five themes emerged: best practices for consistency, relationship building with customers, networking, risk tolerance, and education. A key recommendation is for e-commerce entrepreneurs to seek ways to create processes that enable replicability of results and customer experiences. The implications for positive social change include the potential of survivability of e-commerce businesses beyond the first 5 years of operations with improved local cash circulation and added taxes improving programs and infrastructure for local schools and other public facilities.