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


Business Administration


Jorge Gayton


Uganda’s small and medium enterprises (SMEs) face high business failure rates. Fifty percent of SMEs in Uganda fail during the first year of operations due to poor business performance stemming from the lack of innovative strategies and consistent policies for SMEs to guide their growth and development. Grounded in disruptive innovation theory, the purpose of this qualitative multiple-case study was to explore the innovation strategies leaders of SMEs in Uganda use to improve business performance. The participants included five leaders of five SMEs in Uganda with successful experience implementing innovation strategies to improve business performance. Data were collected from semistructured interviews and company documents. Thematic analysis of the data resulted in three themes: product strategies improved business performance, process strategies improved business performance, and human capital strategies improved business performance. A key recommendation is for leaders of SMEs in Uganda to implement product strategies by focusing on innovative solutions to customers’ business problems that promote customer satisfaction, which retains existing customers, attracts new customers, and improves business performance. The implications for positive social change include the potential to improve the performance of Ugandan SMEs, which may lead to increased revenue, employment, and the local tax base.

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