Date of Conferral



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


Business Administration


Annie Brown


AbstractSmall businesses employ over half of the U.S. labor force, yet only 50% of small businesses survive beyond five years. Small business owners who do not sustain their businesses force employees to seek new employment and adversely impact the local economy. Grounded in Porter’s five forces model, the purpose of this qualitative multiple case study was to explore technology strategies used by small businesses to achieve and maintain sustainability beyond the first five years of operations. The participants were four small business owners from Maryland who implemented successful technology strategies to achieve and maintain sustainability for more than five years. Data were collected from semistructured interviews, participants’ websites, and reviews of company documents. Thematic analysis was used to analyze the data. Four themes emerged: emerging technology strategy, customer relationship-building, business model adaptability, and marketing and content design/engineering. A key recommendation is for small business owners to revise their business model to align with technology sustainability requirements and take advantage of the digital revolution and social media to increase sales, connect, and better serve stakeholders. The implications for positive social change include potentially providing small business owners with the technology strategies that will enable them to stay in business beyond five years.

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Business Commons