Date of Conferral
Doctor of Business Administration (D.B.A.)
Space debris is a growing threat to operational satellites and satellite manufacturing organizations. Leaders in satellite manufacturing organizations lacking adequate knowledge on the space debris risks could be at a competitive disadvantage. The purpose of this explorative case study was to explore strategies leaders in satellite manufacturing organizations use to mitigate risks through the conceptual lens of stakeholder theory, contingency theory, and general system theory. The research questions addressed strategies to mitigate the debris threat from the perspectives of both ongoing concerns and long-term risk resolution. Data were collected via in-depth interviews with 12 leaders, purposively selected, in satellite manufacturing organizations, and supplemented with documentation from the literature and archival records from NASA. Member checking was used to validate the transcribed data subsequently coded into 6 themes that included: meeting requirements; using analytical techniques; using shielding to protect satellites; implementing material and process innovation; developing satellite services; and generating end of mission requirements. Recommendations include maintaining and developing analytical competencies, funding research and development, and establishing standardization. Using strategies that facilitate risk mitigation and the preservation of the space environment, business leaders could benefit by developing strategic road maps that ensure continued access to space. Implications for social change include contributing to social stability, technology advancement, increased knowledge base, economic growth, higher education, and improved standard of living.