Date of Conferral
Doctor of Business Administration (D.B.A.)
Marketing plays an influential role in small business survival. The purpose of this multiple case study was to explore the mechanisms used by microbusiness retail store owners for collecting, monitoring, and transforming market data into operational marketing activities. Marketing orientation (MO) provided the conceptual framework for this study. Guided by an abridged interview protocol, 4 retail microbusiness owners from Delaware participated in audio-recorded, semistructured interviews. Saturation of data occurred after 3 interviews, confirmed when the 4th interview produced no new information. After transcribing the interviews, member checking occurred, as each participant received a summary of the interview, along with thematic interpretations to ensure accurate capture of their intended meaning. The data were triangulated using the audio-recordings, transcriptions, observations, field notes, and Internet documents. From the coded data, 3 main themes emerged: (a) role of business owner as marketing instrument, (b) human capital, time, and self, and (c) relationships and networking. Positive social change may result from helping retail microbusiness owners understand the (a) identity relationship that exists between retail microbusiness owners and their business, (b) importance of active owner involvement in marketing, and (c) significant influence of networking and relationships on profitability. These findings may also promote firm and local economic stability through greater understanding of microbusiness owner marketing orientation and effective mechanisms for the integration of marketing activities into operations.