Date of Conferral



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


Information Systems and Technology


Marilyn Simon


Saudi Arabian entrepreneurs face major difficulties with the country's complex regulatory system. Based on Schumpeter's theory of entrepreneurship, the purpose of this phenomenological study was to reveal the lived experiences of Saudi entrepreneurs in navigating regulatory procedures in Jeddah. Data were collected through prolonged, face-to-face phenomenological interviews with 22 Saudi businesspeople who started successful businesses. The van Kaam method and member checking helped validate the transcribed data, which were subsequently coded into 4 themes. Four themes emerged from the data analysis: (a) obstacles in regulatory processes, (b) lack of information, (c) cumbersome procedures and need for alternatives to stringent protocols, and (d) persistence strategies needed to maneuver through inflexible regulations. For entrepreneurship progress among these individuals, business rules needed to be comprehensible, shorter, and less bureaucratic. These findings also suggest that, once entrepreneurship rules are transparent, Saudi Arabia may become a choice country for international businesses. These findings have implications for positive social change by informing the efforts of governmental authorities in their work towards effective regulatory processes as roadways to the economic well-being of businesses and communities, and could be a catalyst to boost foreign investments in the country.