Date of Conferral







Steven Tippins


Small businesses continue to be a dominant portion of the global economy, and their owners need to understand how they can effectively make organizational changes, including implementing sound decision-making processes and innovation, as well as competing with much larger businesses. Minority small business owners have a particular need for organizational change because of their limited financial opportunities in relation to their nonminority counterparts. The purpose of this phenomenological study was to examine how minority small business leaders in the food service industry in south central Pennsylvania experience and perceive organizational change. Organizational change theory, contingency theory, and situational theory provided the framework for understanding the key research question, which encompassed how minority small business leaders in the food service industry perceived and experienced organizational change. Data were gathered from face-to-face interviews with 25 minority small business owners and analyzed using the Hycnerian analysis process. Results indicated that participants did not have a theoretically recognized definition of organizational change. Results also suggested that the participants devised human capital resources to effect organizational change. Findings support the provision of more education regarding organizational change to the small business community, especially minority business owners. The findings may have implications for positive social change by identifying strategies for minority business owners to employ organizational change through human capital so that they can compete with larger organizations and nonminority-owned small businesses.