Date of Conferral
Doctor of Business Administration (D.B.A.)
In 2012, only 50% of Irish small firms survived in business for more than 5 years. The purpose of this qualitative, explorative case study was to explore strategies some Irish small firm owners use to succeed in business beyond 5 years. The case population consisted of 3 small business owners operating in Lucan, County Dublin, Ireland who had been managing a profitable small business venture beyond 5 years from beginning operations. The conceptual framework was the competitive theory of entrepreneurial orientation. Data collection included semistructured interviews with the 3 participants, which also involved member checking and triangulation with business documents to strengthen credibility and trustworthiness of interpretations. Three broad themes emerged after completing a 5-stage qualitative data analysis: an embedded and consistent entrepreneurial attitude, internal management of firm-specific dynamics, and management of external elements affecting the business' operating environment. The firms' owners developed schemes to counter the effects of consumers' lower purchasing power from economic downturns by enabling customers to purchase products through flexible financing arrangements. The findings of this study may contribute to positive social change by informing the efforts of small business owners to sustain their operations beyond the first 5 years. Increasing the rate of business success can lead to employment of more people, better standards of living for employees, and concomitant benefits for their communities.