Date of Conferral



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


Business Administration


Denise L. Land


Small business restaurants represent a significant segment of the U.S. economy; however, many small business restaurants fail before 5 years of operation. The purpose of this exploratory multiple case study was to explore the strategies entrepreneurs used to sustain operations beyond 5 years. The population for this study was 3 Latin American immigrant small business restaurant owners in the central part of the U.S. state of Georgia, who had sustained operations for more than 5 years. The conceptual framework consisted of entrepreneurship and knowledge management theories. The data derived from semistructured interviews and organizational documents presented by the participants. Data analysis involved using a modified van Kaam method and qualitative analysis software to identify and analyze emergent themes. The 3 themes were cultivation of ego-networks, human capital development, and engaged entrepreneurial activities. The findings from this study suggest that small business owners enhance their external social network, advance the human capital of employees and the entrepreneur, and apply entrepreneurial orientation practices. Using study findings, small business restaurant owners may be better able to have sustainable businesses and, thus, contribute to their local communities' economic and social well-being. Implications for positive social change include the potential to prevent the economic and socially damaging effects of business failures and unemployment as well as the potential to cultivate a skilled U.S. Latin American workforce, through the advancement of human capital.

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