Date of Conferral



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


Business Administration


Erica Gamble


The lack of successful knowledge management (KM) practices significantly hinders competitive advantage in small businesses. This case study was designed to explore what effective KM strategies convenience foods franchise industry business owners or managers use to increase competitive advantage. The study population consisted of 7 fast food franchise owners or managers in or near the Research Triangle Park area of North Carolina. The cognitive model of KM was the conceptual framework that grounded the study. Face-to-face interviews were used for the data collection process. Data were organized into nodes and coded for thematic analysis. The 3 major themes that emerged from the data were training as a KM strategy for competitive advantage, people-focused KM strategy for competitive advantage, and a collaborative team environment for KM implementation. The implications for positive social change include assisting in extending the life and dominance of U.S. based franchised businesses through improved competitive advantage strategies. The sustainment of local franchise businesses could also benefit local communities in the form of job opportunities and economic stimuli.

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