Date of Conferral
Doctor of Business Administration (D.B.A.)
Researchers and practitioners have recognized the need for business leaders to establish effective internal control frameworks. Some small and medium enterprises (SME) leaders lack strategies for improving internal control systems. The purpose of this multiple case study was to explore the strategies leaders of SMEs in Nigeria use for improving internal control practices. Building on the internal control theory and transactional leadership theory, semistructured face-to-face and phone interviews were conducted with 8 purposively-selected leaders of SMEs in Nigeria who successfully implemented internal control practices. The 5 themes that emerged from the thematic analysis of the interview data were: segregation of duty; adherence to processes, policies, and procedures; staffing, training, and experience; information technology; and staff empowerment and management commitment. The findings from this study indicate that leaders of SMEs in Nigeria use similar strategies to improve internal control practices. All participants used segregation of duty and adherence to processes, policies, and procedures as strategies for improving internal control practices. SME leaders should possess adequate leadership skills for improving internal control systems in their business. The result of this study may contribute to positive social change by providing SME leaders with knowledge on strategies for improving internal control practices which will minimize loss of assets and boost profitability and business sustainability. With increase in business profitability, leaders of SMEs will increase the firms' corporate social responsibility through payment of more taxes, and provision of employment opportunities and social amenities to the local community.