Date of Conferral



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


Business Administration


Christopher Beehner


High-tech (HT) innovation-oriented entrepreneurs start 35% more ventures and create 10% more jobs in the first 5 years of operation than the rest of the private sector and drive significant economic growth across all industries; however, more than 50% of the entrepreneurial HT ventures fail during the first 5 years of operations. Guided by the conceptual framework of transformational leadership theory, the purpose of this multicase study was to explore skills used by successful entrepreneurial leaders to sustain their HT ventures in Silicon Valley, California. Data collection was from 8 participants in semistructured 1-on-1 interviews and 3 participants in a focus group discussion. All participants were entrepreneurial leaders with experience in sustaining their entrepreneurial ventures beyond 5 years. A thematic data analysis approach involved text search, content coding to nodes, and code comparison techniques of collected data to extract themes and identify relationships in the findings. The emergent 4 leadership skill themes for HT entrepreneurial venture sustainability were the recruitment of the right team, situational adaptability, market orientation, and providing innovation stimulation. The right team can resourcefully assist the leader to execute market-leading competitive products and overcome challenges in the dynamic and intensely competitive and innovative HT industry. A culture of openness, ownership, and trust is conducive to the sustainability of an HT venture. Findings from this study may contribute to social change by promoting the formation of new HT ventures, increasing job creation, reducing work stressors, improving quality of life with innovative and cost-effective products, and services in healthcare, infrastructure, personal safety, education, and communications.