Date of Conferral



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




Dr. Sarah Matthey, EdD


Access to federal contracts is often a challenge for service-disabled, veteran-owned business (SDVOB) leaders because of business size and competition in the environment. The purpose of this qualitative, multiple case study was to explore the strategies that 5 SDVOB leaders from 5 different businesses in the Northeastern United States used to win federal contracts. Porter's generic strategies for competitive advantage was the conceptual framework for the study. Five company leaders who won $1 million or more in federal contracts were contacted from the Vendor Information Pages database of the Department of Veterans Affairs to participate in the study. Data were collected via semistructured interviews and archival documents. Data analysis consisted of compiling the data, coding for emergent and a priori codes, disassembling the data into common codes, reassembling the data into themes, interpreting the meaning, and reporting the themes (strategies). Eight themes regarding winning federal contracts emerged. The eight themes were process improvement/optimization, understanding requirements, preventing trial and error, personalizing services, understanding the client, access to external capital/resources, understanding the procurement process, and forward-planning. SDVOB leaders may use the results of this study to secure larger contracts in less time by adopting successful strategies that have won federal contracts. Positive social change implications include the potential for further empowerment, success, and profitability of SDVOBs, as well as other minority-owned firms. Further success of SDVOBs may provide long-term employment and increased tax revenue for communities.

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