Date of Conferral



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


Business Administration


Peter Anthony


In the past 3 decades, China has experienced rapid economic growth. The China retail market reached renminbi (RMB) 29,651 billion in 2016, up by 10.4% from 2015. Using traditional ways that developed before the Internet era to acquire information regarding customers' changing preferences for products and services in a fast-moving business world is insufficient to support management in the retail industry to make informed strategic decisions. The purpose of this multiple case study was to explore successful customer-centric strategies that business leaders used to improve business performance with marketing information acquired from social media. The population comprised business leaders from 5 different companies in the retail industry in Southern China who have successful experience in improving business performance with the marketing information acquired from social media. The conceptual framework for this study was built upon the diffusion of innovations theory. The data were collected through semistructured interviews, social media sites, and analyzed using Yin's 5-step data analysis process for case studies to identify themes. The findings revealed 3 emergent themes: knowledge strategies, persuasion and decision strategies, and implementation strategies. The findings from the study may contribute to positive social change when local employment opportunities can increase through increased employee spending in Southern China.