Date of Conferral



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


Business Administration


Beverly Muhammad


The dominance of federal and state contracts by large enterprises reduces the share of contracts small and medium-sized enterprises' (SMEs) business leaders obtain. As of the last census reading in 2016, SMEs received only 23% of contracts. The purpose of this multiple case study was to explore the strategies of 3 small business leaders, operating in south Florida, for obtaining state contracts through public procurement. The thematic findings were in the context of the principal-agent theory as the conceptual framework. The participants answered 10 questions in semistructured interviews and provided organizational procurement documents for review. The methodological triangulation of multiple data sources and data analysis led to the identification of 3 primary themes: business performance, overcoming barriers, and strategic initiatives. Enabling proper business performance protocols for revenue, company reputation, pricing, and compliance benefitted the 3 participants as a strategy for successfully winning state contracts. The participants first identified the barriers they experienced, which included access, bargaining power, funding, and labels. The barriers encountered by the participants became less overwhelming with the implementation of strategic initiatives based on knowledge, relationship building, skilled personnel, and taking action. Findings included the importance of SME business leaders and personnel educating themselves on the public procurement process and building relationships with individuals in the various agencies. Application of the findings may lead to a social change of higher small business employment rates, increased revenue, and improved innovation for business leaders.

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