Date of Conferral



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


Business Administration


Michael M. Gottleib


Small businesses provide 48% of private-sector jobs in the United States and play a vital role in the country's economic growth and development. Only half of U.S. small businesses survive for longer than 5 years. The purpose of this qualitative multiple-case study was to explore sustainability strategies managers of small oilfield service companies used to sustain their business for longer than 5 years. Data were collected from semistructured interviews with 10 managers--one manager from each of 10 different oilfield service companies located in the Rocky Mountain region of the United States and from review of publicly available documents and archived records. The conceptual framework for this study was the dynamic capability theory. Data analysis was conducted using Yin's 5-step data analysis process and methodological triangulation. Four themes emerged from the study: networking or relationship strategies, financial planning strategies, differentiation strategies, and education and experience strategies. The implications of this study for positive social change include the potential for small business managers to use these findings to develop strategies for profitability and sustainability resulting in job creation, poverty reduction, and socioeconomic development.