Date of Conferral



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


Business Administration


Dr. Scott Burrus


In Southeast Asia, many small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) fail each year; in 2010, SME failure rate exceeded 50%. The purpose of this multiple case study was to explore strategies that some SME business leaders use to decrease the failure rate of SMEs in Southeast Asia. The target population consisted of 5 SME business leaders in Southeast Asia who demonstrated success in using strategies to decrease the failure rate of SMEs. The conceptual framework for this study was the Ulrich model, which supports the notion that a human resource manager needs to be involved in overall organizational decision making as a strategic partner, administrative assistant, employee champion, and a change agent for business continuity and sustainability. Data collection sources included semistructured interviews and analysis of company documents. Using Yin's 5-step data analysis approach resulted in 3 themes: governance, marketing and branding, and integration of information technology. The governance theme included employee engagement and leadership strategies, which could help business leaders to create an agile work environment and work commitment to decrease business failure. The marketing and branding theme included social media and networking strategies that could promote the brand and enhance company image. The implication for social change is that business continuation could lead to economic development, employment opportunities, and tax revenue for local governments, leading to an improved standard of living and overall prosperity of local communities.