Date of Conferral



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




Denise Land


In the United States, more than 50% of managers offering services in the manufacturing industry report failed service initiatives. The purpose of this multiple case study was to explore strategies that manufacturing managers used to sustain their business for longer than 5 years. The population consisted of 3 manufacturing organization managers offering business services to support petroleum and coal companies who have sustained their business operations in the mid-Atlantic region of the United States for longer than 5 years. Data were collected from semistructured interviews and organization documents were analyzed through the perspective of the strategic service innovation theory conceptual framework. Yin's 5-step process for data analysis: compiling, disassembling, reassembling, interpreting, and concluding was used to identify multiple themes through data saturation. Multiple themes emerged from data analysis, including service innovation strategies such as strategic innovation and competitive advantage, customer-focus strategies including customer's needs and providing solutions, resource strategies consisting of internal resources and knowledge resources, and external network strategies including external market and relationships. Managers in the manufacturing industry can use the findings of this study to improve business practices by implementing strategies to offer services through service innovation processes, developing customer focus, considering resources, and leveraging external networks. The findings of this study may be used to affect positive social change to improve socioeconomic conditions by increasing employment opportunities for residents of communities with petroleum and coal manufacturing companies in the mid-Atlantic region of the United States.