Date of Conferral



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




Dina L. Samora


In the United States, 41% of small retail businesses fail to succeed for longer than 5 years. The purpose of this multiple case study was to explore strategies small retail business owners used to remain sustainable for more than 5 years. The conceptual framework that grounded this study was Schumpeter's innovation theory. The sample size of this research included 4 successful retail business owners located in the southeastern region of the United States who have successfully started and managed their business activities for more than 5 years. Data were collected using semistructured face-to-face interviews with successful owners of small retail businesses and reviews of the organizations' internal documents. Data were coded, categorized, and labeled using coding techniques, and then validated using member checking. Data analysis processes included a thematic analysis method to identify emerging themes. The results of data analysis revealed 3 significant themes: passion and determination for doing business, market development and customer satisfaction, and business model innovation. The results indicated that the use of innovation theory enabled small retail business owners to develop innovative strategies to sustain the business for more than 5 years. The results also showed that innovation increases sales and profits for the longer term. The implications of this study for positive social change include the potential to create new jobs, enhance tax revenues and growth for governments, and improve social environments from revenue generated by employment.