Date of Conferral



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


Business Administration


Dr. Rocky Dwyer


The purpose of this single-case study was to explore strategies small business leaders used to engage the next generation of customers to ensure sustainability for longer than 5 years. The study population included senior leaders from a for-profit company headquartered in the mid-Atlantic region of the United States. Von Bertalanffy's general systems theory (GST) was the conceptual lens used in this study. Data were collected via semistructured interviews with 3 leaders of the organization. Participants for this doctoral study were members occupying leadership roles in a small, family-owned, for-profit business. Member checking was incorporated to help ensure accuracy, consistency, and credibility. Document analysis included reviews of financial statements, tax records, marketing and advertising plans, client survey information, and additional corporate artifacts. Using thematic analysis, themes emerging from this study included the importance of systematic approaches to engaging the next generation of customers through strategic processes, transparency in operations, fiscal accountability and protection of stakeholder interests, and use of technology to support business growth. Findings from this study might contribute to positive social change by enabling for-profit small business owners to succeed in their selected ventures and support local economic growth by engaging the next generation of customer.

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