Date of Conferral



Business Administration


Dr. Carol- Anne Faint


Small business leaders continually face challenges due to limited resources and lack of employees' engagement. Only 78% of new small businesses survive 1 year after establishment, and half of those fail within the next 4 years. The purpose of this multiple case study was to explore strategies small business leaders used to increase employees' overall job satisfaction in Alberta, Canada. The conceptual framework for the study was transformational leadership theory. The targeted population was 10 purposefully sampled leaders of small businesses from different industries located in Alberta. Member checking and methodological triangulation were used to validate the data gathered through face-to-face semistructured interviews, a review of organizational policy documents, yearly reports, websites, and company marketing brochures. Data were analyzed using inductive coding of phrases and word frequency searches. Using thematic analysis, 3 themes emerged: the importance of supportive leadership that addressed individualized needs, necessity of financial rewards, and prominence of nonfinancial rewards to improve job satisfaction. The implications of this study for positive social change include providing leaders of small businesses with strategies that might enforce the sense of social responsibility and induce them to give back to the community by training new and existing employees and supporting communities through fostering self-development and self-support along with engendering pride in creativity.