Date of Conferral



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


Business Administration


Cassandra Bowland


Between 2007 and 2013, the number of loans banks provided to small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) declined. The purpose of this single case study was to explore the strategies that senior bank lending officers used to improve lending to SMEs. The sample size consisted of 4 senior small business lending officers who have in lending for 5 or more year in Houston, Texas. The conceptual framework used was agency theory. Data were collected using semistructured interviews with 4 senior bank lending officers from a bank in the Houston, Texas area, a review of documents from lending officers, and other artifacts from the Small Business Administration. Data were analyzed with the support of software to generate themes. The data analysis included process coding of the data collected from the participants. Member checking and methodological triangulation enhanced the credibility of the findings in this study. Three themes emerged from the data analysis: the barriers and challenges lenders face when lending to business owners, bankers' strategies to overcome challenges in lending to their customers, and lenders' use of relationships and lending experience to provide loans to their customers. The findings from this study may contribute to social change by providing insights that can be used by senior lending officers related to strategies for providing loans to SMEs. The results of this study may also contribute to increased job creation for local residents, which can positively impact the economic viability of the Houston area.

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