Date of Conferral



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


Business Administration


Ify Diala


Small businesses represent over 99% of all United States businesses and are engines of economic growth and job creation. In 2018, the Small Business Administration estimated that a total of 30.2 million small businesses employed over 58.9 million workers. Small businesses are known to face significant challenges, and most fail within 5 years of startup. The purpose of this multiple case study was to explore strategies that owners of small accounting businesses used to sustain their organizations for longer than 5 years. The population in this study consisted of 5 owners of small accounting businesses in Michigan. The conceptual framework for the study was human capital theory. Data were collected through face-to-face, semistructured interviews and review of documents. The analysis of collected data yielded themes that included market research and competitive analysis, excellent customer service, passion for accounting and arduous work, and retention of skilled and competent employees. The findings of this study may be applied to bringing about positive social change by enhancing small business owners' competence and promoting business growth. Additionally, the use of the results of this study may promote economic activities and sustainability by stimulating job creation and reducing unemployment.