Date of Conferral







Richard S. Schuttler


The manufacturing industry has been on a decline. Companies have been closed, and employees have lost their jobs. The purpose of this qualitative exploratory multiple case study was to understand how 5 small manufacturing companies in Massachusetts remained competitive. Systems theory was used to focus on process and innovation management implemented by organizational leaders. A purposeful sampling was conducted to identify 15 organizational leaders from 5 small manufacturing companies in Massachusetts. Data were collected through semistructured interviews with the 15 participants. Interviews were recorded and transcribed with NoNotes software. Data were compiled and submitted to participants to member check information. Once participants confirmed the data, data were compiled with NVivo 12 software. Through the compilation process, 10 themes emerged. Seven of the themes were directly related to the positive steps of process management: employee involvement, customers, communication, products, innovation, knowledge, and analysis. Three emergent themes regarding negative strategies were managing from a distance, lack of communication, and no buy-in from stakeholders. Positive social change could emerge from the results of this study if organizational leaders use this information to increase their success and help grow the Massachusetts manufacturing GDP. The increase of business may lead to more jobs and revenue to help support local communities in Massachusetts.