Date of Conferral
Doctor of Business Administration (D.B.A.)
The rapid expansion of dental service organizations (DSOs) continues to disrupt the traditional dental practice model and there was a 12.2% increase in DSOs between 2015 and 2016. Some solo and small group dental practice owners lack strategies to adapt their businesses to be successful in newly competitive markets including DSOs. Grounded in systems theory, the purpose of this qualitative multicase study was to explore strategies dental practice owners use to adapt their businesses to be successful in newly competitive markets. The participants included 3 solo and 2 small group dental practice owners in central Kentucky who demonstrated success in developing and leveraging strategies to be successful in newly competitive markets. Data were collected through semistructured interviews and company documents. A thematic analysis was used to analyze the data. The 3 major themes identified were patient care and experience, patient and community relationships, and adaptation and innovation. The application of effective strategies identified in this study may have implications for positive social change by enabling dental practitioners to continue to provide access to outstanding dental care in the communities they serve. A second implication for positive social change is the potential economic benefits to the community through employing dentists and clinical staff, providing commerce to suppliers and business service providers, and tax contributions to the city, state, and U.S. federal government.