Date of Conferral



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


Business Administration


Erica Gamble


The number of entrepreneurs in the direct sales industry has steadily increased since 2010; however, the annual turnover rate is 56%. The purpose of this multiple case study was to explore multilevel marketing (MLM) entrepreneurial leadership strategies implemented to help ensure sustainability of entrepreneurial MLM businesses for longer than 5 years. Purposive sampling was used to recruit 10 entrepreneurs who maintained an MLM business more than 5 years and used a hierarchical status that required a team. The transformational leadership theory constituted the conceptual framework for researching leadership as a concept of entrepreneurship and sustainability in MLM. Data were collected from semistructured interviews and reflective journaling. Member checking was used to increase the validity of findings. The data organization technique included Yin's 5 steps and the classic method of data analysis to categorize concepts. Themes derived from data analysis include self-efficacy, the behavioral approach to leadership, the psychological perspective of transformational leadership, the resource theory of social exchange, and achievement goals. The implications of this study for social change might include decreasing the community unemployment rate through entrepreneurial opportunities and encouraging the development of leadership skills to promote community responsibility.