Date of Conferral



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


Business Administration


Dorothy Hanson


In 2017, the Texas economy grew faster than the U.S. economy; however, the rate of failed immigrant-owned small businesses is an economic problem for the southwestern United States. The objective of this multiple case study was to explore strategies immigrant small business owners practiced in sustaining their businesses for longer than 5 years. The population of the study was 3 immigrant small business owners in the southwestern United States. The conceptual framework for this study was transformational leadership theory. Thematic analysis of interviews, member checking, participant observations, and field notes identified 5 emergent themes: acquired leadership skills (with transformational leadership elements as the ideal style used and the owner's experience noted as a contributing factor); reduction of communication barriers; incorporation of innovation, technology, and social media; establishing community connections and customer relationships; and managing the environmental, social, and economic challenges. The diverse citizens of the Southwest depend on immigrant-owned small businesses for goods and services consistent with their ethnic and multicultural heritage. Exploring the difficulties these immigrant small business owners encounter in sustaining their businesses and identifying strategies for sustainability could influence positive social change by improving the quality of life for citizens of the Southwest and providing strategies for business sustainability to aspiring immigrant entrepreneurs.

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