Health, Exercise, and Sports Sciences ETDs

Publication Date

Summer 7-2017


Small businesses make up approximately 98% of all businesses in the United States, but little is known about how they engage with their communities and engage in strategic management (Small Business Administration, 2016). To understand more about how small businesses engage in these practices, this study seeks to explore these topics through a technology enhanced qualitative study design (Marshall & Rossman, 2015). The study sought to replicate face-to-face interviews through an online survey with open-ended questions designed to learn from small business decision makers regarding their actions and the actions of their organizations. The study had 45 total participants from three metropolitan cities in the United States. The study produced themes generated from an inductive thematic analysis done by hand and the use of text analysis software, Leximancer. Triangulation was used to try and understand the true meaning of concepts pertaining to small businesses. The results of the study presented a variety of themes that focused on the system of entrepreneurism and how it impacts decision-making in small business. The results of this study are intended to encourage future work in the areas of strategic management and small business.


Strategic Management, Stakeholder Theory, Community Engagement, Leadership, Sport Organizations

Document Type


Degree Name

Physical Education, Sports and Exercise Science

Level of Degree


Department Name

Health, Exercise, and Sports Sciences

First Committee Member (Chair)

David Scott

Second Committee Member

Shawn Berman

Third Committee Member

Todd Seidler

Fourth Committee Member

Evan Frederick