The new small business leader: Skills for managing today's turbulent business environment

by Region-Sebest, Michelle, Ph.D., CAPELLA UNIVERSITY, 2013, 144 pages; 3590499


The purpose for this research was to discover whether any unique patterns of leadership skills emerged as most important to use as small business owners during times of turbulence. Twelve small business leaders from a wide variety of industries participated in face-to-face interviews at their respective places of business. Each participant was asked the same eight open-ended questions related to three key constructs under investigation: leadership skills, small business success, and turbulence. Each interview was transcribed and analyzed using qualitative software, NVivo. The analysis looked for frequently stated key words and phrases to discover emergent themes and unique patterns of leadership skills. The findings indicated that commonalities existed between each leader's perspective of what constitutes small business success and turbulence. The most prevalently stated trigger of turbulence was change while success was viewed as having happy employees and customers. The leadership skills that emerged as most needed to lead during uncertain times included: relationship building and maintenance, soft skill integration, strong communication skills, and forward-looking business analysis. One recommendation from this study included comparing the skills that emerged from the Austin, Texas small business leaders to leaders in other states. Another recommendation is to take a deeper look at change management as it relates to uncertainty in the small business arena.

AdviserJhenhu Jin
Source TypeDissertation
SubjectsEntrepreneurship; Management
Publication Number3590499

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