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A Multisite Case Study: Processes Small Business Use to Capture, Convert, and Integrate Survival Knowledge

By: Published: 2019 | Product: SAGE Research Methods Cases Part 2
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Many researchers have focused on small business survivability yet the mortality rates of small businesses worldwide continues to exceed 50% within the first 5 years of business. In this study, I used a qualitative method utilizing a multisite case study to understand from entrepreneurs how they captured, converted, and integrated knowledge with the sole purpose to survive. Convenience, criteria, and snowball sampling methods were used to gain a firsthand knowledge from the entrepreneurs to tell their story of survival. The study was important because since 2007, failure rates of small businesses in the United States have increased 40%, with California having the largest business failure rate of 69% as compared to the U.S. failure rate. I conducted face-to-face semi-structured interviews with each participant, and took handwritten notes since the participants did not want to be recorded. I coded the data using three-step process of open, axial, and selective coding. Selective coding is when the emerging themes are solidified by a continual process of asking how and why questions. I also used member checking throughout the coding process, including asking each participant for his or her acceptance of the final themes and sub-themes. From this case study, readers will learn how I used qualitative design with case study methodology. In addition, they will understand how I created criteria for the study, how I used semi-structured interviews, how I created the questions used in the semi-structured interviews, how the data were coded, and how I struggled with interpreting my data into results, and involving my research participants throughout the process.

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