Small Business Owners' Recession Experiences: A Qualitative Phenomenological Study

Small Business Owners' Recession Experiences: A Qualitative Phenomenological Study

Author: 
Troy Lamont Looney
Program of study: 
D.M.
Abstract: 
Although it was generally known that small business owners were impacted by the 2007 to 2009 recession, there was a gap in the literature with regard to the lived experiences of small business owners who were impacted during that time. In particular, little was known about how the business owners were affected personally and with regard to their ability to provide their products and services. The purpose of this qualitative phenomenological study explored the in depth lived experiences and perceptions of 20 small business owners who survived the 2007 to 2009 recession conditions, in particular small business owners in one large city in the State of Ohio who operate retail businesses. Data was collected using a semi structured interview protocol, and the data was analyzed using Colaizzi’s nine steps for analyzing phenomenological data: The results of the study were significant because it generated new data regarding small business owners’ lived experiences and perceptions associated with surviving recession conditions. These data provided seven core themes of management (competition; budgeting; strategic planning; research; employees; resources; and consumers) for small business owners to specifically consider with regards to surviving in retail business management. This study provides a significant understanding of the experiences and perceptions from small business owners in recession periods. This study also enables future business owners and leadership entities to understand the qualitative phenomenological perspective for preparing small business owners in economic downturns; while managing changes throughout everyday business activities.
Dedication: 
To my late parents John E. Looney and Alease L. Looney, my wife Latoya Looney, my children Khalil and Troyana, and to myself for never accepting failure but emerging into my higher self.
Acknowledgements: 
With a journey of epic proportions, I must thank Jesus Christ my Lord and Savior for the grace from trials and obstacles. Your will is in motion. This journey is priceless to understand and one of evolution and spiritual transformation. To my late parents John E. Looney and Alease L. Looney, I owe everything in appreciation and love, for without them, I would not exist. I miss you, but I represent your success every day and I love you. To my wife and soul mate Latoya Looney, I have seen you truly endure through life’s battles and still keep a smiling face every day. I appreciate your patience and support more than you can ever imagine. Even on those countless nights of research and frustration. I love you infinitely. This is for the future and for the legacy. To my mentors: without adversity and focus, there is aimless wondering. Dr. Carla Lane (Chair), Thank you, thank you, thank you! You have given me new visions and the gift of limitless ambition to challenge myself continuously. To Dr Kathleen Dominick (Committee) and Dr. Michael Novello (Committee), you are both inspirations, and I thank you for the patience and support of my studies. To every professor who influenced my critical thinking and opened my intelligence to the experiential level: Thank you. Dr. Robert Krell (Year 3 Residency), Dr. Keri Heitner (Year 2 Residency), Dr. Novello (Year 1 Residency).