Dissertation/Thesis Abstract

Entrepreneurship in federal government contracting and relevance of critical success factor analysis for small businesses
by Kolhekar, Sunil, D.Mgt., University of Maryland University College, 2010, 210; 3493622
Abstract (Summary)

The United States Small Business Administration's (SBA's) Section 8(a) program offers a unique business-building program to every qualifying entrepreneur, empowering that business owner to conceive, initiate, and begin expanding a successful business. However, over the years, the program has achieved poor results.

This study focuses on specific business principles that have been shown to contribute to a small firm's success with the Section 8(a) program—i.e., a true success in the sense of a firm remaining economically viable well beyond the end of its privileged 8(a) status. The study expands upon the structured approach known as Critical Success Factor (CSF) analysis, as developed by Rockart and further applied to small business by Dickinson, Ferguson, and Sircar (1984) to apply to federal government contracting. This approach postulates that an understanding of CSFs can help any small business owner in his creation and development of a strong federally-focused company.

This study illuminates the common challenges and barriers-to-entry all 8(a) owners face, as they seek to remain competitive in the federal contracting market; and addresses the individualized struggles these owners face in their attempt to survive at various stages of the program. The methodology used in this study included both an analysis of secondary data sources and survey-based face-to-face interviews with entrepreneurs and industry experts who currently operate in different stages of the 8(a) program life cycle.

The findings of this study validate a thesis that a systematic use of the CSF analytical framework can be used successfully by the 8(a)-certified business owner to become focused, develop relationships, and work diligently, leading to prudent decisions and better outcomes. A significant implication of the study's findings was that there is a game-changing advantage inherent in the mentor-protégé program. This teaming arrangement already sanctioned by the SBA can be expected to significantly improve the success rate of the companies involved because it enables a company that is experienced with the 8(a) program forge a relationship with a company new to the program. It is expected that this relationship will increase a firm's collective ability to win set-aside contracts and achieve resiliency in the long term.

Indexing (document details)
Advisor: Mierzwa, Thomas
Commitee: Evanchik, Michael, Sung, Yung-Chi
School: University of Maryland University College
Department: Doctor of Management Program
School Location: United States -- Maryland
Source: DAI-A 73/05, Dissertation Abstracts International
Subjects: Entrepreneurship, Management, Organization Theory
Keywords: Collaborative contracting, Contracting, Entrepreneurship, Federal contracting, Management, Minority business, Minority business enterprise, SBA 8(a), Small business
Publication Number: 3493622
ISBN: 978-1-267-14137-8
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