Graduation Year


Document Type




Degree Granting Department


Major Professor

Hemant Merchant, Ph.D.

Co-Major Professor

Douglas E. Hughes, Ph.D.

Committee Member

Diane Kutz, D.B.A.

Committee Member

Joann Farrell Quinn, Ph.D.


business model, entrepreneur, organizational resilience, pivoting, small business


During COVID-19 closures, business owners and managers experienced a disruptor event that pushed them to find new ways to navigate their businesses practices. The purpose of this qualitative study was to learn how business owners and managers adapt their business models to survive disruptor events. The objective was identification of factors owners and managers of microbusinesses perceived as critical to avoiding closures, assessment of the effectiveness of the adaptations adopted during closures that enabled businesses to remain open, and analysis of the results of those adaptations. Owners and managers of businesses in the craft brewing industry were interviewed. The four common themes that emerged were that microbusiness owners and managers (a) focus on their learning agility to facilitate their pivots, (b) maintain their community and business relationships for assistance, (c) are willing to develop and expand multiple revenue streams for survival, and (d) develop a deliberate focus to survive during disruptor events. These themes not only contribute to the literature and the ability of owners and managers to pivot during disruptor events and continue growing their businesses but also support components of Duchek’s capability-based conceptualization of organizational resilience. Further research is needed to establish whether the themes identified apply to all microbusiness categories.