Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Business Administration (DBA)


Bisk College of Business

First Advisor

Scott Benjamin

Second Advisor

Edward Haberek Jr.

Third Advisor

Kenneth Hanko

Fourth Advisor

Ted Petersen


This qualitative study explores the nature of business execution. Specifically, it seeks to understand the nature of a firm’s capability to execute, how and why some firms execute better than others, and the impact that this capability may have on firm performance and outcomes. A review of the organizational routine, organizational capability, and dynamic capabilities literature reveals a gap where no theory, model, or framework of analysis can be found for the concept of execution. The author proposes a novel definition of execution as a “catalytic capability”; that is, a stored behavioral capability comprised of repetitive, recurrent actions, shaping principles, and guiding discipline that energizes and effectuates organizational behavior. This qualitative, grounded theory multicase study seeks to discover, identify, and explain these actions, principles, and discipline that may be at work in the firms selected for this study.


Copyright held by author.