First Advisor

Mary K. Kinnick

Date of Publication


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Education (Ed.D.) in Educational Leadership


Educational Leadership and Policy




Education, Small Business Development Center (Clackamas Community College), Small business -- Management -- Study and teaching (Continuing education) -- Oregon -- Clackamas County, Business consultants -- Oregon -- Clackamas County



Physical Description

3, xi, 180 leaves 28 cm.


The study of the Clackamas Small Business Development Center's Small Business Management Programs (SBM) had three research objectives: to ascertain what information should be transferred to small business owners and how best to transfer that information; to ascertain what information is presently being transferred to clients and what methods are used in transferring the information; and to survey clients in order to develop a current demographic profile, measure their level of satisfaction with the assistance received, and ascertain what they perceived were the benefits of the program to their companies. Prior to the study, there had been little systematic research of what information should be transferred to SBDC clients and the most effective methods for transferring that information. The small business growth stage literature was used to develop the recommended body of information. The adult learning literature was used to develop the recommended methods for transferring that information to clients. The majority of respondents were women, well educated, middle-aged, and from companies in service related industries that employed few workers. The findings suggest that clients desire an increase in both the appropriateness of the program's informational content and the level of their involvement in tailoring the SBM program to the needs of their organizations. As suggested by the Small Business Growth Stage Models, a statistically significant decline in client satisfaction of the program's informational content was found to exist between stage two and stage three business owners. The study found that instructors did not utilize specific business factors (such as sales levels, numbers of employees, etc.) in developing the informational content of the SBM programs. Instructors also did not utilize client preferred learning styles, or formal client involvement in developing the instructional design of the SBM program. The study found that clients and center personnel appear to differ in their perceptions regarding the role of the instructor and the purpose of the SBM program. Clients appear to envision the role of the instructor as more of a consultant, while instructors view their role as preparing clients to solve their own problems.


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