One aspect of leadership strategy is the need to account for the core values of the organization.The purpose of this case study was to explore the tribal gaming leader strategies used toward sustainability, an action that leads to tribal economic development and stability. The conceptual framework of situational leadership theory was used to guide the scope and analysis of this study. Six tribal gaming leaders from Oklahoma participated in a focus group session; 7 additional tribal gaming leaders from the same gaming organization participated in individual interview sessions. Member checking was used to strengthen the credibility and trustworthiness of the interpretation of the participants’ responses. Additionally, company documents were reviewed to triangulate the data. Four emergent themes were identified after data analysis: business value, which was attributed to tribal leaders’ alignment to their mission; strategic vision, which included their marketing and overall business environment; collaboration, which was evident wherein the tribal gaming leaders utilized internal and external partnerships to improve local communities and maintain competitive advantage; and communication, which was emphasized for its importance as a daily skill for information sharing.


Qualitative, Case Study, Native Americans, Corporate Social Responsibility, Business Value, Situational Leadership Theory

Author Bio(s)

Dr. Janie Hall is a contributing faculty member at Walden University. Her research focuses on culture, diversity, emotional intelligence, leadership strategies, employee retention and reducing turnover, employee recruitment, motivation, marketing, Native American casinos, organizational design, organizational leadership and management, philanthropy, process reengineering, business resilience, social responsibility, sustainability, systems thinking, teambuilding, healthcare management. Dr. Hall has experience in healthcare leadership and community health resilience. Correspondence regarding this article can be addressed directly to: janie.hall2@mail.waldenu.edu.

Dr. Patricia Fusch is contributing faculty at Walden University. Her research focuses on leadership, manufacturing, women in business; ethnographic design, case study design, change management initiatives, focus group facilitation, and organizational development. Dr. Fusch has experience as a performance improvement consultant in the public and private sector. Her publications can be found in The Qualitative Report and in The International Journal of Applied Management and Technology. Correspondence regarding this article can also be addressed directly to: patricia.fusch@mail.waldenu.edu.

Dr. Janet Booker is contributing faculty at Walden University. Her research focuses on management, leadership, employee rights, change management, dispute resolution, workplace organization and culture tactics, ADA accommodations, entrepreneurship, small business, mental health management, student success and motivation. Dr. Booker has been in a university setting since 1997. Dr. Booker’s business-related experience includes serving as director of ombuds services, working in areas such as employee rights, change management, dispute resolution, workplace organization, and culture tactics. She has also been a small business owner, and manager of a group home for the mentally ill. Her publications can be found in the Journal of Social Change and The Qualitative Report. Correspondence regarding this article can also be addressed directly to: janet.booker@mail.waldenu.edu.


We would like to thank the research participants and the research site. This study would not exist without the Oklahoma Native American tribe who generously served as the research site for this study.

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