Graduate School of Business


Doctor of Business Administration (DBA)


Reshowrn Thomas


Puerto Rico’s Economic Crisis, Strategic Decision-making, Plant Managers in Puerto Rico


Business | International and Area Studies | International Business


This qualitative, collective case study covers the experience of strategic decision making in a pharmaceutical and medical device manufacturing environment in Puerto Rico during the current economic crisis. The medical device and pharmaceutical manufacturing industry in Puerto Rico was selected because of the tax expirations targeting this specific industry and the predominance on the island this industry represents in the manufacturing environment. Despite Puerto Rico’s dominance in medical device and pharmaceutical manufacturing over the past 60 years, the current financial and government crisis poses a significant threat to executive level commitment toward maintaining operations on the island. Research questions focused on plant manager’s experiences and perspectives regarding the strategic decision-making process. Participant interviews included executives indirectly overseeing regulated facilities in Puerto Rico, four plant managers for medical device facility on the island and representatives of their direct staff, a former global operations leader for the pharmaceutical industry, and an economic representative in Puerto Rico. The interviews in conjunction with direct observation and document reviews of the four facilities provided the qualitative data used to develop a guideline of specific strategic decision making factors for future plant managers on the island and the results of the impact the external environment on the island is having on plant managers. The study concludes with recommendations for future research and application. The intent of the recommendations is to support continued manufacturing growth on the island.