Commenced in January 2007
Frequency: Monthly
Edition: International
Paper Count: 6459

Search results for: small and medium sized firms

6459 The Effects of Governmental Regulation on Technological Innovation in Korean Firms

Authors: SeungKu Ahn, Sewon Lee


This study examines the effects of regulatory policies on corporate R&D activities and innovation and suggests regulatory directions for the enhancement of corporate performance. This study employs a regression model with R&D activities as dependent variables and the regulatory index as an independent variable. The results of this study are as follows: The regulation is negatively associated with the input and output of R&D activities. The regulation encourages small and medium-sized firms to invest in R&D. The regulation has a positive effect on patent applications for small and medium-sized firms.

Keywords: governmental regulation, research and development performance, small and medium-sized firms, technological innovation

Procedia PDF Downloads 179
6458 Innovative Small and Medium Sized Firms: Intangible Investment and Financial Constraints - a Literature Review.

Authors: Eliane Abdo


Small and medium sized firms “SMEs” play essential role in the countries’ economic development mainly in terms of production, employment and equitable distribution of income. For innovative SMEs, the investment in the human capital and in research and development are crucial to survive in a competitive environment. In this paper we perform a literature review to underline the financing difficulties and constraints which innovative SMEs face while investing in intangible assets: not only when defining amount of the investments but also while choosing its financing methods. Literature review revealed that in order to finance their intangible assets, SMEs rely in first on their internal financing: the availability of internal cash flows can then determine their investment’s decision. Moreover SMEs face difficulties to finance their intangibles by financial debts due to the uncertainty of future cash flow and the absence of physical guarantees; they will therefore go for the issuance of new shares as a second choice, since innovative companies have high opportunity of growth that attract new shareholders.

Keywords: small and medium sized firms, capital structure, intangible investment, financial constraints

Procedia PDF Downloads 46
6457 Multi-Faceted Growth in Creative Industries

Authors: Sanja Pfeifer, Nataša Šarlija, Marina Jeger, Ana Bilandžić


The purpose of this study is to explore the different facets of growth among micro, small and medium-sized firms in Croatia and to analyze the differences between models designed for all micro, small and medium-sized firms and those in creative industries. Three growth prediction models were designed and tested using the growth of sales, employment and assets of the company as dependent variables. The key drivers of sales growth are: prudent use of cash, industry affiliation and higher share of intangible assets. Growth of assets depends on retained profits, internal and external sources of financing, as well as industry affiliation. Growth in employment is closely related to sources of financing, in particular, debt and it occurs less frequently than growth in sales and assets. The findings confirm the assumption that growth strategies of small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) in creative industries have specific differences in comparison to SMEs in general. Interestingly, only 2.2% of growing enterprises achieve growth in employment, assets and sales simultaneously.

Keywords: creative industries, growth prediction model, growth determinants, growth measures

Procedia PDF Downloads 244
6456 Earnings Management from Taiwan Gisa Firms

Authors: An-an Chiu, Shaio Yan Huang, Ling-Na Chen, Wei-Hua Lin


Research has primarily focused on listed companies, less is done regarding small and medium-sized enterprises. Under the authorities' support, Taipei Exchange (TPEx) started Go Incubation Board for Startup and Acceleration Firms (GISA) in January 2014. This platform is designed to help small-sized innovative companies grow and to enter the capital market in the future. This research yield insight into earnings management activities around seasoned equity offerings (SEO) based on Taiwan’s GISA firms and the effectiveness of external corporate governance. Data for the study come from the GISA Market Observation Post System from January 2014 to December 2016. The result finds that GISA firms prone to upward accrual-based earnings management during SEO to avoid long-term negative consequences. Especially, firms with paid-in capital more than NT$ 30 million, higher fundraising amounts, or smaller-sized firms, tend to increase discretionary accruals. Finally, consistent with prior literature, CPA firms effectively serve as the role of external corporate governances on mitigating earnings management.

Keywords: GISA, earnings management, CPA, seasoned equity offerings

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6455 The Renewal Strategy for Ancient Residential Area in Small and Medium-Sized Cities Based on Field Research of Changshu City in China

Authors: Yun Zhang, Zhu Wang


Renewing ancient residential areas is an integral part of the sustainable development of modern cities. Compared with a metropolis, the old areas of small and medium-sized cities is more complicated to update, as the spatial form is more fragmented. In this context, the author takes as the research object, the ancient town of Changshu City, which is a small city representative in China with a history of more than 1,200 years. Through the analysis of urban research and update projects, the spatial evolution characteristics and renewal strategies of small ancient urban settlements are studied. On this basis, it is proposed to protect the residential area from the perspective of integrity and sustainability, strengthen the core public part, control the district building, and reshape the important interface. Renewing small and medium-sized urban areas should respect the rhythm of their own urban development and gradually complete the update, not blindly copying the experience of large cities.

Keywords: ancient residential area, Changshu, city renewal strategy, small and medium-sized cities

Procedia PDF Downloads 46
6454 The Role of Environmental Analysis in Managing Knowledge in Small and Medium Sized Enterprises

Authors: Liu Yao, B. T. Wan Maseri, Wan Mohd, B. T. Nurul Izzah, Mohd Shah, Wei Wei


Effectively managing knowledge has become a vital weapon for businesses to survive or to succeed in the increasingly competitive market. But do they perform environmental analysis when managing knowledge? If yes, how is the level and significance? This paper established a conceptual framework covering the basic knowledge management activities (KMA) to examine their contribution towards organizational performance (OP). Environmental analysis (EA) was then investigated from both internal and external aspects, to identify its effects on that contribution. Data was collected from 400 Chinese SMEs by questionnaires. Cronbach's α and factor analysis were conducted. Regression results show that the external analysis presents higher level than internal analysis. However, the internal analysis mediates the effects of external analysis on the KMA-OP relation and plays more significant role in the relation comparing with the external analysis. Thus, firms shall improve environmental analysis especially the internal analysis to enhance their KM practices.

Keywords: knowledge management, environmental analysis, performance, mediating, small sized enterprises, medium sized enterprises

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6453 Efficiency of Investments, Financed from EU Funds in Small and Medium Enterprises in Poland

Authors: Jolanta Brodowska-Szewczuk


The article includes the results and conclusions from empirical researches that had been done. The research focuses on the impact of investments made in small and medium-sized enterprises financed from EU funds on the competitiveness of these companies. The researches includes financial results in sales revenue and net income, expenses, and many other new products/services on offer, higher quality products and services, more modern methods of production, innovation in management processes, increase in the number of customers, increase in market share, increase in profitability of production and provision of services. The main conclusions are that, companies with direct investments under this measure shall apply the modern methods of production. The consequence of this is to increase the quality of our products and services. Furthermore, both small and medium-sized enterprises have introduced new products and services. Investments were carried out, thus enabling better work organization in enterprises. Entrepreneurs would guarantee higher quality of service, which would result in better relationships with their customers, what is more, noting the rise in number of clients. More than half of the companies indicated that the investments contributed to the increase in market share. Same thing as for market reach and brand recognition of particular company. An interesting finding is that, investments in small enterprises were more effective than medium-sized enterprises.

Keywords: competitiveness, efficiency, EU funds, small and medium-sized enterprises

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6452 International Marketing in Business Practice of Small and Medium-Sized Enterprises

Authors: K. Matušínská, Z. Bednarčík, M. Klepek


This paper examines international marketing in business practice of Czech exporting small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) with regard to the strategic perspectives. Research was focused on Czech exporting SMEs from Moravian-Silesia region and their behaviour on international markets. For purpose of collecting data, a questionnaire was given to 262 SMEs involved in international business. Statistics utilized in this research included frequency, mean, percentage, and chi-square test. Data were analysed by Statistical Package for the Social Sciences software. The research analysis disclosed that there is certain space for improvement in strategic marketing especially in marketing research, perception of cultural and social differences, product adaptation and usage of marketing communication tools.

Keywords: international marketing, marketing mix, marketing research, small and medium-sized enterprises, strategic marketing

Procedia PDF Downloads 229
6451 Culture of Manager of a Medium or Small Enterprises

Authors: Omar Bendjimaa, Karzabi Abdelatif


Small and medium enterprises have witnessed several developments in recent years thanks to the policies and programs of support given by the state, and that is due to their importance in local and national development. Nevertheless, the success and development of these firms depends on a number of factors, especially the human element, for instance, the culture of the manager has its origin in the culture of the community and is of crucial influence in these firms. In fact, this culture is nothing more than a set of values, perceptions, beliefs, symbols and practices repeated, in addition to the knowledge it has received from the readings and the modern means of education. All these factors have an impact on the effectiveness of governance, its resolutions, instructions and performance of its function as a manager of a medium or small enterprise is inevitably affected by these cultural values, it is the driving force, the leader, and the observer at the same time.

Keywords: small and medium enterprises, the culture of the manager, the culture of the community, values, perceptions, beliefs, symbols, performance

Procedia PDF Downloads 307
6450 Support and Development of SMEs in the Slovak Republic: Selected Issues

Authors: Alexander Kelisek, Stanislava Strelcova


Developing of business in small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) is a specific especially for its flexibility and rapid adaptation to the conditions of turbulent market environment compared to large enterprises. Therefore, an importance of SMEs is growing rapidly in Slovakia but also in other EU countries. Small and medium enterprises are characterized by transparent organizational structure, as it allows the realization of direct management and information flow without significant negative aspects. In the national economy small and medium-sized enterprises represent a significant potential when performs a several important functions (e.g. social, economic, export-import, etc.) The significance of these enterprises is not only at national, but also at transnational level. Importance of SMEs is also aware of the EU, which declared this statement in a key document for SMEs called Small Business Act. In this document, SMEs are characterized, as the backbone of the EU economy and also as a key source of jobs opportunities. In addition to these aspects, SMEs attaches high innovation and development potential. The authors of the article are dealing with the current status of SMEs development in the Slovak Republic and highlight the current challenges that entrepreneurs face in their small and medium enterprises.

Keywords: small and medium enterprises (SMEs), business support, SMEs development, SMEs funding

Procedia PDF Downloads 216
6449 Significant Factors to Motivate Small and Medium Enterprise (SME) Construction Firms in the Philippines to Implement ISO 9001:2008

Authors: Joseph Berlin P. Juanzon, Manuel M. Muhi


Motivating SME-based construction firms to adopt different management systems is not a simple task, especially if they are not aware of the benefits that they will gain from the new process-based management system. The implementation of ISO 9001:2008, Quality Management System in the construction industry is an ongoing trend, more so in the Small and Medium Enterprise. However, the level of awareness and readiness of the construction industry in the Philippines is still low as compared to the neighboring countries in Asia and in the western countries where ISO 9001:2008 originated. The purpose of this research is to determine the significant factors that will motivate SME-based construction firms in the Philippines to implement ISO 9001:2008. A field study was conducted on SME based construction firms in the Philippines, wherein a total of 139 respondents out of the 613 SME-based construction firms in CALABARZON areas were surveyed. Results reveal that the three main factors that will motivate SME-based construction firms to implement ISO 9001:2008 are: - if required by their clients, - to qualify for bidding, and - to increase customer satisfaction. Therefore, based on the results and findings, a certification of ISO 9001:2008 from an accredited auditor shall be required by clients as a constituent in accrediting SME-based construction firms and to qualify for bidding.

Keywords: construction, ISO 9001:2008, quality management systems (QMS), small medium enterprise (SME)

Procedia PDF Downloads 275
6448 Socio-Cultural Factors to Support Knowledge Management and Organizational Innovation: A Study of Small and Medium-Sized Enterprises in Latvia

Authors: Madara Apsalone


Knowledge management and innovation is key to competitive advantage and sustainable business development in advanced economies. Small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) have lower capacity and more constrained resources for long-term and high-uncertainty research and development investments. At the same time, SMEs can implement organizational innovation to improve their performance and further foster other types of innovation. The purpose of this study is to analyze, how socio-cultural factors such as shared values, organizational behaviors, work organization and decision making processes can influence knowledge management and help to develop organizational innovation via an empirical study. Surveying 600 SMEs in Latvia, the author explores the contribution of different socio-cultural factors to organizational innovation and the role of knowledge management and organizational learning in this process. A conceptual model, explaining the impact of organizational team, development, result-orientation and structure is created. The study also proposes insights that contribute to theoretical and practical discussions on fostering innovation of small businesses in small economies.

Keywords: knowledge management, organizational innovation, small and medium-sized enterprises, socio-cultural factors

Procedia PDF Downloads 306
6447 The Challenges of Implementing Building Information Modeling in Small-Medium Enterprises Architecture Firms in Indonesia

Authors: Furry A. Wilis, Dewi Larasati, Suhendri


Around 96% of architecture firms in Indonesia are classified as small-medium enterprises (SME). This number shows that the SME firms have an important role in architecture, engineering, and construction (AEC) industry in Indonesia. Some of them are still using conventional system (2D based) in arranging construction project documents. This system is fragmented and not fully well-coordinated, so causes many changes in the whole project cycle. Building information modeling (BIM), as a new developed system in Indonesian construction industry, has been assumed can decrease changes in the project. But BIM has not fully implemented in Indonesian AEC industry, especially in SME architecture firms. This article identifies the challenges of implementing BIM in SME architecture firms in Indonesia. Quantitative-explorative research with questionnaire was chosen to achieve the goal of this article. The scarcity of skilled BIM user, low demand from client, high investment cost, and the unwillingness of the firm to switch into BIM were found as the result of this paper.

Keywords: architecture consultants, BIM, SME, Indonesia

Procedia PDF Downloads 259
6446 Economic Policy to Promote small and Medium-sized Enterprises in Georgia in the Post-Pandemic Period

Authors: Gulnaz Erkomaishvili


Introduction: The paper assesses the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on the activities of small and medium-sized enterprises in Georgia, identifies their problems, and analyzes the state economic policy measures. During the pandemic, entrepreneurs named the imposition of restrictions, access to financial resources, shortage of qualified personnel, high tax rates, unhealthy competition in the market, etc. as the main challenges. The Georgian government has had to take special measures to mitigate the crisis impact caused by the pandemic. For example - in 2020, they mobilized more than 1,6 billion Gel for various eventsto support entrepreneurs. Small and medium-sized entrepreneurship development strategy is presented based on the research; Corresponding conclusions are made, and recommendations are developed. Objectives: The object of research is small and medium-sized enterprises and economic-political decisions aimed at their promotion.Methodology: This paper uses general and specific methods, in particular, analysis, synthesis, induction, deduction, scientific abstraction, comparative and statistical methods, as well as experts’ evaluation. In-depth interviews with experts were conducted to determine quantitative and qualitative indicators; Publications of the National Statistics Office of Georgia are used to determine the regularity between analytical and statistical estimations. Also, theoretical and applied research of international organizations and scientist-economists are used. Contributions: The COVID-19pandemic has had a significant impact on small and medium-sized enterprises. For them, Lockdown is a major challenge. Total sales volume decreased. At the same time, the innovative capabilities of enterprises and the volume of sales in remote channels have increased. As for the assessment of state support measures by small and medium-sizedentrepreneurs, despite the existence of support programs, a large number of entrepreneurs still do not evaluate the measures taken by the state positively. Among the desirable measures to be taken by the state, which would improve the activities of small and medium-sized entrepreneurs, who negatively or largely negatively assessed the activity of the state, named: tax incentives/exemption from certain taxes at the initial stage; Need for periodic trainings/organization of digital technologies, marketing training courses to improve the qualification of employees; Logic and adequacy of criteria when awarding grants and funding; Facilitating the finding of investors; Less bureaucracy, etc.

Keywords: small and medium enterprises, small and medium entrepreneurship, economic policy for small and medium entrepreneurship development, government regulations in Georgia, COVID-19 pandemic

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6445 Effects of Allowance for Corporate Equity on the Financing Choices of Belgian Small and Medium-Sized Enterprises in a Crisis Context

Authors: O. Colot, M. Croquet, L. Cultrera, Y. Fandja Collince


The objective of our research is to evaluate the impact of the allowance for corporate equity (ACE) on the financial structure of Belgian SME in order to highlight the potential existence of a fiscal leverage. To limit the biases linked to the rationing of the capital further to the financial crisis, we compare first the dynamic evolution of the financial structure of the Belgian firms over the period 2006-2015 by focusing on three sub-periods: 2006-2008, 2009-2012 and 2013-2015. We give then an international size to this comparison by including SMEs from countries adjoining Belgium (France, Germany, Netherlands and the United Kingdom) and within which there is no ACE. This comparison allows better understanding the fiscal advantage linked to the ACE of firms evolving in a relatively unstable economic environment further to the financial crisis of 2008. This research is relevant given the economic and political context in which Belgium operates and the very uncertain future of the Belgian ACE. The originality of this research is twofold: the long study period and the consideration of the effects of the financial and economic crisis on the financing structure of Belgian SMEs. The results of this research, even though they confirm the existence of a positive fiscal leverage for the tax deduction for venture capital on the financing structure of Belgian SMEs, do not allow the extent of this leverage to be clearly quantified. The comparative evolution of financing structures over the period 2006-2015 of Belgian, French, German, Dutch and English SMEs shows a strong similarity in the overall evolution of their financing.

Keywords: allowance for corporate equity, Belgium, financial structure, small and medium sized firms

Procedia PDF Downloads 134
6444 Analysis of Critical Success Factors of Six Sigma in Pakistani Small and Medium-Sized Enterprises

Authors: Zanjbeel Tabassum, Cahit Ali Bayraktar, Asfa Muhammad Din, Murat Durucu


Six Sigma is a widely adapted quality improvement methodology applied throughout the world. Through this paper, an attempt has been made to identify Critical Success Factors (CSF) for successful implementation of Six Sigma in Pakistani Small and Medium-sized Enterprises (SMEs). A survey methodology was used to collect the data from SMEs in Pakistan. The results of this exploratory empirical research reflect the importance of different CSFs of Six Sigma implementation in SMEs in Pakistan. On the basis of extracted factors, a framework has been proposed for successful Six Sigma implementation in Pakistani SMEs. This study will provide a base for Pakistani SMEs and future researchers working in Six Sigma implementation and help them to prepare a road map to eradicate the hurdles in Six Sigma implementation.

Keywords: critical success factors, small medium enterprises (SMEs), six sigma, Pakistan

Procedia PDF Downloads 249
6443 Exploring the Implementation of Building Information Modelling Level 2 in the UK Construction Industry: The Case of Small and Medium-Sized Enterprises

Authors: Khaled Abu Awwad, Abdussalam Shibani, Michel Ghostin


In the last few years, building information modelling (BIM) has been acknowledged as a new technology capable of transforming the construction sector to a collaborated industry. The implementation of BIM in the United Kingdom (UK) construction sector has increased significantly in the last decade, particularly after the UK government mandated the use of BIM in all public projects by 2016. Despite this, there are many indicators that BIM implementation is the main concern for large companies, while small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) are lagging behind in adopting and implementing this new technology. This slow adoption of BIM leads to an uncompetitive disadvantage in public projects and possible private projects. On the other hand, there is limited research focusing on the implementation of BIM Level 2 within SMEs. Therefore, the aim of this study is to bridge this gap and provide a conceptual framework to aid SMEs in implementing BIM Level 2. This framework is a result of interpreting qualitative data obtained by conducting semi-structured interviews with BIM experts in the UK construction industry.

Keywords: building information modelling, critical success factors, small and medium-sized enterprises, United Kingdom

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6442 A Research on the Improvement of Small and Medium-Sized City in Early-Modern China (1895-1927): Taking Southern Jiangsu as an Example

Authors: Xiaoqiang Fu, Baihao Li


In 1895, the failure of Sino-Japanese prompted the trend of comprehensive and systematic study of western pattern in China. In urban planning and construction, urban reform movement sprang up slowly, which aimed at renovating and reconstructing the traditional cities into modern cities similar to the concessions. During the movement, Chinese traditional city initiated a process of modern urban planning for its modernization. Meanwhile, the traditional planning morphology and system started to disintegrate, on the contrary, western form and technology had become the paradigm. Therefore, the improvement of existing cities had become the prototype of urban planning of early modern China. Currently, researches of the movement mainly concentrate on large cities, concessions, railway hub cities and some special cities resembling those. However, the systematic research about the large number of traditional small and medium-sized cities is still blank, up to now. This paper takes the improvement constructions of small and medium-sized cities in Southern region of Jiangsu Province as the research object. First of all, the criteria of small and medium-sized cities are based on the administrative levels of general office and cities at the county level. Secondly, the suitability of taking the Southern Jiangsu as the research object. The southern area of Jiangsu province called Southern Jiangsu for short, was the most economically developed region in Jiangsu, and also one of the most economically developed and the highest urbanization regions in China. As the most developed agricultural areas in ancient China, Southern Jiangsu formed a large number of traditional small and medium-sized cities. In early modern times, with the help of the Shanghai economic radiation, geographical advantage and powerful economic foundation, Southern Jiangsu became an important birthplace of Chinese national industry. Furthermore, the strong business atmosphere promoted the widespread urban improvement practices, which were incomparable of other regions. Meanwhile, the demonstration of Shanghai, Zhenjiang, Suzhou and other port cities became the improvement pattern of small and medium-sized city in Southern Jiangsu. This paper analyzes the reform movement of the small and medium-sized cities in Southern Jiangsu (1895-1927), including the subjects, objects, laws, technologies and the influence factors of politic and society, etc. At last, this paper reveals the formation mechanism and characteristics of urban improvement movement in early modern China. According to the paper, the improvement of small-medium city was a kind of gestation of the local city planning culture in early modern China,with a fusion of introduction and endophytism.

Keywords: early modern China, improvement of small-medium city, southern region of Jiangsu province, urban planning history of China

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6441 The Marketing Mix in Small Sized Hotels: A Case of Pattaya, Thailand

Authors: Anyapak Prapannetivuth


The purpose of this research is to investigate the marketing mix that is perceived to be important for the small sized hotels in Pattaya. Unlike previous studies, this research provides insights through a review of the marketing activities performed by the small sized hotels. Nine owners and marketing manager of small sized hotels and resorts, all local Chonburi people, were selected for an in-depth interview. A snowball sampling process was employed. The research suggests that seven marketing mixes (e.g. Product, Price, Place, Promotion, People, Physical Evidence and Process) were commonly used by these hotels, however, three types – People, price and physical evidence were considered most important by the owners.

Keywords: marketing mix, marketing tools, small sized hotels, pattaya

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6440 Effect of Innovation and Its Determinants on the Performance of Small and Medium-Sized Enterprises

Authors: Rihab Hentati, Younes Boujelbene


Nowadays we realize more and more than the value of a company is not only a function of its means of production but depends essentially on the managerial aptitude and orientation to implement the material and human means for generating profitability. Indeed, a productive R&D activity, a good strategy, and innovation are originally supplementary benefits that increase the value of the business. Is this ‘value-added’ closely linked to innovation? The purpose of our research is to Meta-analyze the results of 56 empirical studies in order to explain the overall effect of innovation on performance of small and medium-sized enterprises. In order to justify the differences in the results, we look for the moderating factors that may affect the innovation-performance relationship. We find a positive and significant relationship between innovation and performance in small and medium-sized enterprises. The results also note a positive relationship between entrepreneurial orientation, research and development (R&D), and performance in SMEs. In addition, innovation has a strong impact on performance measured both with accounting and market index. The originality of the article is based on a rigorous synthesis, based on several statistical tools, of an important subject of research in finance.

Keywords: innovation, performance, entrepreneurial orientation, meta-analysis, moderator variables

Procedia PDF Downloads 189
6439 Innovativeness of the Furniture Enterprises in Bulgaria

Authors: Radostina Popova


The paper presents an analysis of the innovation performance of small and medium-sized furniture enterprises in Bulgaria, accounting for over 97% of the companies in the sector. It contains advanced features of innovation in enterprises, specific features of the furniture industry in Bulgaria and analysis of the results of studies on the topic. The results from studies of three successive periods - 2006-2008; 2008-2010; 2010-2012, during which were studied 594 small and medium-sized furniture enterprises. There are commonly used in the EU definitions and indicators (European Commission, OECD, Oslo Manual), which allows for the comparability of results.

Keywords: innovation activity, competitiveness of innovation, furniture enterprises in Bulgaria

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6438 An Investigation of the Barriers to E-Business Implementation in Small and Medium-Sized Enterprises

Authors: Jeffrey Chang, Barun Dasgupta


E-business technologies, whereby business transactions are conducted remotely using the Internet, present unique opportunities and challenges for business. E-business technologies are applicable to a wide range of organizations and small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) are no exception. There is an established body of literature about e-business, looking at definitions, concepts, benefits and challenges. In general, however, the research focus has been on larger organizations, not SMEs. In an attempt to redress the balance of research, this paper looks at e-business technologies specifically from a small business perspective. It seeks to identify the possible barriers that SMEs might face when considering adoption of the e-business concept and practice as part of their business process change initiatives and implementation. To facilitate analysis of these barriers a conceptual framework has been developed which outlines the key conceptual and practical challenges of e-business implementation in SMEs. This is developed following a literature survey comprised of three categories: characteristics of SMEs, issues of IS/IT use in SMEs and general e-business adoption and implementation issues. The framework is then empirically assessed against 7 SMEs who have yet to implement e-business or whose e-business efforts have been unsatisfactory. Conclusions from the case studies can be used to verify the framework, and set parameters for further larger scale empirical investigation.

Keywords: business process change, disruptive technologies, electronic business (e-Business), electronic commerce (e-Commerce), ICT adoption, small and medium sized enterprises (SMEs)

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6437 Managers' Awareness of Employees' Mental Health in Small- and Medium-Sized Enterprises in Underpopulated Mountainous Areas

Authors: Susumu Fukita, Hiromi Kawasaki, Satoko Yamasaki, Kotomi Yamashita, Tomoko Iki


The increase in the number of workers with mental health problems has become an issue. Many workers work in small- and medium-sized enterprises, which often support local employment and economy, especially in underpopulated mountainous areas. It is important for managers to take mental health measures for employees since there is no budget to hire health staff in small- and medium-sized enterprises. It is necessary to understand the manager's attitude toward the mental health of employees and to publicly support the manager in promoting mental health measures for employees. The purpose of this study was to study the awareness of managers of small- and medium-sized enterprises regarding the mental health of employees and to consider support for managers to take measures for the mental health of employees. Semi-structured interviews were conducted with six managers of small- and medium-sized enterprises in underpopulated mountainous areas in November 2019. Managers were asked about their awareness of the mental health of their employees. Qualitative descriptive analysis was used, and subcategories and categories were extracted. Four categories emerged. Regarding the mental health of employees, the managers acknowledged that if the appearance and behavior of the employees do not interfere with their lives, the manager judges that the employees’ mental health is normal. It was also found that the managers acknowledged that there is a comfortable working environment due to the characteristics of the underpopulated mountainous area. On the other hand, the managers acknowledged that employees are dissatisfied with salaries and management systems. In addition, it was found the manager acknowledged that some employees retire due to mental health problems. Although managers recognized that employees may be dissatisfied with salaries, they also recognized that there was a comfortable working environment due to the characteristics of the areas, with good interpersonal relationships. Economic challenges are difficult to solve in underpopulated mountainous areas. It is useful to consider measures that take advantage of the characteristics of the areas where it is easy to work because of good relations with each other, for example, to create a family-like workplace culture where managers and employees can engage in daily conversation. The managers judged that the employees were in good health if there was no interference with their lives. However, it is too late to take measures at the stage when it becomes an obstacle to life. Therefore, it is necessary to provide training for managers to learn observation techniques by which they quickly notice changes in the situation of employees and give appropriate responses; and to set up a contact point for managers to consult. Local governments should actively provide public support such as training for managers and establishing consultation desks to maintain valuable employment and local economics in underpopulated mountainous areas.

Keywords: employer, mental health, small- and medium- sized enterprises, underpopulated areas

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6436 Effect of Financing Sources on Firm Performance: A Study of Indian Private Limited Small and Medium Enterprises

Authors: Denila Jinny Arulraj, Thillai Rajan Annamalai


This paper aims to study the relationship between funding sources and firm performance of Indian private limited SMEs using cross-sectional data obtained from a nation-wide census. A unique feature of the study is that it analyses firms that use only one form of external funding. Employing Propensity Score Matching, we find that obtaining any form of external finance has a negative influence on equivalents of profit margin and return on assets and a negative influence on asset turnover of small firms. But, the impact of institutional sources of funding on small enterprises is found to be lesser than that of non-institutional sources of funding. External/institutional sources of funding have a less negative impact on the profit margin for medium enterprises and have no significant influence on other measures of performance. The contribution of this research is the discovery of institutional sources wielding a lesser influence on performance measures considered. It is also found that institutional sources can benefit small enterprises more than medium enterprises.

Keywords: external finance, institutional finance, non-institutional finance, performance, India, SME

Procedia PDF Downloads 188
6435 Talent Management in Small and Medium Sized Companies: A Multilevel Approach Contextualized in France

Authors: Kousay Abid


The aim of this paper is to better understand talent and talent management (TM) in small French companies as well as in medium-sized ones (SME). While previous empirical investigations have largely focused on multinationals and big companies and concentrated on the Anglo-Saxon context, we focus on the pressing need for implementing TM strategies and practices, not only on a new ground of SME but also within a new European context related to France and the French context. This study also aims at understanding strategies adopted by those firms as means to attract, retain, maintain and to develop talents. We contribute to TM issues by adopting a multilevel approach, holding the goal of reaching a global holistic vision of interactions between various levels while applying TM, to make it more and more familiar to us. A qualitative research methodology based on a multiple-case study design, bottomed firstly on a qualitative survey and secondly on two in-depth case study, both built on interviews, will be used in order to develop an ideal analysis for TM strategies and practices. The findings will be based on data collected from more than 15 French SMEs. Our theoretical contributions are the fruit of context considerations and the dynamic of multilevel approach. Theoretically, we attempt first to clarify how talents and TM are seen and defined in French SMEs and consequently to enrich the literature on TM in SMEs out of the Anglo-Saxon context. Moreover, we seek to understand how SMEs manage jointly their talents and their TM strategies by setting up this contextualized pilot study. As well, we focus on the systematic TM model issue from French SMEs. Our prior managerial goal is to shed light on the need for TM to achieve a better management of these organizations by directing leaders to better identify the talented people whom they hold at all levels. In addition, our TM systematic model strengthens our analysis grid as recommendations for CEO and Human Resource Development (HRD) to make them rethink about the companies’ HR business strategies. Therefore, our outputs present a multiple lever of action that should be taken into consideration while reviewing HR strategies and systems, as well as their impact beyond organizational boundaries.

Keywords: french context, multilevel approach, small and medium-sized enterprises, talent management

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6434 Shaping and Improving the Human Resource Management in Small and Medium Enterprises in Poland

Authors: Małgorzata Smolarek


One of the barriers to the development of small and medium-sized enterprises (SME) are difficulties connected with management of human resources. The first part of article defines the specifics of staff management in small and medium enterprises. The practical part presents results of own studies in the area of diagnosis of the state of the human resources management in small and medium-sized enterprises in Poland. It takes into account its impact on the functioning of SME in a variable environment. This part presents findings of empirical studies, which enabled verification of the hypotheses and formulation of conclusions. The findings presented in this paper were obtained during the implementation of the project entitled 'Tendencies and challenges in strategic managing SME in Silesian Voivodeship.' The aim of the studies was to diagnose the state of strategic management and human resources management taking into account its impact on the functioning of small and medium enterprises operating in Silesian Voivodeship in Poland and to indicate improvement areas of the model under diagnosis. One of the specific objectives of the studies was to diagnose the state of the process of strategic management of human resources and to identify fundamental problems. In this area, the main hypothesis was formulated: The enterprises analysed do not have comprehensive strategies for management of human resources. The survey was conducted by questionnaire. Main Research Results: Human resource management in SMEs is characterized by simplicity of procedures, and the lack of sophisticated tools and its specificity depends on the size of the company. The process of human resources management in SME has to be adjusted to the structure of an organisation, result from its objectives, so that an organisation can fully implement its strategic plans and achieve success and competitive advantage on the market. A guarantee of success is an accurately developed policy of human resources management based on earlier analyses of the existing procedures and possessed human resources.

Keywords: human resources management, human resources policy, personnel strategy, small and medium enterprises

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6433 Strategies for Medium Sized Construction Firms to Survive the Current Economic Conditions That Is Compounded by the Most Recent COVID-19 Pandemic in Nigeria

Authors: Aloysius Colman Chukwuemeka Ezeabasili, Chibuike Patrick Ezeabasili


Medium Sized Construction Companies in Nigeria are those employing 50-250 workers that are mostly involved in roads, Commercial and domestic building Construction, among others. These companies are in the majority and contribute immensely to infrastructural development in Nigeria. Despite the last eight years of economic downturn and the past years of COVID-19 pandemic, signs of these Companies recovering from the economic recession and pandemic seem bright. Nigeria has recorded 213,000 confirmed cases 3968 deaths from COVID-19 as at now. These medium sized companies are currently trying to explore various opportunities to grow their businesses to achieve competitive advantages over others by studying and improving on their bidding efficiency, Strategies for selecting businesses, bidding markup Strategies, and cash flow. These strategies were studied through the recruitment of construction experts and professionals. Many of them have acquired new technologies that have impacted positively on their strategies. The impact of these technologies like the BIM, e-tendering, conditions of contract, and claim management strategies are advantages to them and has given them good advantages over their peers. Monte Carlo solution, Swot analysis, and average bid methods have also clearly added advantages to bidding practices. New and existing strategies are Scrutinized, and training of young Nigerians in advanced countries to acquire knowledge in best practices have elevated some of these companies. The Covid-19 has not been very harsh to Nigeria, and the country is surely not as devastated as the advanced countries. Nigeria has therefore been able to cope with the combination of the downturn and the pandemic.

Keywords: medium sized construction companies, competitive advantage, new bidding technologies, Nigeria

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6432 Preventing Factors for Innovation: The Case of Swedish Construction Small and Medium-Sized Local Companies towards a One-Stop-Shop Business Concept

Authors: Georgios Pardalis, Krushna Mahapatra, Brijesh Mainali


Compared to other sectors, the residential and service sector in Sweden is responsible for almost 40% of the national final energy use and faces great challenges towards achieving reduction of energy intensity. The one- and two-family (henceforth 'detached') houses, constituting 60% of the residential floor area and using 32 TWh for space heating and hot water purposes, offers significant opportunities for improved energy efficiency. More than 80% of those houses are more than 35 years of old and a large share of them need major renovations. However, the rate of energy renovations for such houses is significantly low. The renovation market is dominated by small and medium-sized local companies (SMEs), who mostly offer individual solutions. A one-stop-shop business framework, where a single actor collaborates with other actors and coordinates them to offer a full package for holistic renovations, may speed up the rate of renovation. Such models are emerging in some European countries. This paper aims to understand the willingness of the SMEs to adopt a one-stop-shop business framework. Interviews were conducted with 13 SMEs in Kronoberg county in Sweden, a geographic region known for its initiatives towards sustainability and energy efficiency. The examined firms seem reluctant to adopt one-stop-shop for nonce due to the perceived risks they see in such a business move and due to their characteristics, although they agree that such a move will advance their position in the market and their business volume. By using threat-rigidity and prospect theory, we illustrate how this type of companies can move from being reluctant to adopt one-stop-shop framework to its adoption. Additionally, with the use of behavioral theory, we gain deeper knowledge on those exact reasons preventing those firms from adopting the one-stop-shop framework.

Keywords: construction SMEs, innovation adoption, one-stop-shop, perceived risks

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6431 Development of Industry Sector Specific Factory Standards

Authors: Peter Burggräf, Moritz Krunke, Hanno Voet


Due to shortening product and technology lifecycles, many companies use standardization approaches in product development and factory planning to reduce costs and time to market. Unlike large companies, where modular systems are already widely used, small and medium-sized companies often show a much lower degree of standardization due to lower scale effects and missing capacities for the development of these standards. To overcome these challenges, the development of industry sector specific standards in cooperations or by third parties is an interesting approach. This paper analyzes which branches that are mainly dominated by small or medium-sized companies might be especially interesting for the development of factory standards using the example of the German industry. For this, a key performance indicator based approach was developed that will be presented in detail with its specific results for the German industry structure.

Keywords: factory planning, factory standards, industry sector specific standardization, production planning

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6430 The Influence of Knowledge Spillovers on High-Impact Firm Growth: A Comparison of Indigenous and Foreign Firms

Authors: Yazid Abdullahi Abubakar, Jay Mitra


This paper is concerned with entrepreneurial high-impact firms, which are firms that generate ‘both’ disproportionate levels of employment and sales growth, and have high levels of innovative activity. It investigates differences in factors influencing high-impact growth between indigenous and foreign firms. The study is based on an analysis of data from United Kingdom (UK) Innovation Scoreboard on 865 firms, which were divided into high-impact firms (those achieving positive growth in both sales and employment) and low-impact firms (negative or no growth in sales or employment); in order to identifying the critical differences in regional, sectorial and size related factors that facilitate knowledge spillovers and high-impact growth between indigenous and foreign firms. The findings suggest that: 1) Firms’ access to regional knowledge spillovers (from businesses and higher education institutions) is more significantly associated with high-impact growth of UK firms in comparison to foreign firms, 2) Because high-tech sectors have greater use of knowledge spillovers (compared to low-tech sectors), high-tech sectors are more associated with high-impact growth, but the relationship is stronger for UK firms compared to foreign firms, 3) Because small firms have greater need for knowledge spillovers (relative to large firms), there is a negative relationship between firm size and high-impact growth, but the negative relationship is greater for UK firms in comparison to foreign firms.

Keywords: entrepreneurship, high-growth, indigenous firms, foreign firms, small firms, large firms

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