Commenced in January 2007
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small and medium-sized enterprises Related Publications

3 Analysis of Critical Success Factors of Six Sigma in Pakistani Small and Medium-Sized Enterprises

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

Abstract:

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: Six Sigma, Pakistan, critical success factors, small and medium-sized enterprises

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2 Measuring Enterprise Growth: Pitfalls and Implications

Authors: N. Šarlija, S. Pfeifer, M. Jeger, A. Bilandžić

Abstract:

Enterprise growth is generally considered as a key driver of competitiveness, employment, economic development and social inclusion. As such, it is perceived to be a highly desirable outcome of entrepreneurship for scholars and decision makers. The huge academic debate resulted in the multitude of theoretical frameworks focused on explaining growth stages, determinants and future prospects. It has been widely accepted that enterprise growth is most likely nonlinear, temporal and related to the variety of factors which reflect the individual, firm, organizational, industry or environmental determinants of growth. However, factors that affect growth are not easily captured, instruments to measure those factors are often arbitrary, causality between variables and growth is elusive, indicating that growth is not easily modeled. Furthermore, in line with heterogeneous nature of the growth phenomenon, there is a vast number of measurement constructs assessing growth which are used interchangeably. Differences among various growth measures, at conceptual as well as at operationalization level, can hinder theory development which emphasizes the need for more empirically robust studies. In line with these highlights, the main purpose of this paper is twofold. Firstly, to compare structure and performance of three growth prediction models based on the main growth measures: Revenues, employment and assets growth. Secondly, to explore the prospects of financial indicators, set as exact, visible, standardized and accessible variables, to serve as determinants of enterprise growth. Finally, to contribute to the understanding of the implications on research results and recommendations for growth caused by different growth measures. The models include a range of financial indicators as lag determinants of the enterprises’ performances during the 2008-2013, extracted from the national register of the financial statements of SMEs in Croatia. The design and testing stage of the modeling used the logistic regression procedures. Findings confirm that growth prediction models based on different measures of growth have different set of predictors. Moreover, the relationship between particular predictors and growth measure is inconsistent, namely the same predictor positively related to one growth measure may exert negative effect on a different growth measure. Overall, financial indicators alone can serve as good proxy of growth and yield adequate predictive power of the models. The paper sheds light on both methodology and conceptual framework of enterprise growth by using a range of variables which serve as a proxy for the multitude of internal and external determinants, but are unlike them, accessible, available, exact and free of perceptual nuances in building up the model. Selection of the growth measure seems to have significant impact on the implications and recommendations related to growth. Furthermore, the paper points out to potential pitfalls of measuring and predicting growth. Overall, the results and the implications of the study are relevant for advancing academic debates on growth-related methodology, and can contribute to evidence-based decisions of policy makers.

Keywords: Logistic Regression, small and medium-sized enterprises, growth measurement constructs, prediction of growth potential

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1 Varieties of Capitalism and Small Business CSR: A Comparative Overview

Authors: S. Looser, W. Wehrmeyer

Abstract:

Given the limited research on Small and Mediumsized Enterprises’ (SMEs) contribution to Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) and even scarcer research on Swiss SMEs, this paper helps to fill these gaps by enabling the identification of supranational SME parameters. Thus, the paper investigates the current state of SME practices in Switzerland and across 15 other countries. Combining the degree to which SMEs demonstrate an explicit (or business case) approach or see CSR as an implicit moral activity with the assessment of their attributes for “variety of capitalism” defines the framework of this comparative analysis. To outline Swiss small business CSR patterns in particular, 40 SME owner-managers were interviewed. A secondary data analysis of studies from different countries laid groundwork for this comparative overview of small business CSR. The paper identifies Swiss small business CSR as driven by norms, values, and by the aspiration to contribute to society, thus, as an implicit part of the day-to-day business. Similar to most Central European, Mediterranean, Nordic, and Asian countries, explicit CSR is still very rare in Swiss SMEs. Astonishingly, also British and American SMEs follow this pattern in spite of their strong and distinctly liberal market economies. Though other findings show that nationality matters this research concludes that SME culture and an informal CSR agenda are strongly formative and superseding even forces of market economies, nationally cultural patterns, and language. Hence, classifications of countries by their market system, as found in the comparative capitalism literature, do not match the CSR practices in SMEs as they do not mirror the peculiarities of their business. This raises questions on the universality and generalisability of unmediated, explicit management concepts, especially in the context of small firms.

Keywords: CSR, comparative study, small and medium-sized enterprises, cultures of capitalism

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