Commenced in January 2007
Frequency: Monthly
Edition: International
Paper Count: 15

SME Related Publications

15 Exploring Employee Experiences of Distributed Leadership in Consultancy SMEs

Authors: Mohamed Haffar, Ramdane Djebarni, Russell Evans

Abstract:

Despite a growth in literature on distributed leadership, the majority of studies are centred on large public organisations particularly within the health and education sectors. The purpose of this study is to fill the gap in the literature by exploring employee experiences of distributed leadership within two commercial consultancy SME businesses in the UK and USA. The aim of the study informed an exploratory method of research to gather qualitative data drawn from semi-structured interviews involving a sample of employees in each organisation. A series of broad, open questions were used to explore the employees’ experiences; evidence of distributed leadership; and extant barriers and practices in each organisation. Whilst some of our findings aligned with patterns and practices in the existing literature, it importantly discovered some emergent themes that have not previously been recognised in the previous studies. Our investigation identified that whilst distributed leadership was in evidence in both organisations, the interviewees’ experience reported that it was sporadic and inconsistent. Moreover, non-client focused projects were reported to be less important and distributed leadership was found to be inconsistent or non-existent.

Keywords: consultancy, entrepreneur, SME, distributed leadership, owner-manager

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14 A Study of Growth Factors on Sustainable Manufacturing in Small and Medium-Sized Enterprises: Case Study of Japan Manufacturing

Authors: Tadayuki Kyoutani, Shigeyuki Haruyama, Ken Kaminishi, Zefry Darmawan

Abstract:

Japan’s semiconductor industries have developed greatly in recent years. Many were started from a Small and Medium-sized Enterprises (SMEs) that found at a good circumstance and now become the prosperous industries in the world. Sustainable growth factors that support the creation of spirit value inside the Japanese company were strongly embedded through performance. Those factors were not clearly defined among each company. A series of literature research conducted to explore quantitative text mining about the definition of sustainable growth factors. Sustainable criteria were developed from previous research to verify the definition of the factors. A typical frame work was proposed as a systematical approach to develop sustainable growth factor in a specific company. Result of approach was review in certain period shows that factors influenced in sustainable growth was importance for the company to achieve the goal.

Keywords: Sustainable, Manufacture, SME, growth factor

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13 Systems Engineering and Project Management Process Modeling in the Aeronautics Context: Case Study of SMEs

Authors: S. Lemoussu, J. C. Chaudemar, R. A. Vingerhoeds

Abstract:

The aeronautics sector is currently living an unprecedented growth largely due to innovative projects. In several cases, such innovative developments are being carried out by Small and Medium sized-Enterprises (SMEs). For instance, in Europe, a handful of SMEs are leading projects like airships, large civil drones, or flying cars. These SMEs have all limited resources, must make strategic decisions, take considerable financial risks and in the same time must take into account the constraints of safety, cost, time and performance as any commercial organization in this industry. Moreover, today, no international regulations fully exist for the development and certification of this kind of projects. The absence of such a precise and sufficiently detailed regulatory framework requires a very close contact with regulatory instances. But, SMEs do not always have sufficient resources and internal knowledge to handle this complexity and to discuss these issues. This poses additional challenges for those SMEs that have system integration responsibilities and that must provide all the necessary means of compliance to demonstrate their ability to design, produce, and operate airships with the expected level of safety and reliability. The final objective of our research is thus to provide a methodological framework supporting SMEs in their development taking into account recent innovation and institutional rules of the sector. We aim to provide a contribution to the problematic by developing a specific Model-Based Systems Engineering (MBSE) approach. Airspace regulation, aeronautics standards and international norms on systems engineering are taken on board to be formalized in a set of models. This paper presents the on-going research project combining Systems Engineering and Project Management process modeling and taking into account the metamodeling problematic.

Keywords: Aeronautics, Systems Engineering, Process Modeling, Project Management, Certification, SME

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12 Achieving Maximum Performance through the Practice of Entrepreneurial Ethics: Evidence from SMEs in Nigeria

Authors: S. B. Tende, H. L. Abubakar

Abstract:

It is acknowledged that small and medium enterprises (SMEs) may encounter different ethical issues and pressures that could affect the way in which they strategize or make decisions concerning the outcome of their business. Therefore, this research aimed at assessing entrepreneurial ethics in the business of SMEs in Nigeria. Secondary data were adopted as source of corpus for the analysis. The findings conclude that a sound entrepreneurial ethics system has a significant effect on the level of performance of SMEs in Nigeria. The Nigerian Government needs to provide both guiding and physical structures; as well as learning systems that could inculcate these entrepreneurial ethics.

Keywords: Culture, Performance, SME, entrepreneurial ethics

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11 Managing of Work Risk in Small and Medium-Size Companies

Authors: Janusz K. Grabara, Bartłomiej Okwiet, Sebastian Kot

Abstract:

The purpose of the article is presentation and analysis of the aspect of job security in small and medium-size enterprises in Poland with reference to other EU countries. We show the theoretical aspects of the risk with reference to managing small and medium enterprises, next risk management in small and medium enterprises in Poland, which were subjected to a detailed analysis. We show in detail the risk associated with the operation of the mentioned above companies, as well as analyses its levels on various stages and for different kinds of conducted activity.

Keywords: Risk management, SME, job safety, work risk, small and medium-size companies

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10 Psychosocial Risks and Occupational Health in a Mexican Small and Medium-Sized Enterprises

Authors: Magdalena Escamilla Quintal, Thelma Cetina Canto, Cecilia Aguilar Ortega

Abstract:

Due to the importance that people represent for companies, the setting of a clear control of the risks that threaten the health and the material and financial resources of workers is essential. It is irrelevant if the company is a small and medium-sized enterprise (SME) or a large multinational, or if it is in the construction or service sector. The risk prevention importance is related to a constitutional and human right that all people have; working in a risk-free environment to prevent accidents or illnesses that may influence their quality of life and the tranquility of their family. Therefore, the objective of this study was to determine the level of psychosocial risks (physical and emotional) of the employees of an SME. The participants of this study were 186 employees of a productive sector SME; 151 men and 35 women, all with an average age of 31.77 years. Their seniority inside the SME was between one month and 19.91 years. Ninety-six workers were from the production area, 28 from the management area, as well as 25 from the sales area and 40 from the supplies area. Ninety-three workers were found in Uman, 78 in Playa del Carmen, 11 in Cancun and seven in Cd. del Carmen. We found a statistically significant relationship between the burnout variable and the engagement and psychosomatic complaints as well as between the variables of sex, burnout and psychosomatic complaints. We can conclude that, for benefit of the SME, that there are low levels of burnout and psychosomatic complaints, the women experience major levels of burnout and the men show major levels of psychosomatic complaints. The findings, contributions, limitations and future proposals will be analyzed.

Keywords: Engagement, Burnout, SME, psychosocial risks, psychosomatic complaints

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9 Digitization of European SMEs in Tourism and Hospitality: The Case of Greek Hoteliers

Authors: Joanna K. Konstantinou

Abstract:

The aim of this study is to explore the need of small and medium-sized businesses in tourism and hospitality industry to adopt technology and enhance their degree of digitalization, along with the main benefits enjoyed by technology and the main challenges that hinder its adoption. Within a hermeneutic phenomenological perspective, semi-structured interviews were conducted with three hotel owners and the focus was to identify the main reasons of adoption of technology, enablers and barriers. The findings were grouped with the goal of identifying typology of business practices in using and adopting technology.

Keywords: hospitality, Digitalization, SME, Interpretative Phenomenology

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8 Fundamental Problems in the Operation of the Automotive Parts Industry Small and Medium Businesses in Bangkok and Surrounding Provinces

Authors: P. Thepnarintra

Abstract:

The purposes of this study were to: 1) investigate operation conditions of SME automotive part industry in Bangkok and vicinity and 2) to compare operation problem levels of SME automotive part industry in Bangkok and vicinity according to the sizes of the enterprises. Samples in this study included 196 entrepreneurs of SME automotive part industry in Bangkok and vicinity derived from simple random sampling and calculation from R. V. Krejcie and D. W. Morgan’s tables. Research statistics included frequency, percentage, mean, standard deviation, and T-test. The results revealed that in general the problem levels of SME automotive part industry in Bangkok and vicinity were high. When considering in details, it was found that the problem levels were high at every aspect, i.e. personal, production, export, finance, and marketing respectively. The comparison of the problem levels according to the sizes of the enterprises revealed statistically significant differences at .05. When considering on each aspect, it was found that the aspect with the statistical difference at .05 included 5 aspects, i.e. production, marketing, finance, personal, and export. The findings also showed that small enterprises faced more severe problems than those of medium enterprises.

Keywords: SME, automotive part industry, operation problems, Perimeter

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7 Bridging Consumer-Farmer Mobile Application Divide

Authors: A. Hol

Abstract:

Electronic mediums such as websites, feeds, blogs and social media sites are on a daily basis influencing our decision making, are improving our productivity and are shaping futures of many consumers and service/product providers. This research identifies that both customers and business providers heavily rely on smart phone applications. Based on this, mobile applications available on iTunes store were studied. It was identified that fruit and vegetable related applications used by consumers can broadly be categorized into purchase applications, diaries, tracking health applications, trip farm location and cooking applications. On the other hand, applications used by farmers can broadly be classified as: weather tracking, pests / fertilizer applications and general social media applications such as Facebook. To blur this farmer-consumer application divide, our research utilizes Context Specific eTransformation Framework and based on it identifies characteristic future consumer-farmer applications will need to have so that the current divide can be narrowed and consequently better farmerconsumer supply chain link established.

Keywords: Technology, Consumer, Business Innovation, SME, farmers, smart phone applications, Fruit and Vegetable

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6 IT System in the Food Supply Chain Safety: Application in SMEs Sector

Authors: Mohsen Shirani, Micaela Demichela

Abstract:

Food supply chain is one of the most complex supply chain networks due to its perishable nature and customer oriented products, and food safety is the major concern for this industry. IT system could help to minimize the production and consumption of unsafe food by controlling and monitoring the entire system. However, there have been many issues in adoption of IT system in this industry specifically within SMEs sector. With this regard, this study presents a novel approach to use IT and tractability systems in the food supply chain, using application of RFID and central database.

Keywords: Food Safety, Food Supply Chain, SME, IT system

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5 Production Planning and Scheduling and SME

Authors: M. Heck, H. Vettiger

Abstract:

Small and medium-sized enterprises (SME) are the backbone of central Europe’s economies and have a significant contribution to the gross domestic product. Production planning and scheduling (PPS) is still a crucial element in manufacturing industries of the 21st century even though this area of research is more than a century old. The topic of PPS is well researched especially in the context of large enterprises in the manufacturing industry. However the implementation of PPS methodologies within SME is mostly unobserved. This work analyzes how PPS is implemented in SME with the geographical focus on Switzerland and its vicinity. Based on restricted resources compared to large enterprises, SME have to face different challenges. The real problem areas of selected enterprises in regards of PPS are identified and evaluated. For the identified real-life problem areas of SME clear and detailed recommendations are created, covering concepts and best practices and the efficient usage of PPS. Furthermore the economic and entrepreneurial value for companies is lined out and why the implementation of the introduced recommendations is advised.

Keywords: Production Planning, SME, central Europe, PPS

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4 Strategies of Education and Training Practice of Small and Medium Sized Enterprises

Authors: A. Bencsik, - A. Sólyom

Abstract:

The role of knowledge is a determinative factor in the life of economy and society. To determine knowledge is not an easy task yet the real task is to determine the right knowledge. From this view knowledge is a sum of experience, ideas and cognitions which can help companies to remain in markets and to realize a maximum profit. At the same time changes of circumstances project in advance that contents and demands of the right knowledge are changing. In this paper we will analyse a special segment on the basis of an empirical survey. We investigated the behaviour and strategies of small and medium sized enterprises (SMEs) in the area of knowledge-handling. This survey was realized by questionnaires and wide range statistical methods were used during processing. As a result we will show how these companies are prepared to operate in a knowledge-based economy and in which areas they have prominent deficiencies.

Keywords: Education, Strategy, Knowledge, SME, knowledgemanagement

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3 Adoption of E-Business by Thai SMEs

Authors: Pisit Chanvarasuth

Abstract:

The use of e-business in small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) has been recently received an enormous attention in information systems research by both academic and practitioners. With the adoption of new and efficient technologies to enhance businesses, Thai SMEs should be able to compete worldwide. Unfortunately, most of the owners are not used to new technologies. It is clear that most Thai SMEs prefer to work manually rather than electronically. This paper aims to provide a fundamental conceptual framework for E-business adoption by Thai SMEs. Rooted in Knowledge transfer model, several factors are identified, which drive and enable e-business adoption. By overlooking the benefits associated with implementing new technologies, it is difficult for Thai SMEs to perform well enough to compete globally. The paper also helps Thai SMEs to understand factors related to E-business adoption.

Keywords: e-Business, knowledge transfer, Thailand, Adoption, SME

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2 Barriers and Conflicts in Relationships of Small Firms – Insights from Central Europe

Authors: Maciej Mitręga

Abstract:

This paper contributes to our knowledge about buyerseller relations by identifying barriers and conflict situations associated with maintaining and developing durable business relationships by small companies. The contribution of prior studies with regard to negative aspects of marketing relationships is presented in the first section. The international research results are discussed with regard to the existing conceptualizations and main research implications identified at the end.

Keywords: Conflict, Relationship Marketing, barriers, SME, international research

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1 Organizational Dimensions as Determinant Factors of KM Approaches in SMEs

Authors: Mehdi Shami Zanjani, Shohreh Mehrasa, Mandana Modiri

Abstract:

In the current economy of increasing global competition, many organizations are attempting to use knowledge as one of the means to gain sustainable competitive advantage. Besides large organizations, the success of SMEs can be linked to how well they manage their knowledge. Despite the profusion of research about knowledge management within large organizations, fewer studies tried to analyze KM in SMEs. This research proposes a new framework showing the determinant role of organizational dimensions onto KM approaches. The paper and its propositions are based on a literature review and analysis. In this research, personalization versus codification, individualization versus institutionalization and IT-based versus non IT-based are highlighted as three distinct dimensions of knowledge management approaches. The study contributes to research by providing a more nuanced classification of KM approaches and provides guidance to managers about the types of KM approaches that should be adopted based on the size, geographical dispersion and task nature of SMEs. To the author-s knowledge, the paper is the first of its kind to examine if there are suitable configurations of KM approaches for SMEs with different dimensions. It gives valuable information, which hopefully will help SME sector to accomplish KM.

Keywords: Knowledge Management, SME, Knowledge Management Approach, Organizational Dimension

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