Management development from the perspective of small firm owner-managers

Battisti, Martina and Deakins, David and Roxas, Hernan Banjo and Coetzer, Alan (2010) Management development from the perspective of small firm owner-managers. In: NZVET 2010: New Zealand Vocational Education and Training Research Forum, 14-15 Apr 2010, Wellington, New Zealand.

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The literature suggests that improving the management knowledge and skills of owner-managers of small and medium enterprises (SMEs) contributes to their survival and growth (Fuller-Love 2006; Thomson et al 2001). New Zealand commentators contend that there is considerable scope for further improvement in management knowledge and skills, especially in the SME sector (Jayne 2007; Massey, Gawith, Perry, Ruth & Wilson 2005).
The debates about the need for management development programmes for SMEs and the effectiveness of such programmes have a long tradition in policy and research. Much of the existing research on management development in small firm focuses on the effectiveness of government-supported training programmes and the barriers to engagement in management training faced by SME owner-managers (Fuller-Love 2006; Thomson et al 2001). There is substantial empirical evidence that suggests the current provision of management training does not meet the needs of SMEs (Kitching & Blackburn 2002; Matlay 2000; Marlow 1998). However, so far few changes have been seen on the supply side, with policy makers continuing to be concerned with the low take-up rate of management training by SMEs. We argue that there is a need to shift the focus to the demand side i.e. SMEs and to examine how owner-managers perceive and meet their management development needs (Clarke, Thorpe, Anderson & Gold 2006; Thomson et al 2001).
Against this background this paper reports on a study of 1400 (data collection currently underway) SMEs in New Zealand. The specific research objectives are to: (1) to understand how SME owner/managers assess their developmental needs and how they meet these needs and (2) to assess the perceived impact of management development on the business.

Based on the findings we draw conclusions related to SME support and policy programmes.

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Item Type: Conference or Workshop Item (Commonwealth Reporting Category E) (Lecture)
Refereed: Yes
Item Status: Live Archive
Additional Information: Conference website is at No evidence of copyright restrictions.
Faculty / Department / School: Historic - Faculty of Business - School of Management and Marketing
Date Deposited: 27 Oct 2010 12:01
Last Modified: 02 Jul 2013 23:49
Uncontrolled Keywords: SMEs; management development; New Zealand firms; management training
Fields of Research : 15 Commerce, Management, Tourism and Services > 1503 Business and Management > 150314 Small Business Management
17 Psychology and Cognitive Sciences > 1701 Psychology > 170107 Industrial and Organisational Psychology
15 Commerce, Management, Tourism and Services > 1503 Business and Management > 150312 Organisational Planning and Management
Socio-Economic Objective: B Economic Development > 91 Economic Framework > 9104 Management and Productivity > 910402 Management

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