Lessons from Small and Mid-size Enterprises (SMEs) in a Developing Economy
There is a growing demand in the recent management field for firms to be responsive to the demands of stakeholders. The impact of this pressure on managers to adopt ethical and best practices and high-performance achievement has been strongly established in the literature.
As the manager’s roles and the values created affect business operations and human development, the empirical understanding of these roles and values is important for the effective design of organizational systems. Managerial skills, capabilities, and competencies have been of most importance for firms to successfully extend their global reach.
There is a growing demand in the recent management field for firms to be responsive to the demands of stakeholders. The impact of this pressure on managers to adopt ethical and best practices and high-performance achievement has been strongly established in the literature. As the manager’s roles and the values created affect business operations and human development, the empirical understanding of these roles and values is important for the effective design of organizational systems.
The managerial role and organizational performance have long been highlighted by previous researchers, but the majority of the research was conducted in developed economies. Relatively small firms in developing economies are under-researched.
The emergence of Nigeria into the global business arena provides enormous challenges to small firms' managers. The work environment will reflect in time the values of quality, customer expectations, ethical integrity as well as social responsibility which remain the basic rules at the universal level. Giving the competitive market environment in Nigeria, small firms need managers to play a critical role in dealing with the market forces this is particularly important considering Nigeria's unique culture.
These characteristics require new capability in innovation, risk-taking with more challenging management. A dynamic, open, competitive environment such as in the Nigerian market unavoidably redesigns expectations and priorities of managers, particularly the value held by them.
This study employed a quantitative research design. The data used were generously made available to the author by Small and Medium Enterprises Development Agency of Nigeria (SMEDAN). SMEDAN has a directory that lists all SMEs in Nigeria according to size, function, and sector, the directory remained the best and reliable available source that researchers examining small firms in Nigeria can extract a sampling frame. The study has a sample of 250 senior managers drawn from 500 food and beverage SMEs in Lagos Nigeria that has spent 10 years in the Nigerian market.
A draft survey questionnaire was designed to measure the variables. Three key organizational factors were employed in this study. These factors are; managerial role, high performance, and organizational culture. The questionnaire distributed contains demographic and data about the variables examined. The demographic data encompasses the respondent’s gender, age, education, and the type of industry were used to develop the profile of the managers.
How do the intangible assets or resources of the manager’s matter in high-performance achievement in small firms in a highly competitive environment? With a sample of small firm senior managers in Lagos Nigeria, this paper examined simultaneously the roles of managers’ organizational culture and high-performance achievement. The study found that managerial role and high-performance achievement are significantly related. Results showed that the managerial role has a direct and indirect influence on high-performance achievement among small firms.
The study recommends that managerial practical knowledge or skills have a stronger influence on high-performance achievement if the institutional environments of small firms permit managers to explore the resources generated by their experience and skills. This suggests that managerial resources alone cannot contribute to high-performance achievement without strong and supportive organizational culture. SMEs should focus on building market-related competitive capability to capture the emerging market prospects in these economies.
A highly competitive global economic market challenges managers to fully explore their intangible resources when engaging in business to better identify and exploit opportunities for improving firm competitiveness. Managers oversee the firms and play a critical role in ensuring a firm's effectiveness by efficiently developing systems and policies that are aligned with the firm’s values, goals, and mission.
Managerial resources are key to the firm’s competitive advantage across different institutional contexts. This explains the significant role of managers in bringing the needed organizational change. This is important because, in today’s market, firms cannot survive or prosper without managers engaging in positive behavior.