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The impact of product management on SME performance: Evidence from Canadian firms

David C. Roach (School of Business Administration, Dalhousie University, Faculty of Management, Halifax, Canada)

Journal of Small Business and Enterprise Development

ISSN: 1462-6004

Article publication date: 25 October 2011




The purpose of this paper is to examine the impact of product management as a set of organizational capabilities. It aims to investigate product management as a set of boundary spanning capabilities, by empirically relating these to firm performance.


A measurement instrument is developed and validated based on the extant product management literature. Using a heterogeneous sample of 63 Atlantic Canadian SMEs in the manufacturing and professional/technical services sectors, data are collected to test the survey instrument and establish preliminary construct validity.


Both firm performance and product management measures demonstrate internal consistency. Several product management sub‐constructs demonstrated reliability and in some cases validity, substantiating the product management literature. These included product pricing, sales support and forecasting.

Research limitations/implications

This research builds upon the literature and indicates that a relationship exists between product management capability and firm performance. This leads to the conclusion that product management, as a set of boundary spanning firm capabilities, warrants future research with a larger more homogeneous population. Limitations include geographic bias, treating the population as homogeneous and lack of relationship to established firm orientations.


This research may have practical significance and managerial implications, based on the relationship between product management capabilities and firm performance. This could lead to an increased understanding of how to allocate scarce resources in order to improve performance.


The paper introduces the concept of boundary spanning, product management capabilities and their relationship to firm performance, by providing preliminarily validation of a measurement scale for product management capabilities of small to medium‐sized enterprises.



Roach, D.C. (2011), "The impact of product management on SME performance: Evidence from Canadian firms", Journal of Small Business and Enterprise Development, Vol. 18 No. 4, pp. 695-714.



Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2011, Emerald Group Publishing Limited

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