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Individual and work dynamics affecting the determinants of functional flexibility in SMEs: Evidence from Pakistan

Abdul Majid (Department of Management Sciences, Hazara University, Mansehra, Pakistan)
Muhammad Yasir (Government College of Management Sciences, Balakot, Pakistan)
Muhammad Yasir (Department of Management Sciences, Hazara University, Mansehra, Pakistan)

Journal of Entrepreneurship in Emerging Economies

ISSN: 2053-4604

Article publication date: 5 June 2017

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this study is to provide an insight into how individual and work factors are related to the attitudes of functional flexibility by using the willingness and ability to be flexible as dimensions of functional flexibility.

Design/methodology/approach

This study is conducted through a survey of workers and administrative staff of small- and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) in Pakistan. Correlation and hierarchical regression techniques were used to find out the association of the dimensions of functional flexibility with the individual and work factors. Individual factors include demographic characteristics, work perception and personality traits, whereas work factors include trust in management, task formalization and autonomy.

Findings

Individual factors (i.e. general self-efficacy and initiative) and one of the work factors (i.e. trust in management) showed a positive relation, whereas task formalization was negatively related with the willingness to be flexible. General self-efficacy of workers and administrative staff was positively correlated with the ability to be flexible dimension of functional flexibility. It was concluded from the findings that the two dimensions of functional flexibility, willingness to be flexible and ability to be flexible, of employees depend on fair treatment and freedom provided by their organization.

Research limitations/implications

The current study was conducted on the employees of SMEs in Pakistan. A similar study on employees of multi-national corporations (MNCs) and service sectors may be useful for comparison.

Practical implications

Management should improve the attitudes of employees toward functional flexibility in SMEs in Pakistan by creating a climate of trust, using lower degree of laid down and prescribed procedures and giving them opportunities for doing new tasks. Furthermore, providing them feedback on the performance and achievement of these new tasks would also help in this regard.

Originality/value

The SMEs of Pakistan are in the process of transformational change. This study highlights the key factors that would be helpful to enhance the functional flexibility of employees working in the SME sector in Pakistan.

Keywords

Citation

Majid, A., Yasir, M. and Yasir, M. (2017), "Individual and work dynamics affecting the determinants of functional flexibility in SMEs: Evidence from Pakistan", Journal of Entrepreneurship in Emerging Economies, Vol. 9 No. 2, pp. 144-160. https://doi.org/10.1108/JEEE-03-2016-0008

Publisher

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Emerald Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2017, Emerald Publishing Limited