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Article
Publication date: 3 April 2009

J. Rodney Turner, Ann Ledwith and John Kelly

Small to medium enterprises (SMEs) play an important role in the economy, in terms of employment and their contribution to national wealth. A significant proportion of…

Abstract

Purpose

Small to medium enterprises (SMEs) play an important role in the economy, in terms of employment and their contribution to national wealth. A significant proportion of that contribution comes from innovation. SMEs are also the engine for future growth in the economy. Project management has a role to play in managing that innovation and growth. The purpose of this paper is to find the extent to which SMEs use projects, project management and the tools of project management, and to determine what differences there are by size of company and industry.

Design/methodology/approach

A questionnaire was developed to examine the extent to which small firms carry out projects, the resources they employ, the way they measure project success and the tools and techniques that they use. The questionnaire was answered by 280 companies from a range of industries and sizes.

Findings

It is found that companies of all sizes spend roughly the same proportion of turnover on projects, but the smaller the company, the smaller their projects, the less they use project management and its tools. Surprisingly, hi‐tech companies spend less on projects than lo‐tech or service companies, but have larger projects and use project management to a greater extent. They also use the gadgets of project management to a greater extent.

Research limitations/implications

It is concluded that SMEs do require less‐bureaucratic versions of project management, perhaps with different tool sets than the more traditional versions designed for medium‐sized or large projects, and with different versions for medium, small and micro projects. For all firms, the important success factors are client consultation; planning, monitoring and control; and resource allocation are also identified.

Originality/value

The findings suggest the need for further research into the nature of those “lite” versions of project management designed for SMEs.

Details

International Journal of Managing Projects in Business, vol. 2 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1753-8378

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Article
Publication date: 22 November 2011

Angelica Risquez, Michele O'Dwyer and Ann Ledwith

This paper seeks to explore the relationship between entrepreneurship students' ethical views on plagiarism, their self reported engagement in plagiarism and their…

Abstract

Purpose

This paper seeks to explore the relationship between entrepreneurship students' ethical views on plagiarism, their self reported engagement in plagiarism and their participation in an online plagiarism prevention tutorial.

Design/methodology/approach

The study is based on a questionnaire administered to 434 undergraduate university entrepreneurship students, combining self‐reported data with behavioural measures.

Findings

The results illustrate that more than one online plagiarism prevention tutorial is required to change self‐reported views relating to engagement in plagiarism, perception of peer participation in plagiarism and students' ethical views. However, it should be noted that even such a small intervention demonstrates an observable difference in students' capacity to recognise a case of verbatim plagiarism as an academic breach in practice.

Research limitations/implications

The research demonstrates that educators should focus on good educational design, educating students regarding plagiarism prevention while making use of technology enhanced learning, instead of considering e‐learning choices as a quick solution to plagiarism.

Originality/value

The paper focuses on an emerging aspect of plagiarism education, that is, the use of technology enhanced learning. While acknowledging the potential of technology enhanced learning in plagiarism prevention the paper notes that plagiarism prevention should be embedded in the curriculum rather than addressed in an ad‐hoc manner.

Details

Education + Training, vol. 53 no. 8/9
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0040-0912

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Article
Publication date: 25 May 2012

Rodney Turner, Ann Ledwith and John Kelly

The authors propose that small to medium‐sized enterprises (SMEs) need simpler, more people‐focused forms of project management than traditionally used by larger…

Abstract

Purpose

The authors propose that small to medium‐sized enterprises (SMEs) need simpler, more people‐focused forms of project management than traditionally used by larger organizations. The authors have undertaken this research to identify to what extent SMEs use project management and what are the key components used.

Design/methodology/approach

Based on the results of the two previous stages of their research the authors formulate the three propositions about the use of project management in SMEs, which they test through a web‐based questionnaire.

Findings

More than 40 per cent of the turnover of small and micro‐sized companies is undertaken as projects, and in the first two years of their lives more than 60 per cent. People in these companies multi‐task, so these projects are managed by people for whom project management is not their first discipline. At a key stage of their development, SMEs undertake many projects managed by amateurs. A simplified version of project management should have requirements definition at its core, and practices for managing the work, duration and resources used. People focused methods which seek team member commitment are preferred.

Practical implications

The results should aid in the development of project management approaches for use by the non‐specialist project managers in SMEs. The authors have shown that different versions of project management may be required for micro‐sized and small companies (a micro‐lite version), and for medium‐sized companies (a lite version).

Originality/value

Project management theoreticians need to recognise that different versions of project management are required in different circumstances.

Details

Management Decision, vol. 50 no. 5
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0025-1747

Keywords

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Article
Publication date: 22 August 2008

S. Vinodh, G. Sundararaj, S.R. Devadasan, S. Rajanayagam and Immanuel Edinbarough

The purpose of this paper is to explore the feasibility of adopting a pilot project approach for foreseeing the working and financial viability of a technique, named as…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to explore the feasibility of adopting a pilot project approach for foreseeing the working and financial viability of a technique, named as agile innovative total quality function deployment (agile ITQFD).

Design/methodology/approach

The agile ITQFD technique and its financial accounting system were designed. The implementation study of two pilot projects on agile ITQFD was conducted in an electronics switches manufacturing company. The statements of the financial accounting system were used to foresee the financial viability of agile ITQFD projects.

Findings

The research reported in this paper indicates the feasibility of adopting a pilot project approach and its financial accounting system for test implementing new techniques and models in the organisations aspiring to attain global competitiveness.

Research limitations/implications

Like many other modern organisations, the company in which the research work was carried out has been aspiring to compete globally. Hence, even though the implementation study involved only two pilot projects, the implications of this research would represent the global scenario as well.

Practical implications

Currently practitioners struggle to choose the best techniques for applying them in specific cases. The research reported in this paper would help practitioners in this regard to adopt the pilot project approach and its financial accounting system.

Originality/value

The pilot project approach reported in this paper helps a company save time and money while exploring the practical compatibility of the technique. The financial accounting system presented would be useful in foreseeing the viability of projects using monetary values.

Details

The TQM Journal, vol. 20 no. 5
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1754-2731

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Article
Publication date: 16 October 2020

Gopal Sekar, Murali Sambasivan and Kuperan Viswanathan

The purpose of this study is to analyze and compare the impact of project-factors and organization-factors on five indicators of project performance for small and medium…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this study is to analyze and compare the impact of project-factors and organization-factors on five indicators of project performance for small and medium enterprise (SME) and large construction contracting firms that are fully responsible for the successful completion of the projects. The five performance indicators are time, cost, safety, quality and financial.

Design/methodology/approach

A questionnaire survey was conducted to solicit responses from project managers/directors from 342 construction firms in Malaysia. The construction firms included in this study came from various sectors: civil, building and infrastructure; oil and gas; marine and multidiscipline. Hierarchical multiple-regression was used to analyze the data.

Findings

The salient findings are as follows: (1) impacts of project-factors and organization-factors on performance indicators are different for SMEs and large construction firms and (2) relative impact of organization-factors on performance is much higher than the project-factors.

Originality/value

Analyzing the relative impact of project- and organization-factors on the performance of SMEs and large construction firms can significantly enhance the body of knowledge about performance levels and boost best practices in this respect related to construction industry.

Details

Built Environment Project and Asset Management, vol. 11 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 2044-124X

Keywords

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Article
Publication date: 28 September 2010

Amin Akhavan Tabassi and Abu Hassan Abu Bakar

Clarifying leadership has been a complicated and difficult task largely because the nature of leadership itself is complicated. Meanwhile, the construction industry stands…

Abstract

Purpose

Clarifying leadership has been a complicated and difficult task largely because the nature of leadership itself is complicated. Meanwhile, the construction industry stands for one of the most dynamic and complex industrial environments although, not much works has been conducted on leadership in the industry. This paper aims to fill this gap.

Design/methodology/approach

Based on a combination of literature review and questionnaire surveys, this paper explores the leadership style as well as transformational leadership quality of the leaders of construction companies in Iran. A quantitative research approach was adopted requiring the development and dissemination of a questionnaire survey. The research was conducted by sending 220 sets of questionnaires to the large construction companies. The analysis methods in this research were based on frequency and co‐relational study.

Findings

The research exposes the level of leaders' orientation for people and task in their leadership style as well as their transformational leadership qualities in regards of developing followers into leaders, inspire followers to go beyond their own self‐interest and give employees empowerment.

Research limitations/implications

Future research should try to address how companies and governments adapt to and shape the environmental and organizational settings in such a way that the context optimally stimulates employees' motivation and participation in leadership practices.

Originality/value

The paper offers insight into leadership style and quality of transformational leadership, focusing on construction firms in Iran.

Details

Journal of Technology Management in China, vol. 5 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1746-8779

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Article
Publication date: 13 September 2011

Joyce Fortune, Diana White, Kam Jugdev and Derek Walker

The purpose of this paper is to report the findings of a survey designed to: capture the “real world” experiences of people active in project management (PM) in Australia…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to report the findings of a survey designed to: capture the “real world” experiences of people active in project management (PM) in Australia, Canada and the UK; determine the extent to which those involved in the management of projects make use of the methods and techniques that are available; and discover how effective the methods and techniques are felt to be.

Design/methodology/approach

A questionnaire comprising 24 questions with a mixture of yes/no, Likert‐scale, multiple choice and open questions was developed. These were designed so that the data gathered could be compared with the results of a similar survey conducted in the UK a decade ago. Professional networks and direct e‐mails were used to distribute the survey electronically to potential respondents who were actively involved in PM in the three countries. A total of 150 responses are used in the analysis, 50 from each country.

Findings

The results show that there are many areas where the experiences, practices and views are similar across all three countries and are comparable to the earlier UK survey. However, as is often the case, it is perhaps the differences that are of most interest and these are commented upon throughout the paper.

Originality/value

This paper sheds light on current practice across three countries and presents a useful historical perspective on PM trends in practice and rates of credentialization of those surveyed. It also provides useful quantitative results that can be used to more broadly speculate and make sense of other qualitative studies.

Details

International Journal of Managing Projects in Business, vol. 4 no. 4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1753-8378

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Article
Publication date: 7 October 2014

Amin Akhavan Tabassi, Mahyuddin Ramli, Abu Hassan Abu Bakar and Abd. Hamid Kadir Pakir

A need for effective leadership and adequate managing the personnel is vital for every construction organization. Meanwhile, the dynamic and complex environments of the…

Abstract

Purpose

A need for effective leadership and adequate managing the personnel is vital for every construction organization. Meanwhile, the dynamic and complex environments of the industry may be caused that not much research has been conducted on leadership practices in the industry. The purpose of this paper is to study the leadership style of the construction leaders in Iran and explore the correlation of transformational leadership practices with teamwork improvement in the construction companies.

Design/methodology/approach

The research analysis was completed on a sample population of 107 managers within nominated construction firms in Iran. The analysis methods in this research were mainly descriptive and regression-based analyses and the type of investigation was a co-relational study.

Findings

The research found the level of the leaders’ orientation for people and task in their leadership style, their transformational leadership qualities, and the relationship of transformational leadership with teamwork improvement in the respondents’ companies.

Originality/value

The study is the first to investigate the leadership style of the construction leaders in Iran, and weather transformational leadership practices effects on teamwork improvement in the industry.

Details

Journal of Management Development, vol. 33 no. 10
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0262-1711

Keywords

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Article
Publication date: 1 January 2012

Sara Parry, Beata Kupiec‐Teahan and Jennifer Rowley

The aim of this article is to develop an understanding of marketing and customer relationships in software SMEs (small to medium‐sized enterprises) using a mixed methods approach.

Abstract

Purpose

The aim of this article is to develop an understanding of marketing and customer relationships in software SMEs (small to medium‐sized enterprises) using a mixed methods approach.

Design/methodology/approach

The methodology combined qualitative research methods along with quantitative adaptive conjoint analysis (ACA). A software SME was investigated as a case study during the first stage of the investigation. In order to ascertain detailed customer perceptions and expectations of their software supplier, 16 semi‐structured interviews were conducted with the software SME's customers. The interviews subsequently informed the ACA, which was chosen as an analytical tool to establish quantitative hierarchy of relevant attributes identified at the qualitative stage of the study.

Findings

Marketing in software SMEs is dependant on effective relationships between the firm and its customers and these relationships should be based on providing a quality software solution, understanding the customer requirement and professionalism. Other marketing tactics that are used to improve customer perceived credibility include forming alliances and partnerships within the technology sector.

Practical implications

Software SMEs should proactively develop relationships with prospective as well as current customers and strive for a balance between customer orientation and innovation by involving the customer throughout the development of the software solution. The study's pragmatic approach has provided applicable results due to insight into a management case complemented with industry expectation of software product and service delivery.

Originality/value

This combination of methods has made it possible to explore marketing and customer relationships in the software industry from multiple viewpoints. Therefore, the findings contribute to the limited literature of marketing in software SMEs and customers' decision‐making processes when purchasing software.

Details

Management Research Review, vol. 35 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 2040-8269

Keywords

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