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Article
Publication date: 6 September 2021

Guven Gurkan Inan, Zahit Ergun Gungor, Umit Sezer Bititci and Sarina Abdul Halim-Lim

Micro-enterprises have a vital role in the development of a nation by creating employment, encouraging entrepreneurship, balancing social income and educating the…

Abstract

Purpose

Micro-enterprises have a vital role in the development of a nation by creating employment, encouraging entrepreneurship, balancing social income and educating the workforce. Yet, micro-enterprises face significant operational challenges such as low productivity, high production costs and long changeover times. These challenges are often overlooked by researchers and practitioners but have a drastic impact on micro-enterprises' operational performance. With over 95% of the economy consisting of micro-enterprises, it is vital to improve operational performance and competitiveness of the micro-enterprises.

Design/methodology/approach

Considering the data availability and practical challenges of gathering data from micro-enterprises, an action research methodology was selected as a suitable research method. Following the initial diagnostic visits, planned interventions were prepared and results were observed to gather data and draw conclusions.

Findings

Findings suggest that commonly adapted performance improvement initiatives by large enterprises cannot be directly applied in micro-enterprises to enhance operational performance. Micro-enterprises lack the critical resources and company culture to easily adapt these initiatives. On the other hand, when these performance improvement initiatives are filtered according to specific needs of micro-enterprises, continuous improvement initiatives were often found to be effective in improving operational performance. Specifically, 5S, single-minute exchange of dies (SMED), suggestion schemes, layout improvements, management coaching, visual management, empowerment were found to be useful and suitable to address command and control culture, low productivity, unorganised workspace, undelegated authority, low skilled employees and unwillingness to take responsibility problems.

Research limitations/implications

Further research is required to investigate the specific factors that affect the adaptation of continuous improvement initiatives such as culture and industry type.

Originality/value

This research extends and contributes the current literature on continuous improvement initiatives by revealing how performance improvement initiatives need to be filtered according to the specific needs of micro-enterprises, and how these initiatives can be used to address specific problems to improve operational efficiency. It provides a conceptual framework to guide the decision-making process on operational performance improvement in micro-enterprises.

Details

Asia-Pacific Journal of Business Administration, vol. ahead-of-print no. ahead-of-print
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1757-4323

Keywords

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Article
Publication date: 7 June 2021

Le Quang Hieu, Vu Hong Van and Nguyen Khanh Doanh

This study analyzes the factors that affect the decisions of micro-businesses to switch to enterprises in Thanh Hoa, Vietnam.

Abstract

Purpose

This study analyzes the factors that affect the decisions of micro-businesses to switch to enterprises in Thanh Hoa, Vietnam.

Design/methodology/approach

In order to explain the behavior of micro-businesses in switching to enterprises, the authors designed a questionnaire and collected survey data from 404 micro-businesses. The generalized structural equation modeling was applied to analyze the structured model with the dichotomous dependent variable.

Findings

First, the behavior of micro-businesses to switch was indirectly affected by needs and directly affected by attitudes, perceived behavioral control, subjective norm and institutional quality. Second, the subjective norms exerted the most influence on the behavior of the micro-businesses in switching. This finding implies that (1) the behavior of the micro-businesses depended on the assessments, perceptions and views of their friends, relatives and colleagues, and (2) the behavior to switch stems mainly from the desire to improve the businesses' position in society. Finally, both formal and informal institutions play an essential role in the behavior of the micro-businesses to switch to enterprises.

Originality/value

There have been no previous studies that have applied structured models to test the behavior of micro-businesses to switch to enterprises. Furthermore, previous studies had mainly addressed the psychological factors or needs of micro-businesses. In this study, apart from the above factors, the authors discuss the impact of institutions on the behavior of micro-businesses to switch.

Details

Asia-Pacific Journal of Business Administration, vol. 13 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1757-4323

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Article
Publication date: 4 June 2018

Abdullah Al Mamun, Noorshella Binti Che Nawi, P. Yukthamarani Permarupan and Rajennd Muniady

Entrepreneurial activities are embedded within the networks of social relationships, which facilitate the flow of crucial information and resources. This study aims to…

Abstract

Purpose

Entrepreneurial activities are embedded within the networks of social relationships, which facilitate the flow of crucial information and resources. This study aims to examine the effect of social capital (i.e. structural, cognitive and relational), entrepreneurial competencies (i.e. commitment, conceptual and organizing) and micro-enterprise innovativeness (i.e. innovativeness and absorptive capacity) on the competitive advantages of the micro-enterprises owned and managed by women micro-entrepreneurs in Peninsular Malaysia.

Design/methodology/approach

This study used a cross-sectional design and collected quantitative data from 417 women micro-entrepreneurs from six selected states in Peninsular Malaysia through structured interview. For data analysis, this study adopted variance-based structural equation modeling, i.e. PLS-SEM.

Findings

The findings of this study revealed a significant positive effect of social capital on entrepreneurial competencies, innovativeness and competitive advantage. The findings also revealed a significant positive effect of entrepreneurial competencies on innovativeness and competitive advantage.

Originality/value

The government and other development agencies working toward enterprise development in Malaysia should therefore focus on designing a platform for women micro-entrepreneurs to promote the development of structural and relational social capital, which foster the flow of crucial information and resources necessary for suitable micro-enterprise performance.

Details

Journal of Entrepreneurship in Emerging Economies, vol. 10 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 2053-4604

Keywords

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Article
Publication date: 8 July 2011

James Sommerville

There is little in the way of research on ethical views on the project and asset management sides of the construction industry, and an absence of work on microenterprises

Abstract

Purpose

There is little in the way of research on ethical views on the project and asset management sides of the construction industry, and an absence of work on microenterprises. This paper seeks to build material in this area aimed at establishing microenterprise views on ethical issues.

Design/methodology/approach

Microenterprises, operating in west‐central Scotland, engaged in a series of questionnaires and case studies. The questionnaires, issued to 300 businesses, sought views on four main thrusts within the ethics arena and responses received were expanded through case studies on three businesses.

Findings

The research findings indicate that a range of ethical considerations are important to micro‐construction enterprises. However, no one single ethical viewpoint was found to be dominant and variation was evident in management attitudes based on age, experience and education. The wider business community may take heart from the view that the microenterprises were law abiding, and so reinforce in the publics' view that they are sound businesses to deal with.

Research limitations/implications

The research was limited to a single geographic region, within one country: expansion to cover the full country and at the same time replication in other countries would provide a broader and more wide ranging view of the underlying stance on ethical issues.

Originality/value

This paper is the first that specifically targets microenterprises in the project and asset management spheres and sets out findings that are useful to practitioners and researchers who are trying to evaluate the underlying premise by which microenterprises operate.

Details

Built Environment Project and Asset Management, vol. 1 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 2044-124X

Keywords

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Article
Publication date: 13 March 2009

Sameer Prasad and Jasmine Tata

In the developing world most citizens rely on self‐employment and microenterprise operations as their only source of income. Given competition from large‐scale industrial…

Abstract

Purpose

In the developing world most citizens rely on self‐employment and microenterprise operations as their only source of income. Given competition from large‐scale industrial outfits, most microenterprises are finding it difficult to compete in terms of quality or price. This paper aims to investigate this issue.

Design/methodology/approach

The research employs case study methodology to examine how quality management could be employed in keeping such enterprises competitive.

Findings

A number of general propositions are developed and potentially fruitful research areas identified.

Originality/value

The paper compares the literature with actual field observations to provide practical insights that may be of value to microenterprise owners, and might indirectly help raise their standard of living.

Details

International Journal of Quality & Reliability Management, vol. 26 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0265-671X

Keywords

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Article
Publication date: 9 September 2014

Chiayu Tu, Shiuh-Nan Hwang and Jehn-Yih Wong

This research investigates how micro-enterprises cooperate with external parties in order to promote innovation and entrepreneurial success. The purpose of this paper is…

Abstract

Purpose

This research investigates how micro-enterprises cooperate with external parties in order to promote innovation and entrepreneurial success. The purpose of this paper is to describe supplier and consumer cooperation and analyzes how these two behavioral modes influence the product and service innovations of micro-enterprises. Based on the resource-based view of the firm, the authors show that micro-enterprises help the source of innovation by tapping into the resources and abilities of suppliers.

Design/methodology/approach

This research used a questionnaire to randomly sample micro-entrepreneurs that run stalls at night markets. Before distributing the final questionnaire, the authors in-depth interviewed ten micro-entrepreneurs and asked them to openly describe their entrepreneurial processes and success stories.

Findings

The results of this study show that cooperation with consumers does not improve product and service innovations. By contrast, the cooperation of micro-enterprises with suppliers was found to increase the generation of product and service innovations in the present study. And the findings show that the effect of innovation approaches on entrepreneurial success indicates that product innovation positively improves firm performance. Last, from the perspective of cooperation behavior, product innovation mediates entrepreneurial success through cooperation with suppliers.

Research limitations/implications

Because of respondents were night market vendors and thus the results are not necessarily generalizable to other types of micro-enterprises. Therefore, researchers are encouraged to test multiple types of micro-enterprises. Second, this research aimed to differentiate the relationships between innovation approaches and entrepreneurial success by focussing exclusively on product and service innovations. Therefore, other variables should be included in future studies.

Practical implications

As for practical implications in the field of cooperation behavior, the authors have shown that it is crucial to maintain long-term cooperative relations with trusted suppliers.

Social implications

As for practical implications in the field of cooperation behavior, the authors have shown that it is crucial to maintain long-term cooperative relations with trusted suppliers.

Originality/value

This paper fulfills an identified need to study how innovation in micro-enterprises.

Details

Management Decision, vol. 52 no. 8
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0025-1747

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Article
Publication date: 16 May 2016

Ultan Faherty and Simon Stephens

Although there is significant literature on innovation activities in large and medium-sized enterprises, studies that report on innovation practices in micro enterprises

Abstract

Purpose

Although there is significant literature on innovation activities in large and medium-sized enterprises, studies that report on innovation practices in micro enterprises are lacking. The purpose of this paper is to explore three issues: understanding of the term “innovation”, innovation practice(s) and how innovation can be effectively measured.

Design/methodology/approach

The 12 case studies presented in this paper involve micro enterprises based in Ireland. Data collected during depth interviews provide insights into understanding, practices, motivations, behaviours and attitudes relating to innovation.

Findings

Although awareness of innovation theories, processes and procedures is found to be low, all of the micro enterprises studied engage in a range of innovation activities across products, processes, people and marketing. Innovation is important to the development of the enterprises; however, innovation is not a managed or systematic process, and this is often due to lack of resources.

Practical implications

This paper presents six recommendations which are of use to academics, micro enterprises and government support agencies. These recommendations include making changes to the service provided by support agencies, simplifying innovation, developing an innovation brokering facility, and improving the design/delivery of innovation programmes.

Originality/value

The paper enriches understanding of the experience of participants through the use of narrative structuring, and augments knowledge on the innovation practices of micro enterprises.

Details

Journal of Small Business and Enterprise Development, vol. 23 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1462-6004

Keywords

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Article
Publication date: 1 October 2008

C.L. Schwarze

In order to be successful, microenterprise owners in South Africa face several management challenges. To overcome these challenges it is crucial that they possess…

Abstract

In order to be successful, microenterprise owners in South Africa face several management challenges. To overcome these challenges it is crucial that they possess sufficient financial management skills to ensure business survival and growth. This article focuses on determining the extent to which the critical financial management skills that microenterprise owners in South Africa require differ from those they possess, in order to identify specific interventions to develop the skills that are lacking. It was found that most microenterprise owners do not possess the critical financial management skills required. Recommendations are made on how members of the accounting profession could become involved in developing these skills.

Content available
Article
Publication date: 19 June 2018

Mohamed Asmy Bin Mohd Thas Thaker

This paper aims to explore the opinions and recommendations of various experts on the integrated cash waqf micro enterprise investment (ICWME-I) model, particularly in…

Abstract

Purpose

This paper aims to explore the opinions and recommendations of various experts on the integrated cash waqf micro enterprise investment (ICWME-I) model, particularly in terms of its suitability, applicability and prospects in the market.

Design/methodology/approach

The research involves primary data which are collected from semi-structured interviews conducted with experts from various backgrounds. Thematic analysis was used to examine the data.

Findings

The experts support the suitability of the ICWME-I model in providing financial services to micro enterprises. They highlight the importance of establishing, managing and operating ICWME-I model under the aegis of the State Islamic Religious Council in Malaysia or the corporate sector. They further emphasize that the characteristics of micro enterprises, the element of sustainable funding, the importance of proper management and administration, legal matters and public awareness are key factors that influence the sustainability of the ICWME-I model.

Originality/value

This paper adds to the literature on waqf and micro enterprises especially from the Malaysian context. The paper validates the ICWME-I model in terms of its suitability, applicability and prospects in the market by interviewing experts from various backgrounds.

Details

ISRA International Journal of Islamic Finance, vol. 10 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0128-1976

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Article
Publication date: 17 October 2008

Peter Wolcott, Mehruz Kamal and Sajda Qureshi

Information and communication technologies (ICTs) open new opportunities for microenterprises to improve their businesses. However, challenges to using ICTs impede these…

Abstract

Purpose

Information and communication technologies (ICTs) open new opportunities for microenterprises to improve their businesses. However, challenges to using ICTs impede these businesses from growing into drivers for development. This paper seeks to investigate the adoption of ICTs in 11 microenterprises in an underserved community of Omaha, Nebraska.

Design/methodology/approach

Following an action research study, this research provides insight into the key challenges and opportunities facing microenterprises in their use of ICTs to create value for their businesses.

Findings

The process of “IT therapy” provides individualized technology‐related assistance, with an emphasis on relationship‐building, customized training, context sensitivity, and solutions that target strongly‐perceived needs of the businesses studied.

Originality/value

The paper's contribution is in the methodology for facilitating the adoption of ICTs in microenterprises.

Details

Journal of Enterprise Information Management, vol. 21 no. 6
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1741-0398

Keywords

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