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Article
Publication date: 18 May 2015

Emma A. M. Bevan and Ping Yung

The purpose of this paper is to investigate the implementation of corporate social responsibility (CSR) related activities in small to medium sized construction enterprises

1927

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to investigate the implementation of corporate social responsibility (CSR) related activities in small to medium sized construction enterprises within Australia. Reasons behind the implementation level are also evaluated.

Design/methodology/approach

Quantitative and qualitative company level data from 28 Australian small to medium sized construction enterprises were collected using an in-depth questionnaire. Levels of CSR implementation in three aspects, namely, environmental, social and ethical, were measured. Each aspect was broken down into sub-areas and implementation scores were aggregated and normalised. Awareness level and concern for economic aspect, the two hypothesised reasons for level of implementation, were also measured. Non-parametric correlation analyses were used to examine the hypotheses.

Findings

The findings suggest small to medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) incorporate some aspects of CSR into their business activities even though they do not refer to the practices as CSR, as none of them have a formal CSR policy in place. Most SMEs in the construction industry implement ethical and economic aspect of CSR; however implementation across environmental and social issues is limited. Non-parametric correlation analyses show that higher awareness of CSR issues leads to higher levels of implementation and that concern about economic aspect is not a reason why CSR is not implemented into business practices.

Research limitations/implications

Everett Rogers’ diffusion paradigm can also be applied to CSR implementation, but more research works are required to theoretically and empirically examine the relationships between CSR implementation and economic aspect.

Originality/value

It is apparent that there is a significant gap in the research regarding Australian SMEs and sustainability issues as the majority of the literature is focused upon large organisations even though the approaches taken by SMEs towards CSR are very different to those of large corporations. The SME business sector is a significant sector in terms of its environmental, economic and social impacts. Hence recognition of this sector is growing and is now becoming the focus of an agenda to promote the implementation of CSR practices in SMEs. This paper aims to provide useful and detailed information to add to what is currently an underdeveloped body of knowledge in this area.

Details

Engineering, Construction and Architectural Management, vol. 22 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0969-9988

Keywords

Open Access
Article
Publication date: 16 January 2019

Kessington Okundaye, Susan K. Fan and Rocky J. Dwyer

The purpose of this (qualitative, multiple-case) study is to determine how small-to medium-sized enterprise (SME) leaders in Nigeria use information and communication…

17247

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this (qualitative, multiple-case) study is to determine how small-to medium-sized enterprise (SME) leaders in Nigeria use information and communication technology (ICT) adoption as a business strategy to increase profitability and compete globally.

Design/methodology/approach

The participants for this study consisted of executive-level SME leaders who had the authority to approve ICT implementation within their respective organizations. Individual interviews were undertaken with participants to gain an understanding of their experience of determining the merits of and implementing ICT. The technology acceptance model, which specifies the relationship between perceived usefulness, perceived ease of use, attitude toward computer use and intention to use technology, was applied as a framework to explain the Nigerian SME’s ICT adoption strategies.

Findings

Four major themes emerged from the data analysis: ICT adoption factors, ICT roles and benefits, role of government and SME success factors. The findings of this study may help SME leaders and government leaders address many of the factors inhibiting the adoption of ICT in SMEs in Nigeria.

Practical implications

This study may ensure that SMEs are successful and able to create jobs, which in turn may help to promote socioeconomic development through adoption of ICT.

Originality/value

The findings from this study contribute to the knowledge base regarding factors that affect ICT adoption by SME leaders as a business strategy to increase profitability and compete globally, particularly within SMEs in Lagos, Nigeria. It further addressed the gap in existing literature regarding other factors such as the influence of culture on ICT adoption, cost of ICT implementation, available ICT skills, infrastructure and ICT knowledge gap as the primary impeding factors of ICT adoption in Nigerian SMEs.

Details

Journal of Economics, Finance and Administrative Science, vol. 24 no. 47
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 2077-1886

Keywords

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…

17884

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

Keywords

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…

7744

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

Article
Publication date: 8 May 2017

Veronica Scuotto, Manlio Del Giudice, Stefano Bresciani and Dirk Meissner

This paper aims to investigate three key factors (i.e. cognitive dimensions, the knowledge-driven approach and absorptive capacity) that are likely to determine the…

1939

Abstract

Purpose

This paper aims to investigate three key factors (i.e. cognitive dimensions, the knowledge-driven approach and absorptive capacity) that are likely to determine the preference for informal inbound open innovation (OI) modes, through the lens of the OI model and knowledge-based view (KBV). The innovation literature has differentiated these collaborations into informal inbound OI entry modes and formal inbound OI modes, offering an advocative and conceptual view. However, empirical studies on these collaborations are still limited.

Design/methodology/approach

Building on the above-mentioned theoretical framework, the empirical research was performed in two stages. First, data were collected via a closed-ended questionnaire distributed to all the participants from the sample by e-mail. Second, to assess the hypotheses, structural equation modelling (SEM) via IBM® SPSS® Amos 20 was applied.

Findings

The empirical research was conducted on 175 small to medium enterprises in the United Kingdom, suggesting that the knowledge-driven approach is the strongest determinant, leading to a preference for informal inbound OI modes. The findings were obtained using SEM and are discussed in line with the theoretical framework.

Research limitations/implications

Owing to the chosen context and sector of the empirical analysis, the research results may lack generalisability. Hence, new studies are proposed.

Practical implications

The paper includes implications for the development of informal inbound OI led by knowledge-driven approach.

Originality/value

This paper offers an empirical research to investigate knowledge-driven preferences in informal inbound OI modes.

Details

Journal of Knowledge Management, vol. 21 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1367-3270

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 1 November 2001

Jimmy Hill and Len Tiu Wright

Considers an area of growing importance in marketing research. Small to medium‐sized enterprises (SMEs) are continuing to play an increasing role in the development of…

5766

Abstract

Considers an area of growing importance in marketing research. Small to medium‐sized enterprises (SMEs) are continuing to play an increasing role in the development of western economies. Puts forward the argument that existing approaches to conducting marketing research in SMEs are rooted in the big firm mindset and, therefore, in positivist thinking, tending to focus mainly on survey methods. Examines the various orientations that predominate in and shape the SME context. Develops a research position with a syncretised qualitative research methodology outlined and applied to a research project carried out by one of the authors into 57 small firms in the UK. All of the orientations of the SMEs appeared rooted, to a large extent, in one or more highly influential individuals who fashion the culture and direction of these firms. Argues for an approach to research in SMEs that recognises the various influencing orientations including the impact on marketing research and the role of the entrepreneurial individual.

Details

Marketing Intelligence & Planning, vol. 19 no. 6
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0263-4503

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 4 March 2014

Mark A. Harris and Karen P. Patten

This paper's purpose is to identify and accentuate the dilemma faced by small- to medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) who use mobile devices as part of their mobility business…

8168

Abstract

Purpose

This paper's purpose is to identify and accentuate the dilemma faced by small- to medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) who use mobile devices as part of their mobility business strategy. While large enterprises have the resources to implement emerging security recommendations for mobile devices, such as smartphones and tablets, SMEs often lack the IT resources and capabilities needed. The SME mobile device business dilemma is to invest in more expensive maximum security technologies, invest in less expensive minimum security technologies with increased risk, or postpone the business mobility strategy in order to protect enterprise and customer data and information. This paper investigates mobile device security and the implications of security recommendations for SMEs.

Design/methodology/approach

This conceptual paper reviews mobile device security research, identifies increased security risks, and recommends security practices for SMEs.

Findings

This paper identifies emerging mobile device security risks and provides a set of minimum mobile device security recommendations practical for SMEs. However, SMEs would still have increased security risks versus large enterprises who can implement maximum mobile device security recommendations. SMEs are faced with a dilemma: embrace the mobility business strategy and adopt and invest in the necessary security technology, implement minimum precautions with increased risk, or give up their mobility business strategy.

Practical implications

This paper develops a practical list of minimum mobile device security recommendations for SMEs. It also increases the awareness of potential security risks for SMEs from mobile devices.

Originality/value

This paper expands previous research investigating SME adoption of computers, broadband internet-based services, and Wi-Fi by adding mobile devices. It describes the SME competitive advantages from adopting mobile devices for enterprise business mobility, while accentuating the increased business risks and implications for SMEs.

Details

Information Management & Computer Security, vol. 22 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0968-5227

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 30 March 2012

Zhang Bo and Tao Qiuyan

Small to medium‐sized enterprises (SMEs) have long been the main carrier of technology innovation and technology transformation in China, and the main force of…

2473

Abstract

Purpose

Small to medium‐sized enterprises (SMEs) have long been the main carrier of technology innovation and technology transformation in China, and the main force of technological innovation. The “Twelfth Five‐Year” plan puts forward the necessity of stimulating SMEs' innovation vigor. Thus, whether from the subjective desire for upgrading the industry level, or from the objective needs of the market, technological innovation has become an important impetus for restructuring and upgrading many SMEs, and for enhancing their core competitiveness. The purpose of this paper is to study technology innovation models from multiple perspectives such as growth stage of SMEs, the environmental features in the enterprises' locations, competitive characteristics of the industries and the enterprises' innovation ability.

Design/methodology/approach

This research topic is designed to study the SMEs' innovation ability and characteristics in the different stages of development and in different industrial and development environments. On this basis, this paper puts forwards a dynamic multi‐dimensional technology innovation model, combines SMEs' innovation practice to continuously improve their technology innovation model and establish the innovation system, thereby enhancing the innovative capability of SMEs and strengthening their core competitiveness.

Findings

Through data analysis and research, the paper researches the SMEs' technological innovation factors, and finds the development law of technological innovation; various different modes of SMEs' technological innovation are analyzed from multiple perspectives to construct a multi‐dimensional dynamic model of technological innovation.

Originality/value

This is of great practical significance to China's economic construction and social harmonious development; the study of this topic will form the theory and methodology with regard to the SME's technology innovation model.

Article
Publication date: 9 August 2013

Mert Tokman, R. Glenn Richey, Tyler R. Morgan, Louis Marino and Pat H. Dickson

The purpose of this research is to investigate the combination of relational and organizational resource factors that influence small‐to‐medium‐sized firm satisfaction…

1615

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this research is to investigate the combination of relational and organizational resource factors that influence small‐to‐medium‐sized firm satisfaction with their supply chain portfolio performance.

Design/methodology/approach

This research employs two complementary theoretical lenses frequently used in the explanation of relationship performance, resource‐based view of the firm and strategic behavior theory. The authors then used an international survey based in three Northern European countries to test their hypotheses with hierarchical linear regression.

Findings

The quantitative analysis supports all three hypotheses indicating that supply chain portfolio flexibility is an important determinant for small‐to‐medium‐sized firm satisfaction with supply chain portfolio performance. Additionally, firm alliance orientation and entrepreneurial orientation both significantly influence the relationship between supply chain flexibility and performance satisfaction.

Research limitations/implications

This research is limited by the categorization of the supply chain portfolio flexibility types as high and low resource linkages by the researchers. Future research may look at additional ways to measure individual agreements and have firms categorize them according to resource requirements. However, the findings of this research provide a theoretical and empirical foundation through the application of resource‐based view of the firm and strategic behavior theory for future research in the area of small‐to‐medium‐sized firms and their satisfaction with supply chain portfolios.

Practical implications

Important managerial implications are found for small to medium‐sized firms and larger firms that work with them when managing portfolio satisfaction. This research indicates that it makes sense for managers to consider categorizing supply chain relationships similar to the way they categorize their end‐user relationships. This allows small‐to‐medium‐sized firms across the portfolio to be segmented into groups where appropriate relationship maintenance can take place and where more suitable satisfaction goals can be defined in terms of operational metrics.

Originality/value

The framework developed in this paper provides insights on small‐to‐medium‐sized firm satisfaction with supply chain portfolio performance. This research stimulates a new research stream towards an integrated theory of supply chain portfolio management.

Article
Publication date: 1 May 2015

Graciela Corral de Zubielqui, Janice Jones, Pi-Shen Seet and Noel Lindsay

The purpose of this paper is to understand how and why small to medium enterprises (SMEs) access knowledge from external actors in general and from higher education…

1744

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to understand how and why small to medium enterprises (SMEs) access knowledge from external actors in general and from higher education institutions (HEIs) in particular and what is the extent to which these knowledge access pathways affect SME innovativeness.

Design/methodology/approach

The paper involved both quantitative and qualitative approaches: a survey of 1,226 SMEs and a mini case study to follow-up on issues arising from the survey analysis. Survey data were analysed using both non-parametric and multivariate Poisson regression analysis. The case study was based on a medium-sized manufacturing firm in South Australia.

Findings

While there are significant differences between the micro-, small- and medium-sized enterprises, the evidence suggests that SMEs generally use “generic” university–industry knowledge transfer pathways (e.g. published research results) rather than university–industry links with high “relational” involvement. More significantly, the results indicate that SMEs are more likely to rely on organisations other than universities and related R&D enterprises for knowledge acquisition like clients/customers or suppliers. While collaboration is most likely to occur within the same state/territory, or Australia, many SMEs also collaborate internationally, usually as part of normal supplier–customer relationships, reinforcing knowledge acquisition from organisationally proximate partners. These findings are also supported by the case study.

Research limitations/implications

This research was limited to surveying SMEs in one geographic (metropolitan) region in Australia. It also does not account for the different patterns of HEI–SME interactions in different industry sectors. There is also only one case study.

Originality/value

First, the research adds to the few field studies that have investigated accessing knowledge for innovation among SMEs. Specifically, the research contributes to an understanding of the heterogeneous roles that different actors play in facilitating knowledge access for improving innovative SMEs outcomes. Second, the research does not treat all SMEs similarly in terms of size effects but instead accounts for differing SME sizes and how this affects their selection of knowledge access pathways. Third, the research contributes to a small number of studies that attempt to understand how HEIs and SMEs can work better together in the context of a regional innovation system, especially one that is relatively less competitive to the larger economy.

Details

Journal of Business & Industrial Marketing, vol. 30 no. 3/4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0885-8624

Keywords

1 – 10 of over 3000