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Article
Publication date: 21 October 2020

Suhail Sultan and Wasim I.M. Sultan

This study addresses the impact of the corona crisis on the performance of women small- to medium-sized enterprises (MSMEs) and explores the adopted innovative strategies…

Abstract

Purpose

This study addresses the impact of the corona crisis on the performance of women small- to medium-sized enterprises (MSMEs) and explores the adopted innovative strategies by these women to stay in their businesses.

Design/methodology/approach

Both quantitative and qualitative methods are used in this cross-sectional country-level survey. A representative sample of 260 Palestinian women businesses completed the questionnaire. As well, semi-structured interviews have been conducted with 15 female entrepreneurs who succeeded to survive to collect qualitative data. Frequencies, cross-tabulations and Chi-Square tests are used to analyze quantitative data and thematic analysis is used to analyze the qualitative one.

Findings

The main findings show that the corona crisis harms the performance of many women MSMEs in terms of production, turnover profit. To reduce their lost sales during the crisis, women are more likely to benefit from social media and promotions than other methods. This study highlights the innovation strategies applied by the women MSMEs who managed to survive such as, among others, cash management and digital marketing.

Practical implications

The innovation strategies could be a road map for other women struggling MSMEs businesses to re-enter businesses again.

Originality/value

So far, little research has focused on women MSMEs in developing countries. The identified innovation strategies will potentially help aspiring women MSMEs to survive during the economic crisis.

Details

Journal of Small Business and Enterprise Development, vol. 27 no. 7
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1462-6004

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Article
Publication date: 18 May 2020

Suhail Sultan, Meine Pieter van Dijk and Omar Omran

This study aims to analyze the nature of challenges facing five low-tech Palestinian small and medium-sized enterprise (SME) clusters and to understand their dynamics. The…

Abstract

Purpose

This study aims to analyze the nature of challenges facing five low-tech Palestinian small and medium-sized enterprise (SME) clusters and to understand their dynamics. The study proposes a number of key policies necessary to foster start-ups and the growth of the current clusters.

Design/methodology/approach

Five low-tech Palestinian clusters were selected for investigation. Using multiple sources of evidence, the research questions are answered using a case study approach. Twelve semi-structured in-depth interviews were conducted with representatives from the government, private sector and universities. Content analysis was used to analyze the data obtained from the interviews.

Findings

These five low-tech clusters in Palestine are located in a complex environment that imposes a mix of challenges which adversely affect their performance. The challenges facing Palestinian clusters are different in terms of their degree of complexity. The common challenges facing the Palestinian low-tech SME clusters are the fundamental lack of innovative stimulation policies or of incentives in the Palestinian ecosystem, lack of trust, unfair competition, limited access to finance, lack of access to promising markets and the limited collaboration between different parties. More focused policies are suggested to the Palestinian authorities.

Practical implications

Clusters represent a new and complementary way of understanding an economy, organizing economic development, enhancing competitiveness and innovation through sectoral specialization and cooperation and implementing public policies. In the overwhelming majority of Palestinian entities categorized as SMEs, clustering adds value to the firms from the point of view of productivity and by battling unemployment, which is rampant among Palestinian youth.

Originality/value

Even though the issue of clusters in SMEs has been well researched in developed countries, empirical studies are still lacking in this developing region. The attention given to policies in this article allows using the insights gained for cluster development in Palestine.

Details

EuroMed Journal of Business, vol. 15 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1450-2194

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Article
Publication date: 6 April 2020

Suhail Sultan

The purpose of this research paper is to explore innovation activity between the three institutional spheres of government, universities and industry in the Palestinian…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this research paper is to explore innovation activity between the three institutional spheres of government, universities and industry in the Palestinian MAPs sector, with the aim of supporting the growth of the sector through the THM.

Design/methodology/approach

The research study employed a qualitative exploratory design. Twelve semi-structured interviews were conducted with participants from the three spheres of the THM related to the agricultural sector. Content analysis was conducted on the data obtained from the interviews, followed by comparative analysis.

Findings

Some elements of the THM are present in the Palestinian MAPs sector, but others are missing, preventing its success. An effective policy is an important prerequisite for a THM to survive and thrive. There is a need to clarify the rules of engagement in terms of collaboration between the three institutional spheres. To promote innovation in the sector, there is a need to empower the farmers and cooperatives, improve farming system efficiency, upgrade distributors to logistic service providers, and build hybrid processing models.

Practical implications

The role of government is to apply policy to facilitate relations and exchanges between the three spheres. Industry possesses the motivation to invest in high-growth potential sectors. Universities could take the opportunity to establish its presence and fine-tune its portfolio of tasks so that industry is aware of these tasks and sees value in them.

Originality/value

The paper discusses the university–industry–government relationships in the framework of a developing and unstable economy such as Palestine.

Details

British Food Journal, vol. 122 no. 5
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0007-070X

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Article
Publication date: 30 August 2017

Suhail Sultan, André de Waal and Robert Goedegebuure

Many businesses in the world are family-owned. A family-owned business differs from other types of businesses in several ways, because it is composed of both a family and…

Abstract

Purpose

Many businesses in the world are family-owned. A family-owned business differs from other types of businesses in several ways, because it is composed of both a family and a business. A recurring question in management research has been: which type of business performs better, the family-owned or the non-family owned? An alternative question which in this respect can also be asked, in the light of the high-performance organization (HPO) theory which has become popular these past years, is: which type of business is more likely to become and stay high performing, the family-owned or the non-family owned? To try to answer these questions, many studies have been done in which the performance of family firms was compared with firms that have no family ties, but these studies gave mixed results and conflicting opinions. The paper aims to discuss these issues.

Design/methodology/approach

It seems evident that a new research approach is needed. A way forward is to use the HPO concept which looks at the factors important for an organization to become an HPO. Thus, the research question which this study attempts to answer is: are there differences in performance between family and non-family businesses, and if so, can these be traced back to differences in the way these businesses deal with the factors of high performance? The research used the HPO questionnaire and interviews to collect data at Palestine family and non-family owned businesses.

Findings

The research shows that Palestine non-family businesses significantly outperform family-owned businesses. Family businesses thus seem “a living paradox.” Balancing family interest and business interest often requires a compromise between family and business goals. It seems that Palestinian family businesses focus more on family interest by putting the goal of survival and “keeping the business in the family” above (short-term) financial goals. Family businesses might also feel more that the company’s money is the family money, and as a result their investment and expenses strategies are more conservative thus missing possible economic investment opportunities.

Research limitations/implications

The study results add to the current debate in the literature about which type of business performs better, and at the same time they add knowledge because if there are differences these might be explained by the factors of high performance. In this vein, the study results also contribute to the literature on high performance, as the HPO framework has not been used before for this type of comparative research.

Originality/value

The study results have practical value because they yield knowledge about the ways to organize a business so it can achieve high organizational results which is of great value to managers attempting to make their organizations perform better.

Details

Journal of Family Business Management, vol. 7 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 2043-6238

Keywords

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Article
Publication date: 1 July 2014

Suhail Sami Sultan

The purpose of this paper is to prove that competitiveness of small- and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) among developing countries in the conflict regions will be…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to prove that competitiveness of small- and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) among developing countries in the conflict regions will be enhanced through clustering.

Design/methodology/approach

The study used quantitative and qualitative methods of research. Questionnaires were administered on a sample of SMEs working in food-processing sector in Palestine, Jordan and Israel. Semi-structured interviews were conducted with ten Palestinian SMEs to deeply understand the food-processing cluster. The dependent variable “SMEs competitiveness” is measured by the balanced scored card while the independent variable “cluster” is measured by the “related and supporting industries.”

Findings

The cluster and SMEs performance of food-processing sector in Palestine is the lowest in relative to Jordan and Israel. The results show a significant positive relationship between cluster and SMEs performance in the Palestinian food-processing sector.

Practical implications

Cluster can help SMEs in the food-processing sector in Palestine to enhance their performance. It has also been found that these SMEs need to build linkages among themselves and with related and supporting industries within the Palestinian territories, Jordan and Israel.

Originality/value

The paper discusses the enhancement of SMEs performance working in a conflict region through clustering.

Details

EuroMed Journal of Business, vol. 9 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1450-2194

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Article
Publication date: 14 September 2012

André de Waal and Suhail Sultan

Interest in creating high performance organizations (HPOs) has been growing in the Middle East and Middle Eastern managers have been looking into practices that will help…

Abstract

Purpose

Interest in creating high performance organizations (HPOs) has been growing in the Middle East and Middle Eastern managers have been looking into practices that will help them elevate organizational performance. Unfortunately there is a shortage of HPO studies conducted in the Middle East which could help these managers. The purpose of this paper is to examine the applicability of the recently developed HPO Framework in a Middle Eastern context, namely at Palestine Polytechnic University (PPU). The goal of the study was to evaluate whether this framework could be applied in the Middle Eastern context and thus help improve performance of Middle Eastern organizations.

Design/methodology/approach

A workshop was conducted with management and staff of the university at PPU's premises in Hebron. During the workshop, management, staff and teachers filled in the HPO questionnaire, which gauges the current HPO status of an organization. The resulting HPO score of PPU, and the comparison with the scores of other Middle‐Eastern organizations in the database of the researchers, were discussed during a workshop with representatives of PPU and initial improvements were established and put down in an action plan.

Findings

With an average HPO score of 6.8, PPU was an average scoring organization that performed more or less the same as the other Middle‐East organizations. However, two main issues for PPU emerged that had to be addressed in order to transform the university in an HPO. The first issue was that PPU's performance management process had to be improved, as not everything that mattered to PPU's performance was communicated to everybody adequately enough. The second issue was that the performance‐driven behavior of PPU's people had to be strengthened, as the decision‐making and action‐taking processes took too long and people were nor resilient and flexible enough to deal quickly with changing conditions.

Practical implications

Practically, the research findings could help managers of Middle Eastern organizations to achieve sustainable high performance in their organizations.

Originality/value

The research described in this paper constitutes one of the first studies into the determining factors of sustainable high performance in the Middle East and as such, it adds to the strategic management literature by showing that the HPO concept can be applied in the Middle East to evaluate the high performance status of Middle Eastern organizations.

Details

Education, Business and Society: Contemporary Middle Eastern Issues, vol. 5 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1753-7983

Keywords

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Article
Publication date: 2 August 2011

Ilan Bijaoui, Suhail Sultan and Shlomo Yedidia Tarba

The main purpose of this paper is to propose a model of economic development able to generate a cross‐border sustainable economic development, in regions in conflict. The…

Abstract

Purpose

The main purpose of this paper is to propose a model of economic development able to generate a cross‐border sustainable economic development, in regions in conflict. The Italian industrial district model implements a community industry synergy process led by the authorities according to a top‐down approach. The cluster model implements a clustering specialization process led, in the American version, by a bottom‐up approach and in the European version by a top‐down approach. The regional innovation system (RIS) provides the regional and international innovation networking required for both models in order to confront the global competition. The proposed progressive model creates the industrial specialization (industrial district) required for the development of the clustering process supported by the RIS.

Design/methodology/approach

The authors have selected, from the list of producers (growers and producers of olive oil), a random sample of 103 growers of olives and producers of olive oil from both groups from the Northern regions (Galilee in Israel and the Northern West Bank): 26 Palestinian growers, 25 Palestinian producers, 13 Israeli growers and 39 Israeli producers of olive oil, and interviewed them.

Findings

The results show that the community‐industry synergy of the industrial district model is supported by the economic actors from both sides of the border but refused for political reasons by the regional authorities and professional associations. The raw material (olives), the human capital and the knowledge required in order to start the clustering process exist.

Practical implications

The study has evaluated the Israeli‐Jewish and Arab and the Palestinian olive sector, and clearly indicates that bottom‐up decision‐making process is the only way for the moment for initiating the cluster and RIS models in the olive sector. The intervention of a third party is required in order to start the bottom‐up implementation of the industrial district model and launch the clustering process.

Originality/value

The main contribution of this paper lies in organizing the industrial district in such a way that it will generate a cluster in the long run. Thus, it is called progressive model.

Details

Cross Cultural Management: An International Journal, vol. 18 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1352-7606

Keywords

Abstract

Details

Cross Cultural Management: An International Journal, vol. 18 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1352-7606

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Article
Publication date: 4 February 2021

Danielle Hass, Ashley Hass and Mathew Joseph

Over the past decade, gamification’s popularity has broadened into many industries and has become embedded in consumers’ lives. As privacy protection and how firms utilize…

Abstract

Purpose

Over the past decade, gamification’s popularity has broadened into many industries and has become embedded in consumers’ lives. As privacy protection and how firms utilize users’ data has been at the forefront of consumers’ minds, practitioners and academics alike need to understand consumers’ perceptions of the ethics of gamification. This paper aims to explore and provide preliminary evidence on young consumers’ perceptions of gamification and the ethics involved in these strategies used by firms.

Design/methodology/approach

The authors conducted two studies using a mixed-methods approach to gain a foundational understanding of young consumers’ perceptions of gamification. In Study 1, interviews provided initial insights and helped inform an exploratory survey administered in Study 2 to 161 young consumers attending a university in the southwest region of the USA.

Findings

The findings indicate that consumers have positive attitudes toward gamification tactics as long as the rewards are sufficient. Further, consumers do not find gamification as unethical as long as they have control over having the ability to opt-in.

Originality/value

Previous research has examined gamification from several contexts including health care, education and the workplace. However, there is little research that focuses on gamification from the consumers’ perspective, specifically the young consumer. As more firms are using gamification tactics such as on their mobile applications, it is critical to understand how young consumers perceive gamification and how that can impact the consumer-brand relationship. This research offers two studies as a first step in investigating young consumers’ perceptions of gamification tactics firms use and offers several future directions.

Details

Young Consumers, vol. 22 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1747-3616

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Article
Publication date: 1 July 2021

Suhail M. Ghouse, Omar Durrah and Gerard McElwee

This paper examines the challenges associated with rural women entrepreneurs in Oman. The study is based on women living in rural and highland areas who aim to move beyond…

Abstract

Purpose

This paper examines the challenges associated with rural women entrepreneurs in Oman. The study is based on women living in rural and highland areas who aim to move beyond their traditional roles in the family seeking avenues for growth and development. It identifies several problems encountered by rural women entrepreneurs and the impact on their future business opportunities.

Design/methodology/approach

A mixed research approach involving quantitative and qualitative elements was adopted for the study. The research is based on 183 survey responses and personal interviews with 8 rural women entrepreneurs. Partial least squares structural equation modeling (PLS-SEM) was adopted to analyse the quantitative responses and depict a model featuring the intensity of the problems affecting business opportunities. Seven short cases based upon the interviews with rural women entrepreneurs are also detailed.

Findings

Several problems experienced by rural women entrepreneurs were identified hampering their business ventures, linked to personality, family, educational, socio-cultural, facilities, legal, financial and economic, organizational and geographical, out of which household, organizational and geographical linked problems were most significant. Entrepreneurial opportunities for rural women entrepreneurs are discussed.

Practical implications

The research suggests that the policymakers should holistically consider how the rural women engaged in informal business for various means can be better supported and sustained by overcoming associated problems, can achieve business opportunities and contribute to regional socio-economic development.

Originality/value

There is a limited literature available on rural women entrepreneurship in an Arab context. The study provides an overview of the challenges and problems experienced by these women and the support areas required to overcome them for their sustainability in this region.

Details

International Journal of Entrepreneurial Behavior & Research, vol. ahead-of-print no. ahead-of-print
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1355-2554

Keywords

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