Strategic management practices and challenges : The case of small and medium scale enterprises in Harare
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Abstract This research was carried out with the objective of establishing the challenges faced by small and medium scale entrepreneurs in their efforts to adopt strategic management in their value chains. Are view of relevant literature revealed that strategic management is a very important approach that all businesses need, no matter their size, in order to enhance effectiveness. It is known to support professionalism, profitability and sustainable value addition when applied according to best practice. Quantitative and qualitative approaches to data gathering were applied to enable the researcher to establish a richer picture of the exact situation on the ground.Quantitative data were collected from a sample of 292 respondents while qualitative data were obtained from a sample of 127 key informants and stakeholders. Drawing inspiration from the survival strategies of the chameleon, the researcher postulated the Chameleon Survival Strategy Model for small and medium-scale enterprises. The model was then used as a benchmark in the analysis of quantitative data, which were treated using the statistical package for the social sciences (SPSS) and qualitative data, which were content analysed. The chameleon survival strategy was used as the standard to assess the extent to which small and medium scale enterprises were compliant with the fundamentals of strategic management as exhibited by the chameleon in its environment. The key findings were that SMEs failed the Chameleon Survival Strategy Model test, based on the overall value of the model’s index obtained after data analysis. It was observed that SMEs did not practice strategic management and were therefore not consistent with the chameleon survival strategies,outlined in the model’s seven attributes. The conclusions drawn, recommendations and implications of the study on Government policy, the work of stakeholders and entrepreneurs, are presented in this document. The conclusions point to the need for Government and stakeholders to revisit their interventions and support programmes targeting entrepreneurs, to include strategic management capacity development. The lack of knowledge and exposure was found to be the key reason for entrepreneurs’ failure to embrace strategic management in their operations. It is also recommended that Government and stakeholders carry out constant needs assessment to establish the exact needs of entrepreneurs, which tend to be quite dynamic. The participatory involvement of entrepreneurs in policy formulation and review is also recommended. Entrepreneurs are encouraged to review their operations and mainstream professionalism and the establishment of sustainable business structures.
SponsorPOSCO Fellowship Fund
small and medium scale enterprises
strategic management practices