Thursday, 25 July 2013

MBA Dissertation | Strategy Making Processes | Decision Makers | SME

There is a body of literature which is suggestive that the strategy making processes of SME firms are largely identifiable with the emergent perspective. However, some scholars also believe that a proportion of SME's utilise fully rational strategy processes. Therefore, with the multitude of arguments surrounding this topic, the purpose of this study is to procure further insight into the strategy-making processes of small and medium businesses. Additionally, the research will examine the objectives of these organisations, and reveal which strategy processes or specific elements can be associated with attaining success. In order to satisfy this raison d'ĂȘtre, empirical research has been conducted, whereby a sample of UK SME decision makers were telephone interviewed and answered a set of questions regarding the strategy processes of their businesses. This data has been presented and analysed throughout this dissertation report, with conclusions and recommendations made for the leaders of SME companies, and for further research to be taken forward from this basis. As a result of the study, it is concluded that SMEs employ various strategies based on circumstances that are individual to their respective situations, and rarely can be seen to implement purely rational strategies, but instead will utilise a collection of eclectic strategy-making behaviours, which may include rational conduct. The main types of objectives reported by participants were; growth; product/service improvement; and raising brand awareness. In terms of strategy processes that brought success to SME firms, behaviours that were most commonly recorded encompassed; having defined objectives; engaging elaborate situational analysis techniques; being adaptive to the dynamic environment; comprehensive planning; and an incremental approach to change. Rather notably, no a priori hypotheses were rendered by the author, and as such the intention of this research is not to evidence the validity of any perspective on this subject, but to gain a purely impartial understanding of this phenomena within the setting of small and medium sized firms, with a view towards imparting new knowledge for the strategic management field of academia. To direct the research with a view towards arriving at findings and conclusions concordant with the purpose of this study, it is apposite to establish a set of research questions, which are as follows;
  • What strategy processes do SME firms utilise?
  • What are the purposes of strategic actions taken by SME's?
  • What strategy processes can be associated with success for SME organisation?