Business resilience in an SME context: A literature review
Published: 5 July 2018
We define business resilience as a strategic objective intended to help an organisation survive and prosper. A highly resilient organisation is more adaptive, competitive, agile and robust than less resilient organisations and rebounds from adversity strengthened and more resourceful.
Resilience is clearly highly desirable in business organisations and as a result, business resilience is a growing field of research. To date, three main strands of business resilience research can be discerned, focusing on employees, business models, and organisational efforts to anticipate, prevent and respond to challenges. In fact, business resilience research to date has tended to focus quite strongly on large organisations, and assumed that findings are transferable to smaller businesses, which is not necessarily the case. Perhaps for this reason, resilience research focusing explicitly on SMEs is a small field, but one that is gaining momentum. This report explores academic and non-academic research into resilience in SMEs in particular, and identifies the key strands of work that have been done so far. It also identifies gaps in our knowledge which underpin an agenda for future research.
Wishart, Maria, ERC,
Management and Leadership
Published: 1 September 2013
This report presents new information on the ambitions, growth aspirations and innovation levels of Irish micro-businesses.
Micro businesses, typically businesses with 9 employees or less, play an important role in stimulating innovation, employment and growth. Despite this, relatively little is known about this important segment of the business population as such businesses are often excluded from official surveys. This report presents the findings of a survey conducted on micro-businesses in Ireland.
Ambition plays an important role in ensuring businesses achieve their full potential. The survey conducted during the course of this project reveals that one in four micro-businesses in Ireland want to build a national or international business. Within Ireland, micro-businesses in the West are amongst the most ambitious nationally. Interestingly, however, business and personal ambitions are broadly similar for male and female micro-businesses owners. For many people flexibility is a key personal motivator for running their own micro-business.
This report provides the first detailed information on the uptake of digital technologies by micro-businesses in Ireland. The results suggest that Irish micro-businesses perform well, adopting digital technology at a faster rate than their counterparts in the UK and particularly the USA. Micro-businesses in Ireland also compare well internationally with respect to introducing new or improved products and services. Finally, the report emphasises the importance that micro-businesses, due to their scale and access to technology, should not be left behind larger businesses in the global digital revolution.
This report describes new and unique survey data on established micro-businesses with 1-9 employees in Ireland. The report focuses on the ambitions – business and personal- of the owners; as well as innovative activity and the uptake of digital technology within micro-businesses. In Ireland, most micro-businesses are mature, and many are home-based. They are closely related to the families which own and run them.
This report represents a collaboration between University College Cork and the UK Enterprise Research Centre. Views in the report are those of the authors alone and do not necessarily reflect those of the sponsoring organisations.
Published: 3 April 2019
Sustaining growth – the HR dimension HR practices and management and leadership skills of High Growth SMEs
This research set out to investigate human resource management (HRM) practices and leadership behaviours in UK SMEs that represent a small proportion of firms to have achieved long-term growth. We interviewed 30 senior leaders of such SMEs and found that most leaders espouse key high performance work practices such as selective hiring, employee development, open communication, and, to a varying degree, performance management and employee participation. Through flexible informal practices, SME leaders tap into employee’s intrinsic motivation to enhance performance and to develop personal trust and reciprocity. Overall, our research paints a picture of HRM in growth-oriented UK SMEs as a complex phenomenon where a number of formal and informal HR levers interact, guided by a compelling vision, and creating a positive company culture in the process.
Published: 30 June 2016
Enterprise Research Centre
Warwick Business School
University of Warwick
Coventry CV4 7AL
Enterprise Research Centre
Aston Business School
Birmingham B4 7ET
0121 204 5392