SOTA Review

Resilience in SMEs.


Associated Themes
  • Entrepreneurship

SMEs (firms with fewer than 250 employees) make an important contribution to employment and value creation across Europe, and so ensuring that they are able to withstand adversity is of interest to many varied stakeholders. However, most resilience research to date has focused upon large organisations, with the implicit assumption that findings also apply to small organisations. This ignores the unique contextual and structural characteristics that define many SMEs. Where SMEs have been considered, resilience research has focused on SME characteristics and capabilities and on the individual resilience of the leaders of SMEs. Little research has considered practical interventions which may improve resilience in SMEs. Exploring contextual aspects unique to SMEs that may work to their advantage in developing resilience, interrogating the link between leader resilience and organisation resilience, and exploring SME resilience in the context of the organisation’s geographical location offer potentially fruitful avenues for future research.