Academic journal article Global Business and Management Research: An International Journal

Conceptualizing the Influence of Network Competence on Entrepreneurship Growth in Small and Medium Enterprises

Academic journal article Global Business and Management Research: An International Journal

Conceptualizing the Influence of Network Competence on Entrepreneurship Growth in Small and Medium Enterprises

Article excerpt

Abstract

Purpose--This paper proposes a conceptual model about the influence of network competence on entrepreneurship growth in manufacturing sector of small and medium sized enterprises (SMEs).

Design/methodology/approach--This study is based on an extensive review of past research on network competence and entrepreneurship growth using human capital theory and resource-based theory. To conduct the literature review, we used keywords such as network competence, task performance, and entrepreneurship growth in the SMEs.

Findings--From the literature reviewed, four predictors of SMEs growth have been identified. They are availability of resources, network orientation in managing human resources, integration of communication system and openness to corporate culture, which are based on human resource development (HRD) perspective. The framework offers a number of propositions, which explain the proposed model of entrepreneurship growth in SMEs as predicted by the network competence factors.

Practical implications--Further research is suggested to test and validate the framework to provide empirical evidence. Upon model validation, the paper could offer practical interventions for HRD practitioners to assist SME managers towards developing and managing network competence to ensure entrepreneurship growth of SMEs.

Originality/value--The paper adopted four factors of network competence to predict entrepreneurship growth in the SMEs. It uses human capital theory and resource-based theory to explain the influence of the four predictors. The research contributes to literature on the significance of network competence in promoting growth in SMEs

Keywords: Network competence, task performance, entrepreneurship growth, small and medium-sized enterprise (SME)

Introduction

This study focusses on the role of network competence on entrepreneurship growth in small and medium sized enterprises (SMEs). The thematic issue is how network competence, which is considered from the perspective of human resource development (HRD), influences entrepreneurship growth in the SMEs. Network competence is conceptualized as the degree of network management, task performance, and network management qualification possessed by individuals handling the enterprises (Ritter, 1999). Entrepreneurship growth generally refers to the rate at which a new firm positively contributes to job creation, increase in employment rate, productivity, and sustenance of knowledge base for competitive advantage (Rahman & Fatima, 2011). Hence, this study adopts this meaning of entrepreneurship growth but without the dimension of productivity as the interest of this study focuses only on the dimensions of human resources.

Studies show that organization does not exist in isolation. For instance, researchers including Ritter (1999) and Pena (2002) assert that organizations are now seeking interdependence of each other to succeed as business owners do not have all required knowledge and skills to grow. It is also thought that organizations can no longer develop nor create enough knowledge base alone in the areas of technological fields and specialist skills. For that reason, networking becomes inevitable (Jagongo & Kinyua, 2013; Pena, 2002; Ritter, 1999). This understanding suggests that network competence supports utilization of management and development skill of employees for interaction with customers, end-users, suppliers, competitors and research institutions. Therefore, this paper addresses a vital question: How do network competence factors influence entrepreneurship growth in the manufacturing sector of SMEs?

Previous studies show that there is an extensive interest by researchers, industry players and policy makers on engagement of SME managers to growth-oriented training program (Bager, Jensen, Nielsen, & Larsen, 2015). Other researchers have focused on knowledge networks as part of integrated knowledge management approach, (Pena, 2002). …

Search by... Author
Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

Oops!

An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.