Management Skills and Training Needs of Small Business Managers

By Romero, Eric J.; Gray, Samuel R. | Journal of Business and Entrepreneurship, March 2002 | Go to article overview

Management Skills and Training Needs of Small Business Managers


Romero, Eric J., Gray, Samuel R., Journal of Business and Entrepreneurship


ABSTRACT

Using a mail questionnaire, we measured small business owners' perceptions of their proficiency levels in each of 19 important business skill areas. Our results reveal that small business owners are most deficient in an array of skills required for growing and expanding their business. They were most proficient in strategic, operational, and financial skills required to manage their firms in existing markets. Our results provide educators and service providers with information that can be used to modify or expand training programs to help meet these skill needs.

MANAGEMENT SKILLS AND TRAINING NEEDS OF SMALL BUSINESS MANAGERS

As entrepreneurship and small businesses ownership continue to be major economic activities in the U.S., the success of small businesses is becoming increasingly important. Essential factors leading to the success or failure of small businesses are the skills, abilities and expertise of small businesses owners and managers. According to Peterson, Kozmetsky, and Ridgeway (1983), most small businesses fail because they lack vital management skills.

Entrepreneurship education and small business assistance programs attempt to aid small business managers in developing their skills and expertise. Some programs or methods of instruction have been more successful at attracting these business people than others. Peterson (1987) found that government sponsored programs were used the least (8.8%) by small business managers with 78.2% user satisfaction. Accountants or CPAs, on the other hand, were used by 75.4% of small businesses with 95.4% user satisfaction. University business courses were used by only 22.4% of small business managers and 90.8% reported satisfaction with the services provided.

Although small business owners might be satisfied with the services they receive from college courses and other training, they might not be getting all the skills that they need to succeed. As the U.S. economy expands and changes at a rapid rate, small business assistance providers might unknowingly provide training that fails to meet the needs of their target audience. Should this happen, there can be a significant variance between what small business managers and entrepreneurs need and what they are receiving in terms of skills training and development. Hess (1987) compared small business needs with what was being covered by small business curricula. He found that small business courses overemphasized finance and accounting while they underemphasized management, selling, and marketing skills.

In some cases, small business managers and entrepreneurs might be discouraged for seeking assistance if it fails to offer what they need. According to Abboushi (1989), public assistance programs had low rates of use due in part to the view that these programs were not providing services that were relevant to small business needs. Young, Wyman, and Brenner (1999) also found low (less than 35 %) usage rates for most public assistance organizations.

LITERATURE REVIEW

The literature on small business training needs is somewhat disparate and fragmented due to the complexity of the problem. The essential obstacle in comparing research results stems from the different research objectives and samples employed by researchers. Sexton, Upton, Wacholtz, and McDougall (1997), for example focused on the learning needs and styles of growth-oriented entrepreneurs while Young et al. (1999) examined the perceptions of assistance needs by owners of small manufacturing firms. Such studies have added richness and texture to our understanding of training needs by small business owners but they are not comparable.

Hess (1987) compared the training needs perceived to be important by small business owners and managers to the coverage of these topics in textbooks used in higher education. Perceptions were measured only in the areas of selling, marketing, production, finance, accounting, and management. …

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items

Items saved from this article

This article has been saved
Highlights (0)
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

Citations (0)
Some of your citations are legacy items.

Any citation created before July 30, 2012 will labeled as a “Cited page.” New citations will be saved as cited passages, pages or articles.

We also added the ability to view new citations from your projects or the book or article where you created them.

Notes (0)
Bookmarks (0)

You have no saved items from this article

Project items include:
  • Saved book/article
  • Highlights
  • Quotes/citations
  • Notes
  • Bookmarks
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited article

Management Skills and Training Needs of Small Business Managers
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Help
Full screen

matching results for page

    Questia reader help

    How to highlight and cite specific passages

    1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
    2. Click or tap the last word you want to select, and you’ll see everything in between get selected.
    3. You’ll then get a menu of options like creating a highlight or a citation from that passage of text.

    OK, got it!

    Cited passage

    Style
    Citations are available only to our active members.
    Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

    1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

    Cited passage

    Thanks for trying Questia!

    Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

    Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

    Buy instant access to save your work.

    Already a member? Log in now.

    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.