Manchester Metropolitan University's Research Repository

    Managers' perceptions of management development needs in manufacturing SMEs

    Jayawarna, Dilani, Macpherson, Allan and Wilson, Alison (2006) Managers' perceptions of management development needs in manufacturing SMEs. Education and Training, 48 (8/9). pp. 666-681. ISSN 0040-0912

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    Purpose – In this paper empirical research is presented that investigates managers' perceptions of a variety of component management skills and techniques. The aim is to identify which management development needs manufacturing SME managers perceive as most important for their continued development, and to consider contextual factors that might impact on those perceptions. Design/methodology/approach – A cross sectional survey of 198 UK small-medium manufacturing firms is reported using factor analysis, linear regression test, ANOVA, Chi-square and simple descriptive statistics. Findings – The paper finds that managers of small-medium sized manufacturing enterprises perceive six discrete and important areas where management development is necessary. The results indicate that development needs change as the firm grows, but the relationship is more complex than stage models of growth suggest. In particular, there are key leverage points where the perceptions of skills need change. Research is needed on the influence of a variety of contextual variables that might impact on perceptions of SME management development needs. Originality/value – This research has provided an insight into the management development component skills and techniques for manufacturing SMEs.

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