Online from: 1982
Subject Area: Human Resource Management
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|Title:||Managerial strategies in small, fast-growing manufacturing firms|
|Author(s):||Joakim Tell, (School of Business and Engineering, Halmstad University, Halmstad, Sweden)|
|Citation:||Joakim Tell, (2012) "Managerial strategies in small, fast-growing manufacturing firms", Journal of Management Development, Vol. 31 Iss: 7, pp.700 - 710|
|Keywords:||Business development, Growth, Managerial strategy, Manufacturing industries, Observational studies, Simplistic strategy, Small firms, Sweden|
|Article type:||Research paper|
|DOI:||10.1108/02621711211243890 (Permanent URL)|
|Publisher:||Emerald Group Publishing Limited|
Purpose – The purpose of this paper is to create a better understanding of the strategic management behavior of top managers in small, fast-growing manufacturing firms.
Design/methodology/approach – Empirical data have been collected in Sweden through both a survey of the 100 fastest growing small firms during 2000 and the development five years after (2001-2006), as well as through structured observations of the working days of top managers in six fast-growing manufacturing small firms.
Findings – Managers in small, fast-growing manufacturing firms are engaged in many different activities. However, a few activities tend to take the majority of their time. These activities are either operational (for instance, activities related to production, marketing and sales) or administrative (for instance, activities related to the firms’ personnel and to financial issues). Looking at the managers’ activities from a strategy management point of view, they spend very little time on strategic activities. This finding may explain why firm growth in many cases declines or even ceases.
Originality/value – The paper contributes to the theoretical and empirical literature on strategic processes in small, fast-growing manufacturing firms by showing that the majority of their managers use a “simplistic strategy”. Such a strategy may imply that these managers find it difficult to alter their originally successful operational and administrative behavior in order to develop their firms. Such managers are “stuck” in a path dependency mindset, even though the growth of their firms requires that they adopt a more flexible management strategy.
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