Gender and age differences in conflict management within small businesses.
- Authors: Havenga, W.
- Date: 2008
- Subjects: Conflict handling styles , Interpersonal conflict , Age , Gender , Small business , Rahim organisational inventory , ROC-II instrument
- Type: Article
- Identifier: uj:5639 , http://hdl.handle.net/10210/2878
- Description: The objective of this exploratory study was to establish, through the application of the Rahim Organisational Inventory (ROC II) instrument, how the gender and age status of owners/managers of small businesses relate to the application of different conflict-handling styles. The sample of 68 participants was taken using a convenience sampling technique to ensure representation from the strata of the 102 small businesses. Analysis of variances was used to determine if differences exist in conflict-handling styles within the gender and age status groups. The results of the statistical analysis done revealed that slight to significant variances were found, which are discussed accordingly.
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Information security risk management in the South African small, medium and micro enterprise environment
- Authors: Van Niekerk, Liesel
- Date: 2008-07-07T09:33:28Z
- Subjects: Small business , Risk management , Computer security management , Information technology security measures
- Type: Thesis
- Identifier: uj:10248 , http://hdl.handle.net/10210/761
- Description: The small, medium and micro enterprise (SMME) environment of South Africa contributes 42% to the national gross domestic product. This is a high number for a largely under-regulated environment. The corporate governance and IT governance standards that apply to South African companies are not feasible for SMMEs, and neither are they enforced, although 80% of failures of SMMEs are attributable to lack of enterprise management skill. The first objective of this dissertation is to examine the South African SMME, and in so doing determine whether local regulatory standards can be used for this unique enterprise formation. The second objective of this dissertation is to determine whether international methodologies for information security risk management, as an inclusive of IT governance, may be used in the unique local SMME formation. The result of these two objectives creates a gap in a typical information security risk management methodology that is suitable for the South African regulatory and economic environment for SMMEs. A model has been created as a possible answer for filling the gap. The dissertation includes the Peculium Model, which answers the regulatory and economic requirements that resulted from the second objective. The Model allows the small enterprise a simple but effective method for managing risks to its information assets, with the control of corporate governance and IT governance included in its framework. The Model answers the methods for identifying and assessing risk in a tradition-based but feasible new qualitative technique. , Labuschagne, L., Prof.
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Evaluating the use of project management techniques in infrastructure delivery by South African small and medium sized contractors
- Authors: Agumba, Justus Ngala
- Date: 2008-07-16T12:54:49Z
- Subjects: Project management , Construction industry , Small business
- Type: Thesis
- Identifier: uj:7289 , http://hdl.handle.net/10210/802
- Description: South Africa is currently faced with the challenge of reducing the huge backlog of infrastructure delivery to communities that were previously disadvantaged. Given the prioritization of empowerment by the South African government, the previously disadvantaged and marginalized sector of the construction industry that comprises mainly, Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) is the preferred vehicle of delivery. However, consequent to their historic position outside of the mainstream construction industry, they lack the requisite project management expertise and experience to make good on this objective. This study investigates the characteristics of the personnel managing SMEs and the SMEs themselves, the usage, necessity, importance and adequate use of the techniques, effectiveness and potential applicability of various project management techniques to improve the performance of the SMEs in delivering the much-needed infrastructure. The study also identifies those external and internal factors that are detrimental to the effective implementation of project management techniques. Given the aforementioned, a descriptive survey was conducted among contractors who were either registered members of the Gauteng Master Builders Association (GMBA) or the National Home Builders Registration Council (NHBRC) in Gauteng. The data was collected using a semi-structured, structured and open-ended interview questionnaire, and analysed using descriptive analysis, severity index and content analysis respectively. The findings indicate that experienced and educated personnel manage SMEs. There is usage of essential project management techniques, which the contractors agreed are necessary and important in managing their projects. There is inadequate use of project management techniques among the SMEs. When used, the techniques brought about improvement in the delivery of projects. The research also established various factors that deterred the adequate implementation of project management techniques, namely, lack of adequate project information from professionals, time and financial constraints. The research concludes by suggesting that if significant improvements in the delivery of construction projects are to be attained, the findings stated need to be taken into consideration. , Mr. F.C. Fester Prof. F.A.O. Otieno Mr. I.O. Adegoke
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Construction health and safety culture in South African small and medium enterprises
- Authors: Agumba, Justus N. , Haupt, Theo
- Date: 2009
- Subjects: Construction health and safety , Construction industry , Small business
- Type: Article
- Identifier: uj:5307 , ISSN 978-0-62043702-8 , http://hdl.handle.net/10210/5293
- Description: Construction health and safety (H&S) culture in small and medium construction enterprises (SMEs) has received little attention in South Africa, in terms of either research or support for preventive initiatives. Previous research suggests that this sector has serious problems exacerbated by limited access to human, economic and technological resources. Moreover it is now recognized that methods developed specifically for large firms cannot necessarily be transferred to smaller and medium firms, hence the need to investigate the H&S culture in SMEs. This exploratory study is based on descriptive survey using semi-structured and structured questionnaire, and non-probability sampling to give an overview of the characteristics of H&S culture and practices in SMEs firms in the South African construction industry.
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Entrepreneurial leadership and management for change and successful business growth
- Authors: Nieuwenhuizen, C.
- Date: 2009
- Subjects: Entrepreneurship , Small business
- Type: Article
- Identifier: uj:6189 , ISSN 978-0-866970-661-9 , http://hdl.handle.net/10210/5267
- Description: The vast majority of businesses initiated by entrepreneurs originated as micro or small businesses. These businesses are usually started and entrepreneurially managed by one person. They can grow and become larger small businesses or even medium and large businesses if the entrepreneur does not become a manager. The entrepreneur has a distinctly different mindset from that of the manager or bureaucrat, but often the entrepreneur becomes complacent with a specific level of achievement in his or her business. The entrepreneur then becomes the content manager of a small business who is averse to risk, change and innovation. The entrepreneurial business is then replaced by a managerially focused small business. It also often happens that ideas are good and the people behind them are competent but don't know how to manage a business and have no underlying appreciation of business fundamentals. The business then fails due to a lack of management skills and behaviour as well as knowledge regarding the different functions of a business. Businesses that have been successfully established often fail due to the entrepreneurs' inability to adapt to the changing needs of the business, which often includes a more managerial and functional approach. The true entrepreneur is a leader, adaptive, innovative and willing to take risks, but as the business grows, a more managerial style becomes necessary. This can happen when the business is small, but the challenge usually presents itself acutely when the business has become medium sized. This paper explores the nature and role of the entrepreneur as change agent in the economy and business.
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Evaluating management commitment to health and safety in small and medium construction enterprises
- Authors: Agumba, Justus N. , Haupt, Theo.
- Date: 2009
- Subjects: Construction industry , Construction health and safety , Small business
- Type: Article
- Identifier: uj:5308 , ISBN 978-0-620-44689-1 , http://hdl.handle.net/10210/5297
- Description: Construction health and safety (H&S) in small and medium construction enterprises (SMEs) has received little attention in South Africa, in terms of either research or support for preventive initiatives. Previous research suggests that this sector has serious problems exacerbated by limited access to human, economic and technological resources. Moreover it is now recognized that methods developed specifically for large firms cannot necessarily be transferred to smaller and medium firms, hence the need to investigate management commitment to H&S among SMEs.
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Assessment of the e-readiness of small and medium sized enterprises in the ICT sector in Botswana, with special reference to information access
- Authors: Mutula, Stephen M.
- Date: 2009-01-12T07:22:41Z
- Subjects: Small business , Electronic information resources , Electronic commerce , Business enterprises , Computer networks , Botswana
- Type: Thesis
- Identifier: uj:14776 , http://hdl.handle.net/10210/1854
- Description: D.Litt. et Phil. , The purpose of this research was to determine the status of e-readiness of Small and Medium-Sized enterprises (SMEs) in the ICT sector in Botswana with respect to information access using ICTs for competitiveness in the local and international markets. The population of study consisted of key informants from 114 SMEs in the ICT sector in Gaborone and Francistown, the capital city and the second largest city of Botswana respectively. The official list of ICT companies provided by the government of Botswana was used as the sampling frame. The research used a two-phase design - the preliminary survey and the main survey of the project. The preliminary survey consisted of two stages. During the first stage, a short structured questionnaire was administered to a census of 114 key informants from SMEs in the ICT sector. During the second stage, six focus group discussions were used to collect data from key stakeholders in the ICT sector who included representatives from: ICT companies, ICT professional body in Botswana, government utility corporations, academia and the business community. The participants in the focus group discussions involved representatives from 55 SMEs who were identified like in the first stage using the government official list of SMEs in Botswana. The quantitative data collected through questionnaire were analysed using SPSS while the qualitative data collected through focus group discussions and in-depth interviews were analysed using thematic tables. The results were represented using tables, pie charts, categories and narrations. The results of the preliminary survey of the project were used to characterise the ICT sector in terms of its size, key players, nature of businesses, products and services traded in, distribution of business by location and the issues that affected the sector. This characterisation was important in two main respects. Firstly, it provided a clear roadmap for the design of the main survey of the research since little information existed on the subject of e-readiness on Botswana in general and with respect to SMEs in particular. Similarly, the government had invested a lot of resources in ICT infrastructure development and was focusing on SMEs especially those in the ICT sector to diversify the economy from the dominant diamond mining to service industry. Secondly, the results of the preliminary survey of the project supported the development of a structured interview schedule that was used during the main survey of the project. During the main survey of the research data was collected from companies that participated in the focus group discussions. From the focus group list of participants, an alphabetical name list of 55 SMEs was created. There were 43 Small-Sized and 12 Medium-Sized enterprises that were represented during the focus group discussions. For the purpose of carrying out the structured interviews, SMEs were stratified into two (Small-Sized enterprises and Medium-Sized enterprises). From the Small-Sized enterprises stratum, 20 companies were systematically selected (from the 43) taking every other member on the list. On the other hand, in the Medium-Sized enterprises stratum, all the 12 enterprises were selected for interviews because the number of respondents was small. The data collected was analysed using categories and thematic tables because it was largely qualitative. The results were presented in the form of thematic tables and through narrations. The findings from the SMEs surveyed indicated that most of the SMEs in the ICT sector in Botswana were Small-Sized enterprises that were largely not e-ready to participate in the global electronic business environment because of several impediments such as: the lack of awareness, inadequate policy and legislative framework, poor telecommunication and electricity infrastructures, poor e-commerce infrastructure, inadequate government support, the lack of access to credit, investment barriers, the lack of critical ICT skills and more. The major outcomes of the project include an exposition of the e-readiness status of SMEs in the ICT sector in Botswana, a road map that can assist the government of Botswana to establish a strong export-oriented ICT sector. The weaknesses and strengths of Botswana’s e-readiness status with regard to SMEs are brought to the fore, thus creating awareness upon which the government can design interventions that are tailored to meet Botswana’s SMEs’ specific needs. Similarly, this project provides a framework upon which the government can benchmark against its counterparts in the rest of the world in order to define its investment priorities. The project also provides baseline information which the government could use to implement appropriate policy and legislative decisions in order to enhance the e-readiness of SMEs in the ICT sector in Botswana. Finally, the new integrated e-readiness tool that was developed in this project is the first of its kind to bring the different major components of e-readiness (such as enterprise, ICT, human resources, information and external environment readiness) into a single assessment tool with great attention paid to information access. The tool is also modular in design and thus can allow specific e-readiness assessment of individual segments of society to be modelled independently of each other. The tool also enriches the qualitative aspects of e-readiness that are only minimally addressed in a few of the existing macro e-readiness assessment tools. Among the key recommendations from the research is the need for the government of Botswana to promulgate relevant policies and implement pragmatic programmes that would enable SMEs in the ICT sector in the country to use various information technologies in order to gain access to relevant information regarding access to credit, investment opportunities, partnerships, education and training opportunities so that they can effectively participate in both the local and international markets. The policy changes and programmes to be undertaken by the government should be underpinned by an effective legislative and regulatory framework that would enable the small business firms to identify, acquire, process, organise, disseminate and apply information for competitive advantage through the effective deployment and application of ICTs.
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Functional requirements of eCRM solutions for the South African SME sector
- Authors: Zaayman, Philip
- Date: 2009-01-15T13:12:09Z
- Subjects: Small business , Customer services , Customer relations management
- Type: Thesis
- Identifier: uj:14798 , http://hdl.handle.net/10210/1874
- Description: M.Phil. , The issue of Customer Relationship Management (CRM) within organisations has gained importance over the last five years, and the trend is set to continue with new CRM software vendors entering the market regularly. For a business, it is cheaper to retain existing customers than to acquire new ones, therefore increased customer loyalty and interaction is important. The value that electronic CRM (eCRM) allows is that it increases customer interaction, by eliminating physical intervention and subsequent errors. The Internet has allowed this interaction to become more sophisticated, with service information instantly available to both the customer and the business. The number of channels for interaction has also increased. Specifically, small and medium enterprises (SMEs) need low cost eCRM solutions that adapt to their business models and IT structures. The South African SME is limited by certain budgeting, resource and time constraints, and the owner of the SME cannot always devote time in search of a suitable eCRM solution for his business. The multitudes of vendors, offering various levels of functionality with increased focus on the SME sector, allow the SME many choices. However, companies selecting eCRM software vendors often lack an objective basis due to a lack of alternative information sources. Vendors making unsubstantiated and incorrect claims about the functionality of their software, further complicate the problem. From an SME point of view, the functionality and cost criteria of the eCRM solution is the most important. However, the minimum functionality criteria that vendors’ software packages must adhere to, in order to be considered an eCRM suite are: Customer Analysis; Marketing Automation; Sales Automation; Customer Service and Support; and Web-centricity. The research problem lies therein that South African SME owners or managers are unsure which functionalities are available, and which to deem important when considering eCRM solutions for their businesses. The objective of this study is to formulate a matrix of functionality that eCRM solutions must adhere to in order to be successfully implemented by the SME. This matrix is not prescriptive, but will guide SME management by identifying criteria and functionality that the solution needs to contain. The aim is to help SMEs select the right software, not to select the software for them.
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A product development process for a photovoltaic water pump system in a small to medium enterprise
- Authors: Van der Merwe, Lyon
- Date: 2009-02-26T12:22:59Z
- Subjects: New products , Solar pumps , Small business
- Type: Thesis
- Identifier: uj:8181 , http://hdl.handle.net/10210/2185
- Description: D.Ing. , The effective management of technology and new product development in a high technology small to medium enterprise associated with a large corporation with specific reference to the development of solar photovoltaic water pumps is investigated in this study. Innovative product and the development thereof have already become this century's battleground. The availability of information to all and the ease of communication have contributed to changing the battleground. Small organizations and companies can now also participate in high technology environments, different from the past. Technology management and new product development are subjects that are thoroughly studied, discussed and understood in larger corporations (LCs) and multinational enterprises (MNEs). It would appear that the same cannot always be said when it comes to small to medium high technology enterprises. The following research questions can be asked: • How does the current body of knowledge (regarding technology and new product development) influence and impact on technology and new product development in a small to medium enterprise? • How does the interface and interaction between various small to medium enterprises (SMEs) and SMEs and other large corporations impact on new product development in a small to medium enterprise? • How does a small to medium enterprise cope with relatively limited resources when attempting to develop a new product? • How does the informal nature of a small to medium enterprise impact on new product development? • Does a small to medium enterprise use a structured process to manage new product development? As SMEs become more prominent role players in technology intensive industries, answers to the above questions will strengthen the SME in the relevant areas and enhance the role that SMEs will play in the future. To answer the research questions the study comprises: • an applicable literature survey in the areas of technology management and new product development, • an investigation into the business environment and interaction a typical SME encounters during new product innovation including resource management, • the development of an alternative model for the new product development (NPD) process in an SME, • an industry acceptability survey of the proposed alternative model and • a case study (photovoltaic water pump system) of the development of a new product, mapped onto the developed alternative NPD process. A study of the literature and own experience have shown: • a lack of addressing the above questions and the impact thereof and • a lack of practical and appropriate guidelines to implement technology management and ensure repetitive successful innovative new product development (NPD) in small to medium high technology enterprises. The author suggests a reduced complexity NPD process model, which takes cognisance of intangibles such as the chaotic interaction between various stages and tasks within the NPD process, informal decision making and natural information feedback mechanisms and illustrate why an SME that observes a given structural discipline displays an inherent advantage over large corporations and multinational enterprises. The model is exposed to a limited scope industry survey and applied to a case study (development of a photovoltaic water pump powered by sunlight). The acceptability survey, although limited, suggests that industry supports the hypotheses on which the development of the proposed alternative new product development process is based. The proposed management process was mapped onto the case study to ascertain whether it is practical. The application of the proposed management process to the case study resulted in further insight into possible alternative methods of reporting on new product development work. A complete photovoltaic water pump system as a new product emanated from the case study with significant marketability.
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An investigation into the success factors amongst small businesses in Gauteng
- Authors: Keil, Maria Clara Mauricio Pereira
- Date: 2009-03-31T09:19:53Z
- Subjects: Small business , Success in business , Gauteng (South Africa)
- Type: Thesis
- Identifier: uj:8230 , http://hdl.handle.net/10210/2342
- Description: M.B.A. , Gauteng, the smallest of the nine South African provinces, but the largest in terms of its contribution to national GDP (33.9%), generates 10% of Africa’s GDP (Gauteng Enterprise Propeller Overview, 2007) and is therefore a very important geo-economical zone. As South Africa latest unemployment rate is 25.5% (StatsSA, 2006), Government is geared towards promoting small businesses in an effort to grow the economy and reduce unemployment. It is therefore very important to the economy that small businesses succeed, grow and provide employment. Due to the fact that at present, very little research into the success factors amongst small businesses in South Africa has been conducted in South Africa, it seems appropriate at this time to investigate the success factors of small businesses in Gauteng. The problem statement in this research is that there is insufficient knowledge relating to the factors contributing to the failure or success of small businesses in South Africa, Gauteng. To conduct this research, a qualitative and exploratory approach was decided upon. A literature survey on the subject was conducted in order to ground the current research in existing theory and research. A questionnaire was sent out by e-mail to 3776 businesses in Gauteng, to which the response rate was 3.15% (119 questionnaires were returned). The questionnaire was divided into sections and covered the definition of success, entrepreneurial personality characteristics of owner/manager, use of management tools, resource availability and the classification of respondents and their businesses. Due to the small size of the sample this research is not able to conclusively achieve the primary research objective of identifying the success factors of small businesses in Gauteng, but it has nevertheless contributed to the body of research on the matter, since it established that there is a correlation between: • Entrepreneurial personality and the success of small businesses • The use of management tools and the success of small businesses • The availability of resources and the success of small businesses. In addition the following can be reported: • The owner/managers surveyed attributed their success to: - persistence and determination - experience - entrepreneurial personality - business knowledge - a great team - education • The existence and or use of the business plan and its relationship to success remains inconclusive • Financial resources do not feature prominently as a success factor, but business skills do seem to correlate with success. Further research is necessary to pinpoint conclusively which traits and behaviours are conducive to success, by comparing successful and unsuccessful business owners. Other recommendations that arose from this research were: • Research should be conducted into the assumption that economic growth is driven by the proliferation of small businesses • Research into the weight of internal factors ((personality, experience, attitude, knowledge) versus that of external factors (start-up capital, business plans, skill availability, economic and legal conditions) would contribute to the body of knowledge and could trigger a shift in approach.
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The correlation between market orientation and business performance in start-up SME's in the South African mining communication industry
- Authors: Davel, Gerrit Jacobus
- Date: 2009-03-31T09:36:42Z
- Subjects: Small business , Small business planning
- Type: Thesis
- Identifier: uj:8264 , http://hdl.handle.net/10210/2374
- Description: M.B.A. , Due to the high unemployment rate of twenty-five and a half percent in South Africa it is critical to create jobs. Economies throughout the world have benefited through the job creation resulting from successful small and medium enterprises (SME’s). What is also apparent is the high prevalent rate of failure in start-up of SME’s. It is therefore important to guide entrepreneurs that enter into business by starting a SME and to ensure sustainability and success with the new venture. In order to be sustainable and successful, research is in agreement that market orientation is a prerequisite for the business performance of a company in that the successful implementation of market orientation as a management philosophy will result in sustainable competitive advantage. A SME’s is successful if and when the company have realised business performance. This study has determined the relationship between market orientation and businesses performance in the Mining Communication Industry of South Africa. In addition the study contributed by proposing a measurement tool for business performance. Considerations of the findings in this study will benefit entrepreneurs within the start-up phase as well as aspirant entrepreneurs. The benefit of these finding will become obvious in that the risk of failure will be reduced through the implementation of market orientation and the aspects of the financial perspective. Subsequently the enormous potential of job creation through successful and sustainable SME’s can become a reality.
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The cooperatives model as an approach to SMME development in South Africa with specific reference to the information, communication and technology (ICT) sector
- Authors: Mabuza, David Charles
- Date: 2009-05-07T07:22:47Z
- Subjects: Small business , Information technology , Small business research in South Africa
- Type: Thesis
- Identifier: uj:8360 , http://hdl.handle.net/10210/2501
- Description: M.A. , Small enterprise development is considered a priority in most developing countries and, South Africa’s not an exception. The rationale for prioritising SMMEs is premised on their potential ability to contribute to the alleviation of the socio-economic challenges facing most developing countries such as unemployment, poverty and low levels of economic development. For South Africa, SMME development is seen as an appropriate strategy that could assist government in its endeavours of bridging the gap that exists between the two economies (first and second economy). To date, the government has utilised various business models to facilitate the entry and development of small enterprises in the mainstream economy. These models include amongst others a close corporation, cooperative and private company. Whilst all three models have been effectively applied across all sectors of the economy such as agriculture, retail services, manufacturing and others, the cooperatives approach/model has not been successfully exploited for the development of small enterprises within the Information Communication Technology (ICT) sector. Using international case studies, this study has been able to demonstrate the critical role that could be played by the cooperative model in facilitating an accelerated development of viable small enterprises within the Information and Communication Technology (ICT) sector in South Africa. Internationally, cooperatives have played a pivotal role in their contribution to economic development in both developed and developing countries. The model has the potential to promote economic growth at the community and regional level, building on the spirit of cooperation that is already prevalent in rural areas. In the ICT sector, the cooperatives approach has been applied as a model for the development of sustainable ICT small enterprises. In actual fact, the model has been instrumental in enhancing small enterprise development in countries such as Argentina, Poland, USA and Bolivia, just to mention a few. It therefore becomes critical for South Africa to consider lessons from these countries, so as to take advantage of the opportunities offered by the cooperative model. However, government needs to put in place appropriate ICT sector specific support structures that would assist people willing to start cooperative enterprises within the ICT sector. In the United States, government introduced a sector-specific bill to facilitate the establishment of the Rural Telephone Administration. The bill made it possible for long-term loans to be made to telephone cooperatives at low interest rates, thus accelerating the development and procurement of rural telephone systems. In Poland, government established a sector-specific Trust Fund referred to as “Balazs Social Trust Fund” solely to support the development of ICT cooperatives in rural areas. Thus, for South Africa to accelerate its pace of development it might need to adopt and customise this model. To ensure continuous monitoring and measurement of the impact of these interventions, government needs to put in place appropriate measurement tools.
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The need for and development of differential reporting globally
- Authors: Greeff, Marlene E.
- Date: 2009-05-19T06:52:33Z
- Subjects: Financial statements , Financial statements standards , Small business
- Type: Thesis
- Identifier: uj:8389 , http://hdl.handle.net/10210/2554
- Description: M.Comm , The international financial reporting arena has undergone considerable changes in recent years. The recognition, measurement, presentation and disclosure requirements have increased significantly over the past two decades. Standard setters around the world have justified the more stringent reporting requirements on the grounds of the changes in the international business and economic landscapes as a result of globalisation. These increased financial reporting requirements placed a tremendous burden on Small and Medium-sized Entities (SMEs). As a result, the need for differential reporting has been identified. The notion of differential reporting acknowledges that the users of the financial statements of SMEs have different needs compared to those of public companies. Stakeholders and users of financial statements of SMEs are generally in a position to acquire information additional to that disclosed in the financial statements. Financial information presented in the financial statements is therefore not required to be exhaustive. The users of public company financial statements on the other hand, generally do not have access to any additional information, other than that presented in the financial statements. The information required to be presented in the financial statements, must therefore be extensive in order to allow the user to make informed decisions based on the information. Various countries around the world have responded to this cry for differential reporting, and standard setters have adopted differential reporting in one form or the other. This study discusses the need for differential reporting and outlines the developments of differential reporting internationally and in South Africa, by means of a literature review.
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Guest houses success: the experience of five small enterprises in a turbulent environment
- Authors: De Winter, Tina
- Date: 2010-11-09T06:17:53Z
- Subjects: Success in business , Boarding houses , Small business
- Type: Thesis
- Identifier: uj:6949 , http://hdl.handle.net/10210/3459
- Description: M.Comm. , The study was concerned with the problem of the long-term survival and success of SMEs in the tourism industry in a turbulent global operating environment, as well as in hostile conditions, such as unexpected changes, or disaster in the operating environments of the small businesses. The study was prompted by the high failure rate of SMEs worldwide and in SA. The tourism industry has a predominance of small business and was identified by SA as the industry of choice to support for the achievement of macroeconomic goals that include economic stability, poverty alleviation and employment creation. The overall objective of the study was to explore and examine factors located within the three operating environments (macro, industry and micro), that contribute to the survival and long-term success of tourism SMEs (five guest houses on the Dolphin Coast), operating in a turbulent global environment and hostile conditions such as disaster and unexpected events. The study explored and explained factors from four interrelated perspectives, namely a macro, meso, micro and chrono contexts; to examine the way in which the guest houses engaged with their environments; to determine the role of networks and clusters in the process; and to determine the impact of industry-specific and sector-specific factors on success. The study used an embedded case study methodology to assess five tourism SMEs, guest houses, located on the east coast of SA in a region known as the Dolphin Coast. The area was studied over a three year period from 2005 to 2007, a period of favourable economic and industry conditions globally and nationally (SA). Slowing economic conditions, severe coastal storms, rates increases and changes in the external environment provided conditions of turbulence and hostility in which to assess the responses of the guest houses, compared to activity and perceptions in the prior stable conditions. Porter’s (1980; 1990; 1996; 2000) theoretical frameworks, including the Diamond Model, the Five Forces Model and augmentations to these models were used to guide the research and interpretation of results. The study concluded that various sets of interlinked factors located in the macro, industry and internal (micro) operating environment of the firm, contributed to the success and constraints experienced by the guest houses. The presence of elements in the environments does not facilitate or ensure success, but success is dependent on the actions and choices of leaders and managers. These actions and choices are, in turn, guided by the values and culture present in the environment and are affected by human agency and efficacy.
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The role of small, medium and micro-medium enterprises (SMMEs) in achieving sustainable development in the Limpopo Province
The alignment of information technology (IT) with business strategies in small and medium-size enterprises
- Authors: Makhathini, Bongumusa Emmanuel
- Date: 2011-09-15T07:58:04Z
- Subjects: Information technology , Business strategy , Small business
- Type: Thesis
- Identifier: uj:7213 , http://hdl.handle.net/10210/3847
- Description: M.Comm. , In the current economy, leveraging information technology (“IT”) is of vital importance to gain a sustainable competitive advantage. To accomplish this, companies must ensure the alignment of IT with business strategy. The fundamental goal of alignment should be for IT capabilities to support, enable, and, where appropriate, lead business strategy. Such alignment will maximize the effective use and value of IT in a strategic context. The alignment of IT and business strategy is not easily achieved and has always presented IT and business executives with numerous problems. One of many challenges facing small businesses is that IT strategy appears to take a parallel course to business strategy, maintaining a common direction with business strategy but at a distance. The objective of this research is to identify the impact of this separation of strategy, and understand how to enable enhanced alignment of IT and business strategy. The research scope focuses on the alignment of IT and business strategy in small and medium enterprises (SMEs). The Strategic Alignment Model will be used to analyse IT and business strategy alignment. The value that IT contributes to the organisation will be analysed in terms of three dimensions: systems, users and the wider business. The research will seek to establish whether a relationship exists between strategic alignment and the value of IT to the organisation. Data has been collected through structured interviews conducted with management executives from various SMEs. A concise introduction with each participant ensured a common understanding of key terms and concepts. Questionnaires were also mailed to willing participants where personal interviews were not possible. The findings of this study are expected to assist the alignment of IT and business strategy in SMEs in South Africa resulting in greater realisation of IT value and benefits.
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The impact of wage-setting institutions on the creation and long-term survival of small, medium and micro enterprises (SMMEs) in South Africa
- Authors: Hadebe, Siyabonga Patrick
- Date: 2011-10-11T07:58:45Z
- Subjects: Small business , Wages
- Type: Thesis
- Identifier: uj:7242 , http://hdl.handle.net/10210/3896
- Description: M.Comm. , The overall aim of this study was to investigate the impact of the wage-setting institutions, including bargaining councils and minimum wages, on the creation and long-term survival of small, medium and micro-enterprises (SMMEs) in South Africa. The objectives of the study focused on (i) gaining an understanding of how the legislative requirements impact on SMMEs; (ii) investigating what needs to be done to assist small companies in order to cope with the burden of compliance with the prescriptions and provisions of the law; (iii) demonstrating how the current wage setting mechanisms are partly responsible for the promotion of capital intensive firms at the expense of small- and medium sized entities; (iv) investigating how other countries approach the issue of exemption of small businesses from the stringent requirements of labour legislation; and (v) exploring the possibility for the establishment of a separate dispensation that may be utilised to govern the wage-setting environment for the SMME sector. The study commenced with the review of different literature sources. First, the importance of the SMME sector in wealth creation and the role of the government in developing SMMEs were dealt with. Existing constraints and problems, other than labour-related factors, facing the SMMEs were identified with the sole purpose of highlighting the general conditions under which they operate. The support offered by government and other stakeholders in developing SMMEs in South Africa were also discussed. Second, an overview of wage-setting institutions that shape the South African labour market, i.e. the National Economic Development and Labour Council (NEDLAC), bargaining councils and the Employment Conditions Commission (ECC) was provided.For the purposes of this study, two case studies (i.e. Sweden and Egypt) were chosen and a comparative analysis of these case studies focusing on the wage setting environment was performed, with the hope of drawing important lessons for South Africa. The cross-case analysis revealed that there are differences and similarities in the nature of wage-setting institutions that are found in Sweden, Egypt and South Africa.
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Online community portals for small businesses
- Authors: Chen, Her-Jiang
- Date: 2011-10-11T08:53:31Z
- Subjects: Small business , Information and communication technologies , Knowledge management
- Type: Thesis
- Identifier: uj:7252 , http://hdl.handle.net/10210/3905
- Description: M.A. , The first part of the study is a literature review which indicate that small, medium and micro enterprises (SMMEs) represent an important vehicle to address the challenges of job creation, economic growth and equity. Modern economy is driven by innovations and knowledge. Transforming information resources into knowledge and maximise the value of knowledge is the new challenge in achieving a sustainable competitive advantage. Information resources are needed by small businesses as much as their larger counter parts but small businesses are usually in a disadvantaged position in terms of finance and expertise. Information and communication technologies (ICTs) offer small businesses new opportunities in the information economy. Exciting ICT applications such as Web portals provide platforms for business communities to share information and communicate more efficiently than ever. Such information resources enable small businesses to react faster and adapt better to the changing global market. The stimulation of SMMEs must be seen as part of an integrated strategy to develop the society to a higher level. The research findings of this study provide all stakeholders in small business development in South Africa including government, industries and academics a better understanding and practical guideline for delivering information resources to small business owners and managers and the design of information portals that can address the information needs of small businesses in South Africa. The empirical components that follow the literature review comprised a questionnaire survey. The survey focused on non-franchised small businesses in the retail industry in the greater Johannesburg metropolitan. A total of 150 questionnaires completed by small business owners and managers were used for statistic analysis in this research. The questionnaire consisted of four sections: business biographic information, business information and agencies, information and communication technologies usage, and community and portal activities. The survey results revealed valuable insights and trends in the use of ICTs and attitudes towards information sharing amongst small business owners and managers. Textile, clothing, footwear and leather goods were the most popular trade for the small businesses use in the survey. Nearly all respondents prefer English for business communication and the businesses are typically owner manager with a small number of employees. Infrastructure for ICTs is in place for small businesses, but the usage level is still basic. Short message service (SMS) and e-mail are the most commonly used ICT tools. Traditional media such as television, radio, newspapers and magazines remain the most important source of information for these small business owners and managers. Younger businesses adapt better to ICTs than the older businesses. Despite a mixed attitude towards sharing business information, small business owners and managers showed a high level of interest in networking with other businesses, in particular with potential customers and suppliers. Most respondents do not belong to any professional or industrial organisation primarily because they were not aware of these organisations. Based on the literature review and the empirical research, the final conclusion that was made from this research is that Web community information portals can, to a great extent, promote the use of information resources for small businesses in South Africa. The results from this research give a better understanding and are useful guidelines to stakeholders in small business development in South Africa.
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The application of the theory of constraints in the small business sector
- Authors: Groenewald, Rupert Pierre
- Date: 2011-12-06
- Subjects: Small business , Theory of constraints (Management)
- Type: Mini-Dissertation
- Identifier: uj:1832 , http://hdl.handle.net/10210/4192
- Description: M.Comm. , A constraint is anything that limits a system's performance relative to its goal. The Theory of Constraints (TOC) is a systems-management philosophy developed by Eliyahu M. Goldratt since the early 1980's in a series of non-fiction books, articles and novels. The overall goal of this study is to understand the nature of the small business environment and the constraints it has to deal with. It is further part of this goal to determine if TOC could be made applicable in the small organisation. This goal is accomplished in the form of a literature study on the small business sector as well as on TOC. The method centres on gathering and analysing information from various literature sources. TOC's fundamental message is that constraints determine the performance of any system, and any system contains only a few constraints. Constraints may be found within or outside a company. A production bottleneck, which can limit the overall profitability of a manufacturing firm, is an example of an internal constraint. An external constraint could be a lack of customer orders. TOC suggests that the goal of for -profit firms is making money, and constraints must be effectively managed if this goal is to be achieved. This is then also the goal of most small businesses, i.e. to be profitable. They need to be profitable in order to survive. The survival and growth of the small business sector is critical to the social and economic development of South Africa. Small enterprises are an integral part of a healthy economy. They increase competitiveness, contribute a great deal to job-creation and can provide long-term jobs for millions. Small businesses faces however a wide range of constraints. These constraints should be addressed in order to sustain growth in the small business sector.
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An assessment of Peoples Bank Business' service to SMME's sponsored by the Khula Indemnity Scheme
- Authors: Bredenkamp, Monique
- Date: 2012-01-16
- Subjects: Small business , Small business finance , Banks and banking , Risk management , Commercial credit
- Type: Mini-Dissertation
- Identifier: uj:1910 , http://hdl.handle.net/10210/4271
- Description: M.Comm. , South Africa's Minister of Trade and Industry, Alec Irwin, stated that "one of the most striking features of the South African economy is the underdevelopment of small and medium enterprises" (Polkinghorne, 2001). A lack of sufficient capital and credit is often a major handicap to the development of SMMEs, particularly in their early growth stages. The growth and development .ofthe small, medium and micro enterprise (SMME) sector is acknowledged by most interest groups and policy-makers as being of critical importance to South Africa's ability to address the serious problems of unemployment. The South African government suggests that the SMME sector -with the help of government support -is capable of fulfilling these obj ectives and has introduced a number of supply-side measures to promote the formerly neglected sector. The overall objective is "to create an enabling environment" and "to level the playing field" (South Africa, 1995) in terms of national, regional and local policy frameworks for SMME development. Khula Enterprise Finance Ltd. was established in 1996 in terms of a Department of Trade and Industry (DT!) initiative and provides access to credit to SMMEs through various delivery mechanisms. One of these delivery mechanisms is a scheme that was created to assist SMMEs to access finance from traditional financial intermediaries by providing guarantees on a risksharing basis. Khula Enterprise Finance Ltd. has assisted in delivering almost 103 000 loans, credit guarantees and other facilities to SMMEs since the agency started operating in 1996. The total value of the loans and guarantees exceeds R550 million (Martins, 2001). ii However, Khula Enterprise Finance Ltd. has to contend with intermediaries applying its programmes -banks that are not renowned for their spirit of adventure, and welfare-oriented service organisations that lack business acumen (Khula: Some business ... , 2002: 53). The perception among the general population in South Africa is that most banks have neither the capacity nor the will to actively and creatively manage SMME loans to South Africa's emerging markets -"emerging" meaning political customers who have not been seen as critical in the past, but who are seen as such in the future. In South Africa these are largely people of black African descent (Polkinghorne, 2001). The target of Peoples Bank Business includes previously disadvantaged communities such as black persons, women and the disabled. Additionally, clients are assisted with venture capital or loans to fund start-up businesses. Emphasis is placed on assistance to the community in addition to traditional criteria such as bottom-line results. This study attempted to assess the service provided by Peoples Bank Business to clients sponsored by the Khula Indemnity Scheme. This study did not attempt to provide solutions to problems experienced, but rather to identify the deficiencies/gaps in service as experienced by clients of Peoples Bank Business.
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