Title: Drivers of performance in small- and medium-sized firms – an empirical study

Authors: Nicholas O'Regan, Abby Ghobadian

Addresses: Centre for Interdisciplinary Strategic Management Research, Middlesex University Business School, The Burroughs, London, NW4 4BT, UK. ' Centre for Interdisciplinary Strategic Management Research, Middlesex University Business School, The Burroughs, London, NW4 4BT, UK

Abstract: Many managing directors focus on short-term performance financial related results on the basis that survival can lead to growth and enhanced performance in the longer-term. In addition, managing directors seem to think that financial returns, short-term and long-term performance can be achieved using the same strategic and organisational activities. Arguably this is one of the main reasons why firms have difficulty achieving ||performance targets||. The authors contend that the consideration of ||performance|| within an organisational context will overcome this difficulty. This paper develops a systematic framework for the achievement of effective performance. It confirms the close association between strategic planning, organisational culture, leadership and performance and depicts the attributes of each concept associated with performance. Finally, the analysis confirms that high performing firms place a much higher emphasis on strategic planning attributes and have stronger and more defined leadership and culture styles compared with low performing firms.

Keywords: organisational culture; leadership; organisational performance; strategy; strategic planning; SMEs; small and medium-size enterprises.

DOI: 10.1504/IJBPM.2004.005013

International Journal of Business Performance Management, 2004 Vol.6 No.2, pp.153 - 170

Published online: 16 Aug 2004 *

Full-text access for editors Access for subscribers Purchase this article Comment on this article