Effect of management on planning response of small firms: roles of risk perception and entrepreneurial orientation

Clive Choo

Research output: ThesisDoctoral Thesis

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[Truncated] The primary aim of the thesis was to examine the effect of management on the planning response behaviour of the small firms in the Singaporean motor vehicle industry. It focuses on the roles played by risk perception (RP) and entrepreneurial orientation (EO) in influencing planning decision in the face of environmental uncertainty. More specifically, it examines the interplay between the owner-managers’ perception of the environmental uncertainty and risk, and their planning response (e.g., formal/informal, operational/strategic). In addition, the paper builds on and provides support for the SME planning response typology originally proposed by Mazzarol and Reboud (2009). Despite its geographic and sectoral context, the paper offers findings that can be generalised to a wider population.
Case study data were utilised to investigate how risk perceptions (RP) and the entrepreneurial orientation (EO) of the firm’s owner-manager’s influence their planning response to external opportunities and threats. These were issues raised by Mazzarol and Reboud (2009) in their original study. This research looks into antecedents affecting decisions on strategic planning. For example, the study investigates how owner-managers juggle between the implementation of strategic and operational plans in response to environmental uncertainties and organisational complexities. While an appropriate planning response should lead to better performance, this study does not presume that to be the case in general. The literature shows mixed outcomes in relation to the existence of direct links between planning and performance. Still, this thesis strives to provide insights for owner-managers to realise the needs and the benefits of strategic planning. The latter should contribute to growing their firms or at least to be able to manage the environmental uncertainties for survival.
The study posed six research questions. The first four research questions (RQ1 – RQ4) addressed the Mazzarol and Reboud (2009) typology. The four planning responses found in this typology are related to the three elements of the operational management framework given by D’Ambiose and Muldowney (1988). These elements are the managerial characteristics, organisational configuration and the task environment. The four strategic managerial response types are first, type 1 described as the ‘shopkeeper’ that focuses primarily on informal, operational plans for dealing with simple-certain scenarios. The next (type 2) is the ‘salesman’ who responds to a simple-uncertain scenario with informal, intuitive strategic planning. Type 3 is named the ‘administrator’ as it adopts formal operational planning in the face of complex-certain scenario. Finally there is the ‘CEO’ (type 4) who responds to complex-uncertain situations with formal strategic planning.
Original languageEnglish
QualificationDoctor of Philosophy
Publication statusUnpublished - 2014

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