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Promoting sustainability and growth in SMEs manufacturers through the adoption of strategic management in Pinetown.

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Strategic management is a major contributor to the success of any organization. It is not limited to larger companies or organization in specific sectors but to all. Due to the advances in technology and the opportunities being created, SMEs keep emerging either to compete or compliment large corporations. Most of the founders and managers in these SMEs may not have knowledge of strategic management or business-related academic background. The purpose of this study was to establish the level of adoption of strategic management practices by manufacturing SMEs in South Africa and its influence on their performance and sustainability. The study was anchored on four theories namely, resource-based view of the firm, the contingency theory, profit maximization and competition-based theory and survival-based theory. The research design employed in this study was survey method. The target population was 150 manufacturing SMEs that are based in Pinetown, South Africa. The sample size was of 108 manufacturing SMEs, being a calculation by the guidance of Sekaran and Bouge (2014)’s table of sample size. The researcher used a questionnaire as the primary data collection instrument. The study relied on primary data that was obtained from questionnaires that were distributed to the companies. The data was analysed using SPSS version 22 and descriptive statistics. Frequency distribution table were used to summarize the data that was received from the respondents. From the findings, the study did establish that majority of the companies did not have employees with a business-related academic background and also are not managed by employees who have experience in managing an organization. It was noted that adoption of strategic management is more in line with product strategies compared to other areas like human resource and marketing. The study found out also that the organizations believe that the adoption of strategic management has had an influence on the performance of their organizations. The study concludes that majority of the organisations have adopted strategic management practices in their operations. Most of the focus of the organisations has been in product strategy and operations. The study has also concluded that adoption of strategic management practices has an influence on the performance of the organization. The study recommends that manufacturing SMEs should focus on creating strategies that would help them gain a competitive advantage and also help in improving their performance for sustainability.


Masters Degree. University of KwaZulu-Natal, Durban.