Strategic management in small and medium enterprises: a case study of Harare, Zimbabwe.
MetadataShow full item record
Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) have become critical to the development of all economies in the world in the last few decades and Zimbabwe, which is a volatile low-income country is not an exception. However, in spite of the abundance of literature about strategic management in large companies that has emerged as a recipe for success, not much literature is available specifically for SMEs in low-income countries and Zimbabwe in particular. This research sought to unveil and understand how strategic management is conducted in SMEs of Harare, Zimbabwe, based on the Wheelen and Hunger (2012) model. A face-to-face semi-structured interview case study approach was used between January and July 2016 by the researcher alone with either the owners or managers of the SMEs. The results of the twenty case studies are summarised in the form of tables showing the responses and percentages of the fifteen questions derived from the four phases of the model. The four phases are Environmental scanning; Strategy formulation; Strategy implementation; and Evaluation and Control. The results revealed a diverse mixture that ranged from thorough knowledge and practice of the model to absolute ignorance about the strategic management process. There was scarce evidence on recourse to risk management as a tool to mitigate risk related challenges that were encountered during the implementation phase of strategic management. Some of the recommendations were that the SMEs should embrace an integrated approach to strategic and risk management to avoid being overwhelmed by the risk related challenges of operating in a volatile environment since there is symbiosis between strategic and risk management. In addition, SMEs should empower the front line employees that interact with the customers regularly to resolve customer complaints on the spot and make decisions that take advantage of short lived opportunities that may arise in the economy to enhance success.