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Limited management and leadership skills are impacting productivity, which is holding back many smaller businesses in the UK, according to new research.
The UK economy may be growing faster than any advanced nation, but productivity is a problem: output per hour worked still 2% below its pre-crisis level according to the Office of National Statistics (ONS).
To better understand the SME sector, Warwick Business School research identified a number of reasons the UK SME sector is currently underperforming: poor management skills, especially entrepreneurial skills are the main reasons for hampering their growth.
“The evidence shows under-developed leadership and management skills and widespread failure to adopt management best practices are constraining the performance and growth of a large number of SMEs,” says Professor Hayton of Warwick Business School. “The results indicate skills matter, but not all skills matter equally, given limited resources, especially time, SME owner-managers may benefit most significantly from ensuring that their entrepreneurship skills and leadership skills are well polished.”
The study showed the importance of understanding the benefits of a formal approach to strategic planning, communication, and adaptation, in order to enhance the efficiency. This allows owner managers to develop the sustainability of their organisations.
“Best practice strategic management is also related to the implementation of best practices in human resource management (HRM),” Hayton adds, “which are in turn, positively and significantly associated with turnover and productivity.”
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