The development of a small business owner competency model

Fourie, Carmen (2020-03)

Thesis (MCom)--Stellenbosch University, 2020.

Thesis

ENGLISH ABSTRACT : South Africa is plagued with an extremely high unemployment rate, high levels of crime, poverty and income inequality. It is widely recognised that small businesses play a vital role in the economy of a country in terms of creating employment, alleviating poverty and income inequality and stimulating economic activity in rural areas. However, small businesses can only contribute to the economy if they survive and succeed in the marketplace. Due to the high failure rate of small businesses, there is an urgent need to address the performance of small business owners and small businesses. Owing to the crucial function small businesses play in the South African economy and the high failure rate of these businesses, it is essential that research on small businesses progress, and provide practical and usable information. The objective of this research is to develop a competency model for small business owners in South Africa that explains the performance outcomes of small businesses and owner-managers and the competencies of owner-managers. The literature overview informed the development of eight performance outcomes, and 12 competency clusters. The aim of this study was to ensure that the competencies and outcomes are as comprehensive as possible to avoid adding further to the inconsistencies and fragmented research. To achieve this, the Delphi method was used to evaluate the theorised outcomes and competencies, as well as their descriptions. Chapter 3 covered the Delphi technique and the application thereof to this study. A semi-structured questionnaire was administered to and completed by 20 small business owners. The Delphi was conducted over three rounds, with the participants receiving feedback after each round to refine their responses. The questionnaire was adapted as necessary after each round. Chapter 4 detailed the findings of the study. It was established that the eight proposed outcomes are comprehensive in describing the performance outcomes of a small business and small business owner. The definitions of the outcomes were refined through the feedback of the owner-managers. It was concluded that the proposed outcomes should remain on the list, but that the level of importance and relevance may differ due to various factors. A comparison of the outcomes revealed that survival and continuation, production and productivity, personal outcomes and human resources were rated as the most important. An examination of the 12 competencies resulted in minor alterations to the definitions of time management and socially responsible behaviour and ethics. From the owner-managers’ responses and recent literature on small businesses in South Africa, an additional competency was added. The owner-managers’ responses revealed that all the competencies should remain on the list of competency clusters, but that the importance, frequency and level of expertise required for the competency cluster may vary. Furthermore, the feedback from the Delphi revealed which of the competency clusters can be outsourced, and where owners feel that there can be a lack of competence which is compensated for in other ways. When comparing the competencies, they revealed fewer outliers relative to the outcomes, but personal competencies and strategic management were rated as the most important competency clusters with the highest level of consensus. This study is intended to contribute to the understanding of small businesses and small business owners in South Africa, by providing valuable insights into the complexity of owner-managers. Furthermore, this research lays the foundations for the development of a comprehensive competency model for small business owners in South Africa.

AFRIKAANSE OPSOMMING : Suid-Afrika word geteister met 'n buitengewoon hoë werkloosheidsyfer,sowel as ‘n hoë vlak van misdaad, armoede en inkomste-ongelykheid. Dit word wyd erken dat klein ondernemings 'n belangrike rol speel in die ekonomie van 'n land in terme van die skep van werk, die verligting van armoede en inkomste-ongelykheid, en die stimulering van ekonomiese aktiwiteite in landelike gebiede. Klein ondernemings kan egter slegs tot die ekonomie bydra as hulle oorleef en op die mark slaag. As gevolg van die hoë mislukkingsyfer van klein ondernemings, is daar 'n dringende behoefte om aandag te gee aan die prestasie van kleinsake-eienaars en kleinsake-ondernemings. Weens die belangrike funksie wat kleinsake-ondernemings in die Suid-Afrikaanse ekonomie speel, en die hoë mislukkingskoers van hierdie ondernemings, is dit noodsaaklik dat navorsing oor klein ondernemings vorder wat praktiese en bruikbare inligting verskaf. Die doel van hierdie navorsing is om 'n bevoegdheidsmodel vir kleinsake-eienaars in Suid-Afrika te ontwikkel wat die prestasie-uitkomste van kleinsake-ondernemings en eienaar-bestuurders en die bevoegdhede van eienaar-bestuurders verduidelik. Die literatuuroorsig het die ontwikkeling van agt prestasie-uitkomste, en 12 vaardigheidsgroepe, uiteengesit. Die doel van hierdie studie was om te verseker dat die bevoegdhede en uitkomste so omvattend as moontlik is om te verhoed dat dit verder bydra tot die teenstrydighede en gefragmenteerde navorsing. Om dit te bereik, is die Delphi-metode gebruik om die teoretiese uitkomste en bevoegdhede, sowel as die beskrywings daarvan, te evalueer. Hoofstuk drie behandel die Delphi-tegniek en die toepassing daarvan op hierdie studie. 'n Semi-gestruktureerde vraelys is deur 20 kleinsake-eienaars geadministreer en voltooi. Die Delphi is oor drie rondes uitgevoer, en die deelnemers het na elke rondte terugvoering ontvang om hul antwoorde te verfyn. Die vraelys is na elke rondte aangepas soos nodig. Hoofstuk vier bevat die bevindinge van die studie. Daar is vasgestel dat die agt voorgestelde uitkomste omvattend is in die beskrywing van die prestasie-uitkomste van 'n kleinsake-onderneming en kleinsake-eienaar. Die definisies van die uitkomste is verfyn deur die terugvoer van die eienaar-bestuurders. Daar is tot die gevolgtrekking gekom dat die voorgestelde uitkomste op die lys moet bly, maar dat die vlak van belangrikheid en relevansie weens verskillende faktore kan verskil. 'n Vergelyking van die uitkomste het aan die lig gebring dat oorlewing en voortsetting, produksie en produktiwiteit, persoonlike uitkomste en personeelbestuur as die belangrikste beskou is. 'n Ondersoek van die 12 bevoegdhede het gelei tot geringe aanpassings van die definisies van tydsbestuur en sosiaal verantwoordelike gedrag en etiek. Uit die antwoorde van eienaars-bestuurders en onlangse literatuur oor klein ondernemings in Suid-Afrika, is 'n bykomende bevoegdheid bygevoeg. Uit die antwoorde van eienaars-bestuurders word aan die lig gebring dat al die bevoegdhede op die lys van bevoegdheidsgroepe moet bly, maar dat die belangrikheid, frekwensie en vlak van kundigheid wat nodig is vir die bevoegheids-groepering kan verskil. Verder het die terugvoering van die Delphi aan die lig gebring watter van die bevoegdheids-groeperings uitgekontrakteer kan word en waar eienaars voel dat daar 'n gebrek aan bevoegdheid kan wees waarvoor op ander maniere vergoed kan word. By die vergelyking van die bevoegdhede het hulle minder uitskieters ten opsigte van die uitkomste aangedui, maar persoonlike bevoegdhede en strategiese bestuur is beskou as die belangrikste bevoegdheidsgroepe met die hoogste konsensusvlak. Hierdie studie is bedoel om 'n bydrae te lewer tot die begrip van kleinsake-ondernemings en die eienaars van kleinsake-ondernemings in Suid-Afrika deur waardevolle insigte te gee oor die kompleksiteit van eienaarsbestuurders. Verder het hierdie navorsing die grondslag gelê vir die ontwikkeling van 'n omvattende bevoegdheidsmodel vir kleinsake-ondernemings en hul eienaars in Suid-Afrika.

Please refer to this item in SUNScholar by using the following persistent URL: http://hdl.handle.net/10019.1/108132
This item appears in the following collections: