Tool box for managers: lessons from New Zealand small business

R. Helen Samujh, University of Waikato, Hamilton, New Zealand
Siham El-Kafafi, Manukau Institute of Technology, Auckland, New Zealand

Purpose: To ascertain small business (SB) managers’ perspectives on their educational and support needs for their managerial tool box.

Design/Methodology/Approach: Semi-structured face-to-face interviews were conducted in New Zealand, with 19 SB managers to ascertain their perspectives about business learning opportunities. Data analysis was conducted using thematic analysis.

Findings: Four skills for small business learning were identified: basic (day-today management skills), coping (time management and priority setting skills), psychological (emotional/social skills) and networking skills.

Value of the paper: A model with three phases and three parallel streams of learning was developed that has potential to enhance survival rates of SBs. Further, the psychological aspects of being a SB manager are highlighted.

Research limitations/implications: Feelings and emotions may be more significant than capabilities.

Practical implications: The pedagogic practices should be accepting, affirming and confirming, to provide social/emotional and psychological support to SB managers.

Keywords: small business, adult learning, semi-structured face-to-face interviews


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