Studies of entrepreneurial learning have shown a preference for learning from the business context and business relationships. Within this business context, larger organisations are focusing on their supply chains as a significant source of strategic advantage, impacting on the competences required by SMEs to meet expectations. Uses a supply chain competence map to investigate the level to which 39 manufacturing SMEs demonstrate the competences expected by suppliers. The research sample showed a high degree of external and supply chain orientation. Highlight the fact that, given the right support and a willingness to engage with the external business environment, supply chains offer an alternative development opportunity for SMEs. Moreover, it is a learning model that suits their preferred learning style. What is not clear is whether the customer organisations are willing, or able, to support that learning.
Journal of Small Business and Enterprise Development – Emerald Publishing
Published: Jun 1, 2003
Keywords: Supply‐chain management; Small‐ to medium‐sized enterprises; Management development; Competences; Customer relations
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