Strategic management practices and implementation in small and medium sized enterprises in Cyprus
Small and Medium Size Enterprises (SMEs) play an important role for the growth and the development of the economy of Cyprus as well as for all countries. Strategic management and its implementation has been come the main focus in SMEs because of its role in generating economic wealth. Although there are many advantages to use strategic management, there are still some SME organizations that do not use it because they believe that this process is only helpful for larger organizations. The purpose of this study was to establish strategic management practices and their influence on performance of SMEs in Cyprus. A theoretical framework was used for the process, regarding the effect of strategic management on SMEs performance. This included among others the definition of strategy, different types of strategy, Strategic management, competitive advantage. A descriptive statistic research method was applied for this study. The target population for this study was the top 50 SMEs of 2015 in Cyprus in Paphos, Limassol and Nicosia. The sample size of the study was 50 senior managers in the SMEs. For this study, a survey questionnaire was used as the primary collection of quantitative data. The questionnaire responses were cleaned, grouped into various categories and entered in the Microsoft EXCEL software to facilitate the analysis using descriptive statistics. The analyzed data was presented in distributions tables and pie charts for ease of understanding and analysis. All firms have a strategy, even if it is informal, unstructured, and sporadic. All organizations are heading somewhere, but unfortunately some organizations do not know where they are going. The old saying “If you do not know where you are going, then any road will lead you there!” accents the need for organizations to use strategic-management concepts and techniques. The strategic-management process is becoming more widely used by small firms, large companies, nonprofit institutions, governmental organizations, and multinational conglomerates alike. The process of empowering managers and employees has almost limitless benefits. Organizations should take a proactive rather than a reactive approach in their industry, and they should strive to influence, anticipate, and initiate rather than just respond to events. The strategic management process embodies this approach to decision making. It represents a logical, systematic, and objective approach for determining an enterprise’s future direction. The stakes are generally too high for strategists to use intuition alone in choosing among alternative courses of action. Successful strategists take the time to think about their businesses, where they are with their businesses, and what they want to be as organizations and then they implement programs and policies to get from where they are to where they want to be in a reasonable period of time. The research indicated that the SMEs in Cyprus are aware of the importance of using strategic management practices and the role of external and internal factors which is a combination that helps for the growth and development of the companies. It has been found that strategic management practices enhance performance and competitive advantage of SMEs in Cyprus.