سابقه انعطاف پذیری سازمانی در بحران اقتصادی: یک مطالعه تجربی از شرکت های کوچک و متوسط پوشاک و نساجی سوئدی
|کد مقاله||سال انتشار||مقاله انگلیسی||ترجمه فارسی||تعداد کلمات|
|21411||2014||19 صفحه PDF||سفارش دهید||13490 کلمه|
Publisher : Elsevier - Science Direct (الزویر - ساینس دایرکت)
Journal : International Journal of Production Economics, Volume 147, Part B, January 2014, Pages 410–428
Economic recessions have created challenges for small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) and contributed to disruptions requiring them to be resilient. At times of economic crises, SMEs face major threats to their financial performance and ultimately to their survival. The average number of Swedish textile and clothing (T&C) firms that went bankrupt during the recent crisis (2007–09) escalated twofold compared to the average over 2000–10. Following the 1990s economic crisis nearly 12 per cent of the T&C companies went bankrupt in 1994–95. The structural industrial statistics also plummeted in these crisis years, aggravating many internal problems in SMEs as a ripple effect. This study concentrates on the constraints faced by Swedish textile-related SMEs, primarily during the economic crises of the past two decades (1990–93 and end 2007–09), and identifying the antecedents and their different degrees of influence on economic resilience. It also deepens the understanding of the underlying patterns in the antecedents, observed in SMEs, favouring or inhibiting resilience due to their significance or deficit, respectively. The paper adopts an exploratory research conducted in two phases, first through a survey and followed by a series of interviews, responded by eight Swedish T&C SMEs. Annual reports provide a detailed account of the financial performances of these firms. A conceptual resilience framework was developed earlier, based on a review of extant literature. Findings provide insight on how the responding firms considered resourcefulness, viz. cash flow and investment finance, relational networks and material assets, along with ‘dynamic competitiveness’ through strategic and operational flexibility to be key enablers of resilience and financial performance, mostly through generation of profitability, cash flow/liquidity and sales turnover. Responses also highlighted the indirect influence of the ‘soft’ learning and cultural aspects like attentive leadership and collectiveness on economic resilience, considered tacit and ingrained in small or medium-sized family businesses. Additional process initiatives, in particular growth and continuity strategies, were also emergent patterns to properly utilize and direct the antecedents for resilience development. These are beneficial for firms to understand the key areas, in which to invest for developing resilient business models.
The recent economic recessions and global trade conditions have created challenges for many Western economies and their embedded industries, particularly to the small and medium-sized enterprises3 (SMEs). According to Acs et al. (1990), SMEs are particularly vulnerable to failures in both continuous shifts and unpredictable events. They are susceptible to financial fluctuations (i.e. cash flow), legislation, supply network relationships (i.e. power issues), changing customer requirements and demands and even collapsing of national financial systems (as it happened recently in Greece) (Bhamra and Dani, 2011). The Scandinavian market, however, has been somewhat stable with stagnant growth rates though the main export market has fallen during the recent global credit crunch since 2007–08 (Keay, 2012). There has not been any particular evidence showing the effect has been more pronounced in case of the textile-related sectors, but it is noticeable from Swedish central statistics that the average number of Swedish textile and clothing (T&C) firms that went bankrupt during the recent crisis (2007–09) escalated twofold, compared to the average over 2000–10 (cf. Fig. 1—adapted from SCB database statistics). The 1990s economic crisis was the toughest in the Swedish context, with nearly 12 per cent of the T&C firms going bankrupt in 1994–95. It was also evident that most of these firms were small with less than 50 employees.4The structural industrial statistics also plummeted in these crisis years. For example, during the global credit crunch (2007–09) the textile and wearing apparel industries made massive losses (from a profit of 419 mSEK in 2006 to losses of 387, 223 and 155 mSEK, respectively, 2007 onwards) (adapted from SCB database statistics).5 Other indicators, like the net turnover and total assets, also reduced by 19.4 per cent and 8 per cent, respectively, though no substantial dip was observed in other structural indicators. During the 1990–93 crisis the repercussion was worse as the total operating revenues and value addition for the industries declined by 24 per cent and 20.4 per cent, respectively, though it picked up again in 1994 but did not reach the level before the crisis until 1997.5 It is thus evident that the Swedish textile-related SMEs faced major threats to their financial performance and ultimately to their survival at times of economic crises, and thus economic resilience has become a prerequisite to be fostered in such firms in order to be successful. In this context, the central objective of the paper is to identify the nature of problems and constraints faced by Swedish textile related SMEs, primarily during the economic crises of the past two decades (mainly 1990–93 and end 2007–09) as well as the antecedents and the differential degree of influence they exhibit on economic resilience. The study also deepens the understanding of the underlying patterns favouring or inhibiting resilience in such firms.
نتیجه گیری انگلیسی
A major conclusion that emanates from this research is how firms can develop their resilience potential by tuning their strategic assets and capabilities (available antecedents of resilience). For the Swedish SMEs the key among them are: (a) investment finance and cash flow, (b) material assets and networking, (c) strategic and operational flexibility, and (d) attentive leadership. These evident patterns are revealed through the discussion above. Financial reserves and their mobility enhanced investment opportunities for the resilient responding firms through sufficient growth perspectives (along product and market developments), while firms that showed financial constraints succumbed to the crises effects, showing bad financial performance. This is supported by close relationships in the value chain for the resilient responding firms to continue getting considerable order bookings from the customers and for price negotiations with suppliers. Such profitable inter-organizational relationships (IOR) also ensured easy access to raw material assets at competitive price, as discussed above. Next, flexibility in strategic decision-making was evident in resilient firms for proper crisis strategic planning, complemented by flexibility in manufacturing and distribution to get cost and lead time advantages over competitors. For the manufacturing firms, economic resilience through production effectiveness also demanded proper execution of lean management and continuous improvement (CI) approaches. Overall, the resilient respondents were able to efficiently utilize their slack financial and material assets through better relational networking, higher flexibility and continuous improvement (CI) to develop resilient economic performance in crises, steered attentively through realistic leadership and decision-making. Practical implications of the research findings to the business practitioners are manifold. First, Swedish textile SMEs can have an understanding of the underlying factors/antecedents and their differential effects, bolstering resilience for successful performance amidst crises. Particularly this unfolds great possibility for firms to devise resilient solutions based on their financial and material asset availability, enhanced by higher flexibility, continuous improvement in efficiency and networking by developing IORs, for dealing with future economic crises, like the double-dip recession or Euro-zone crisis. Second, firms can have a clearer understanding of ‘where’ and ‘how’ to invest to develop their unique response repertoire in crisis periods, essential for building strategic readiness, and utilize the slack resources for resilience building (Ismail et al., 2011). This can eventually have a strong impact on a firm's resilience by addressing a range of crisis-related problems. From the academic perspective, first, there is little empirical research investigating the different effects of various organizational capabilities, unifying resource-based view, dynamic capabilities and organizational learning to explore their relationship in crisis situations to support resilience development. This paper conceptualizes such a framework for validation. Furthermore, it investigates empirically, in the context of global economic crises, how resilience development is favoured or inhibited by the significance or lack of antecedents, respectively. However, considering the diversity and inherent complexity in the topic of resilience for success/survival of firms there are some limitations of the present study mainly related to: (a) its narrow economic crisis context for Swedish textile SMEs i.e. lesser possibility of generalizability over diverse environmental turbulences, as the study was confined to a homogeneous environmental context (two economic crises) for a particular sector (textile and related) and location (Sweden), (b) that the study mainly highlights the effects of the internal building blocks of resilience of a firm, while the external inhibitors or facilitators like globalization or industrial changes and policies are not detailed separately in the survey part, (c) that the study does not capture the interactive (or moderated) effects of each antecedent on economic resilience of the firms, in orchestration with other antecedents as control variables; (d) that the study only highlights the ‘contents’ of building resilience rather than the strategic process of growth or continuity to achieve it. However, the theoretical framework of the paper is universal for testing and application in case of any type of environmental turbulence and in any time-spatiality. Thus certain future research directions are left open. This can be related to either understanding the process of utilizing the available antecedents along a process of generating firms' crisis response repertoire, following pattern identification along the strategic and operational modes executed by firms, or it can be quantitative works related to investigation of combined effects of the antecedents in enabling resilience, or a comparative evaluation of resilience antecedents and their different effects for large corporations and SMEs.