Enhancing the Role of Leadership in Small and Medium Size Enterprise Performance in Suriname
Keywords:leadership style, emotional intelligence, SME performance
Leadership is an important determining factor of success in the highly turbulent business and market environment. Firms of all size, especially SMEs, need to adapt successfully in the rapid changing market places. Like in most developed and developing countries SMEs forms the backbone of the Surinamese economy. However, the Surinamese SMEs have a low productivity and growth rate compared to other Caribbean countries, and regions. Since leadership research is scarce in Suriname, this multiple case study is the best fit to get in-depth understanding of the role of leadership in the performance of SMEs. Identifying themes and concepts essential to significantly enhance innovation, productivity, and performance is aimed. Transformational and transactional leadership dimensions, ability and trait emotional intelligence (EI) models, and the balanced scorecard (BSC) have been applied as the theoretical foundation. The study shows that the SMEsfocuses mainly on technical topics related to tasks and responsibilities, resulting in the application of more transactional skills. Transformational, and emotional intelligence skills are based on experience build on the job, suggesting weak structures and procedures to support the application of these skills. Performance measurement is implemented separately and incompletely, and is not based and structured on a common performance management model. An up to date overview of performance indicators for proper regular performance monitoring is missing. A training program, SME enhancement program, research and development program, and finance program that fit the Surinamese business culture are strongly recommended. This study provides an adequate starting point for these programs.
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