International Journal of Business and Social Science

ISSN 2219-1933 (Print), 2219-6021 (Online) DOI: 10.30845/ijbss

Influence of Owner/Manager Personal Characteristics on the Demand for Business Development Services by Micro and Small Enterprises: Perspectives from the Upper Echelons Theory
Pius Kamau Ng’ang’a, Dr. Patrick Karanja Ngugi, Prof. Romanus Odhiambo

The importance of Micro and Small Enterprises (MSEs) in economic development has been documented for a long time mainly because of the potential of these enterprises for employment creation especially in developing countries. Despite the significant role played by MSEs, they face many challenges which constrain their survival and growth. One important aspect of MSEs is that these enterprises lack sufficient internal skills and experience to handle the challenges that negatively affect their development, which therefore necessitates the use of external business development services (BDS). Indeed, existing literature confirms that firms which use BDS experience superior performance compared to others which do not use. However, extant literature confirms low awareness and usage of BDS by many micro and small enterprises in developing countries. This paper is reviews the Upper Echelons Theory and other important literature and then develops a conceptual framework to describe the influence of personal characteristics of firm owner/managers on the demand for business development services by MSEs. This study establishes awareness, age and education attainment as the key individual characteristics that drive demand for BDS by micro and small enterprises.

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