Projects / Programmes source: ARIS

The role of characteristics of managers of small and medium sized enterprises and their networking in technological development, innovativeness and growth

Research activity

Code Science Field Subfield
5.04.03  Social sciences  Administrative and organisational sciences  Management 

Code Science Field
S190  Social sciences  Management of enterprises 

Code Science Field
5.06  Social Sciences  Political science 
manager, small and medium sized enterprises, entrepreneur, entrepreneurship, management, personal networks, personality characteristics, technological development, innovativeness, growth, model, Slovenia
Evaluation (rules)
source: COBISS
Researchers (13)
no. Code Name and surname Research area Role Period No. of publicationsNo. of publications
1.  14119  PhD Boštjan Antončič  Economics  Head  2013 - 2016  542 
2.  32194  PhD Jasna Auer Antončič  Administrative and organisational sciences  Researcher  2013 - 2015  129 
3.  28328  PhD Tina Bratkovič Kregar  Economics  Researcher  2014 - 2016  125 
4.  18306  PhD Mateja Drnovšek  Economics  Researcher  2014 - 2016  431 
5.  26367  PhD Doris Gomezelj Omerzel  Administrative and organisational sciences  Researcher  2015 - 2016  243 
6.  35502  PhD Jana Hojnik  Administrative and organisational sciences  Junior researcher  2015 - 2016  140 
7.  33056  PhD Mojca Jakačić  Sociology  Researcher  2014 - 2016 
8.  19762  PhD Maja Konečnik Ruzzier  Economics  Researcher  2013 - 2016  388 
9.  31086  Zdravko Kozinc  Political science  Researcher  2013 - 2014 
10.  37927  Martina Petan    Technical associate  2015 - 2016  14 
11.  28257  PhD Mitja Ruzzier  Administrative and organisational sciences  Researcher  2013 - 2016  265 
12.  32066  PhD Alenka Slavec Gomezel  Economics  Researcher  2014 - 2016  201 
13.  29421  Urška Zelič  Political science  Researcher  2013 - 2014 
Organisations (3)
no. Code Research organisation City Registration number No. of publicationsNo. of publications
1.  0584  University of Ljubljana, School of Economics and Business (SEB)  Ljubljana  1626922  42,562 
2.  2156  EPISCENTER, Market Research and Direct Marketing Ltd.  Ljubljana  1545329  208 
3.  7097  University of Primorska, Faculty of management  Koper  1810014002  10,102 
Scientific background: Technological development and innovativeness are important aspects of small and medium sized enterprise (SME) development, growth and wealth creation. SME managers are central for performance of their firms and are usually crucial decision makers for introduction of technological newness and innovation. The network perspective can be important for entrepreneurship, in general, and for innovation and technology development in management of SMEs, in particular, at both the individual level and the organizational level. The personality of managers of SMEs may be crucial for their SME-related decisions. Problem identification: In this study, we address the research issue (how do network and psychological characteristics of managers of SMEs impact their firm technological development, innovativeness and growth), which has not been given enough emphasis in past reseach, by investigating the network and psychological characteristics of managers of SMEs as important antecedents of technological development, innovativeness and growth of firms. Research objectives: Key research objectives are to develop and empirically test a model linking (through hypotheses) network and psychological characteristics of managers of SMEs (resource-acquisition networking elements, psychological elements – specific and general) and technological development, innovativeness and growth of firms, as well as providing important suggestions for performance improvements of Slovenian SMEs. Scientific relevance: No past study has included and tested the SME managers’ resource-acquisition networking elements and psychological elements relating them to firm technological development, innovativeness and growth in a model. The proposed research project will fill the gap in research. Methods: The model elements and questionnaire items for their measurement will be conceptually developed. Representative sample(s) of Slovenian managers of SMEs will be used for data collection through survey research (for example, n=500). Constructs will be tested by using exploratory and confirmatory factor analysis. Hypotheses and the model will be tested by using multiple regression analysis and structural equation modelling. The findings of the quantitative analysis may be complemented by conducting also some case studies. Relevance and potential impact of results of the proposed research project: Managers of SMEs are important as persons for Slovenian firms and the national economy. The proposed research project has a potential to uncover some important network and psychological elements that drive firm technological development, innovativeness and growth. Results of the project will include suggestions for improvement of technology and innovativeness-related development and growth of Slovenian SMEs and the national economy. Extraordinary socio-economically-relevant achievements of the candidate for the project leader: The candidate for the project leader has been successful in conducting basic research projects in the area of entrepreneurship and management of SMEs and received important international research awards (for example, best paper awards at both the most important entrepreneurship research conferences in the World - the Academy of Management and the BCERC; two journal paper awards from Emerald). Organisation and implementability of the proposed research project: The research project team will be composed of researchers from three institutions (UL Faculty of Economics, UP Faculty of Management and Alianta d.o.o.). The project leader will manage, organize and supervise the implementation and will be active in implementation of the project. On the basis of his past experience with basic research projects, the proposed research project will be implemented as proposed in the application form.
Significance for science
New Scientific Discoveries Through the development and testing of the new model of network and personality managers’ characteristics driven firm technology development, innovativeness and growth we contributed important new findings about impacts of networking and personality elements on technological development, innovativeness and growth of SMEs as an important part of the national economy. In particular, we were able to determine, with a higher probability than before, which network and personality element(s) are relatively more important (have higher impact in the models) than other elements. Improved Methodological Instruments By using structural equation modeling we achieved some our analyses to be more complete than past research, which has been in a large extent using multiple regression analysis or even more simple analytical techniques. In this research testing and development of constructs will also be emphasized. Research Field Development This research extended the SME management research area in the part of networking and personality-based technology development, innovation and growth.
Significance for the country
By discovering regularities and nature of relationships between networking and personality of managers and technological development, innovativeness and growth at the level of firms and consequentially at the overall economy level, this research provides findings and recommendations, which will have an important role in fostering competitiveness and economic growth. On one hand, it contributes to formation of instruments and recommendations for improved analysis, management and acceleration of firm technology development and innovation activities. With this, we expect, our research will contribute to faster and somewhat less risky development of SMEs, and help accelerate performance improvement in terms of growth and consequentialy competitiveness of Slovenian firms. Possible effects of this research on economic growth are not expected only in areas of managerial networking and personality induced technology development and innovativeness, but also in other areas reached by this research (for example, improved management education may increase firm growth). The research project is important for the promotion of the country abroad; this was accomplished by presentations and publications of research papers related to the project at international conferences and in international scientific journals. The project was relevant also for acquisition of new knowledge about managers’ networking and personality-related issues from research from various foreign countries. The research project fostered international research collaboration (for example, with researchers from Europe, the United States, and Asia).
Most important scientific results Annual report 2013, 2014, 2015, final report
Most important socioeconomically and culturally relevant results Annual report 2013, 2014, 2015, final report
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