Strategic Interventions and Performance of Small and Medium Enterprises in Nigeria

Niyi Israel Akeke
International Journal of Community Development and Management Studies  •  Volume 3  •  2019  •  pp. 017-029

The study seeks to examine the strategic interventions needed to promote the performance of small and medium enterprises (SMEs). Specifically, it analyzed the relationship between organizational learning, cultural values and SMEs performance.


The performance of SMEs has been identified as one of the most important success factors behind growth, development and industrialization of nations. In anticipation of such outcome, SMEs have been given adequate attention in emerging economies such as Nigeria but it has performed below expectations. Existing studies noted that business organizations are able to develop by employing strategic management interventions. Strategic interventions involve a deliberate attempt to move organizations towards a more effective state and improve performance. The expected components of strategic interventions needed to achieve the expected change in performance of SMEs are organizational learning and cultural change. However, there has not been a complete research outcome on the relevance of organizational learning and cultural change to SMEs performance in Nigeria. Therefore, the main research question is; whether organization learning and cultural values contribute significantly to SMEs performance.


In this study, the researcher employs quantitative research methods. Structured questionnaires are used to collect primary data. The study uses data set of 571 owners/managers of registered SMEs with the Ministry of Commerce and Trade in the study area. The structural equation modeling (SEM) was performed to address the research objectives.


The study provides useful information to understanding the path to achieving SMEs performance through application of strategic interventions approach. It highlights the relevance of organizational learning to improving market share and profit in the small and medium enterprises sector.


The findings indicate that organizational learning can positively boost performance of the SMEs but cultural values, though covaried with organizational learning do not add to performance outcome of the SMEs. The organizational learning is found to play the direct role of boosting performance through team learning, empowerment, embedded system, inquiry and dialogue and continuous learning respectively.

Recommendations for Practitioners

Increasing performance of small businesses that impact on overall development is a considerable challenge. Consequently, the study highly recommends integration of strategic intervention that is anchored on organizational learning constructs for satisfactory outcome in the SMEs. In achieving this, less emphasis on cultural values may be useful.

Recommendation for Researchers

It is suggested that this type of study needs to be conducted in public-owned establishments and business corporations with large business structure. This may help to further establish the theoretical relevance of strategic interventions to SMEs performance across various dimensions of business forms and organizations.

Impact on Society

The findings provide adequate pathway to societal development through SMEs. For the expected growth of society to emerge through investments in SMEs, stakeholders in the society should take advantage of information embedded in strategic interventions in their performance drive.

Future Research

The study outcomes are much relevant to developing economies in need of small and medium business interventions to tackle growth, unemployment and societal development. Future research, especially in developing and emerging economies may explore the relevance of the approach to boosting small business in their area. The specific contribution of cultural values in that context may be tested.
Strategic interventions, organizational learning, cultural values, performance, SMEs
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