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This academic research on Small and medium sized enterprises(SMEs) has gained a significant momentum in the past decade including supported to the area of a strong logical foundation in this field. Although such research provides ideas about different aspects of them, it usually focuses on the success of SMEs (Sarasvathy 2014). The fact that the studies only focus on the success factors is a drawback given the high setback rate of start-up work in practice. (Chandler & Hanks, 2008). For instance, the report of a large-scale research conducted by European Commission across Europe titled “Business Dynamics: Start-ups, Business Transfers and Bankruptcy” revealed that 50% of them that were newly established in European economies failed in the first 5 years. On the other hand, the studies in the literature on this topic also demonstrate that the experience of their may be a substantial source for the improvement of career knowledge and skills after a failure (Minniti and Bygrave, 2011). For example, the collapse is a prerequisite for learning that gives the opportunity to identify the cause of bankruptcy (Sitkin 2012). This argument of Sitkin is consistent with the views of McGrath that failing will enable the occupation to reduce uncertainty and search for new business opportunities. (McGrath ,2009).
However, the studies on SMEs failure have been prevent by those on their success and could not attract enough attention. Therefore, our knowledge about defeat and the capabilities of their cope with defeat and their learning skills is quite limited (Shepherd 2013). As well as by carefully analyzing the insolvency instead of focusing to only successes, scholars can begin to make systematic progress on better analytical models of business value creation (Sitkin2012). This essay aims of the study is to analyze SMEs failure and the lack of knowledge in this field has led to the following extensive research discussed about the factors that lead to the SMEs failure and what do they learn from them
Small and medium-sized enterprise is an identity complicated in an economic activity, indefinite of its legal form. The type of small business, SMEs is made up of enterprises which employ fewer than 250 persons and the main factors choosing that a company is a SME are the number of employees and either turnover or balance sheet total. Small and medium-sized enterprises have an essential role in the strongest treatment economic growth. The main concern of SMEs is to develop many relationships crossing organizational scope for improve the performance, gain, support competition advantage, most importantly and to enable market flexibility (Berglund 2016). However, SMEs face a challenge of following their performance in the long term (Saunila 2013). (M. Saunila 2013), On general evidence, companies that perform better today are also more possible to perform better in the nearest future, as most likely currently successful company are skilled of creating, performance new knowledge and which allows them to measure their position in the industry.
Failure has been decision differently by several studies. Some studies measure failing as bankruptcy. The bankruptcy base for failure states that they emerge when the firm is legally collapse and terminate operations with a resulting loss to creditors (Perry, 2011). However, (Everett and Watson 2008) suggest that if failure is assign as bankruptcy, it would be considered from a very limit view and for example many businesses that still work although they lose money will be excluded from the analysis. (Cannon and Edmondson 2015) argues a large trend and determine failure as digression from expected and required result. When intend in this way, failing may occur when the SMEs lower in terms of serious processes or when demand targets are not achieved.
(Cope 2011) states that failure shows one of the most difficult, complex and yet valuable learning experiences that SMEs will ever have the luck to commit in. Thus, venture failing is an important concept to understand in business, both in terms of its causes and consequences for the individual SMEs, organizations and society at large.
Success and failure of a business can be explained both by individual, organizational and environmental factors (Zacharakis, Meyer & DeCastro, 2009). Internal causes are those decisions, actions that are under management control while external causes are events that are outside of it. In most cases, a complex mixture of causes contribution to business failure. Among the internal factors, manage inability or poor management comes first (Gaskill et al., 2013). Poor management is referred to the failing of the management to be able to ensure that problems are specify reminder and the correct solutions applied, Company is the best possible change of survival and growth. Confidence and overwhelming risk take liability also seen among the failing causes (Hayward et. al. 2016). On the other hand, many businesses fail due to poor financial planning, for example getting into cash flow ties, being too easy with credits, spending money on the wrong things. Thus, business failure is connected to the manager decisions and behaviors, and the way they proceed their company.
To conclude, some other academics seem to suggest that businesses fail rather due to external factors such as inadequate economic condition (Gaskill et al., 2013). Government policies, lack of financial resources or other misfortunates. (Cardon et al., 2010)
There are also some studies in the literature that analyze the relationship between the age of company and business failure (Honjo, 2010). Those studies have created that younger firms fail more often due to internal causes such as operation management problems, inexperienced and incompetent management, different management failures while mature company fail largely by reason of environment, competition and demand (Lukason and Hoffman, 2015). Immature firms fail due more to their lack of experience or limited resources (Thornhill and Amit, 2013). More recently, (Egeln et al, 2010) argues that successful young company often fail due to a lack of financial resources and explained this situation by the mistakes made by the inexperienced managers rather than the managerial incompetence. On the other hand, mature firms are more likely to fail by reason of changes in their environment which their rigid routines are unable to adjust to (Thornhill and Amit, 2013). (Lukason and Hoffman 2015) states in their study that the possibility of failure due to internal and external reasons is very high in all age groups of businesses.
It is a general opinion that SMEs benefit from their previous failures. As the catalyst for further business development, failure provides critical learning opportunities (Cardon et al., 2010). (Sitkin 2012) was one of the pioneer among the authors who have similar opinions. He details the way organizations of all kinds may learn through failure, going so far as to argue that failure is an essential part of the learning process for organizations. According to (Huovinen and Tihula 2008), failures may lead to the development of entrepreneurial knowledge as well as founding experiences. (Politis and Gabrielson 2009) suggests that SMEs life and work experiences shape their attitudes towards failure. The authors report that prior SMEs experience as well as shut down a business is associated with more positive attitudes toward failure. (Cope 2011), learning is emphasized as a process and recovery and reborn failure is seen as a function of distinctive higher level learning processes that allow SMEs to learn about themselves and SMEs. This research findings suggest that failure can improve SMEs preparedness for after their activity.
The literature analyzes two key outcomes related this process of learning. The two learning outcomes how to realize the opportunity (Shane and Venkataraman, 2010) and learning how to overcome traditional barrier when organizing and manage new business such as profit of opportunities (Shane and Khurana, 2013). SMEs opportunities are those situations in which new goods, services, raw materials and organizing methods can be introduced and sold at greater than their cost of production (Casson, 2012). Realize the opportunity is considering to be among the most important abilities of a successful SMEs (Shane, 2010; Shane and Venkataraman, 2010). People generally interested opportunity related with information that they already possess (Venkataraman, 2017). People have different stocks of information because information is generated through people weird life experiences (Shane, 2010) Therefore, SMEs that have failed can be considered to have improved their knowledge, capabilities and experience seeing opportunity. (Minniti and Bygrave 2011) stress that SMEs failure reduces uncertainty that lead to discovery of new chances. Thereby not only successful experiences but also failures can increase the effectiveness of opportunities recognition. Moreover, failure serves as a good experience also gives new advantage of those opportunities.
Profit of a decision to act upon a perceived opportunity and the behaviors that are undertaken to achieve its realization (Choi and Shepherd, 2014). (Cooper et al. 2009) argues that people are more likely to exploit opportunities if they have developed useful information for SMEs from their previous employment, because such information reduces the cost of opportunity exploitation. To sum up previous experience could increase the ability to better cope with responsibilities of newness and reduce the spike and uncertainties related to setting up a new business, such as finding financial start-up capital, by law building, adaptation to changes, having access to social and business networks etc. Previous experience provides SMEs the opportunity to learn new knowledge that can be easily migrated in other businesses, and thereby provide them with the ability to enter into new markets, products and new technologies with greater success (Politis, 2015).
In this exploratory study, the causes of failure for mature companies and their learning experience after such failure were analyzed using a qualitative research method. Such an analysis is important given that the business failure is an important part of the dynamics of modern economies. In terms of causes of failure, the research findings show that entrepreneurs attribute their failure both to internal and external factors. SMEs addressed mainly relationships with partners, financial skills and lack of critical information and mentoring as internal factors while they mentioned economic conditions, changes in governmental policies and unlucky happenings as for external factors. This description is in accordance with the integrative approach which predicts that SMEs primarily attribute their failure to internal and external factors as well (Zacharakis et al., 2009). A remarkable cause which may be thought as a contextual factor is failure originating from relationships with co-partners. Traditional conflict cases seen among the partner family members and institutionalism problems can be seen causes for this finding. Besides, some dynamics of Turkish culture such as high- power distance and high uncertainty avoidance can weaken the tendency to establish and maintain cooperation and partnerships (Halis ve senkal, 2009).
In terms of SMEs learning, the findings show that entrepreneurial failure can have a major impact on the discovery of opportunities and exploitation of them as comprehensively analyzed in the literature. Although participants identified their learning experience in terms of unfavorable interpersonal relationships which can be linked to lack of trust as a contextual factor. Interpersonal trust is a must for a sustainable business. The entrepreneurial learning experiences of SMEs emphasized not gaining but losing trust instead. Those experiences they shared can damage initiatives of establishing partnerships, cooperation and collaboration in their business operations. They have some limitations to be considered. The study includes more qualitative measures than quantitative measures. In the future researchers may include more quantitative measures for generalizability purposes and as well as this research can be extended to examine if there are gender differences in learning from SMEs failure in further studies.
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