The research is based on the empirical survey conducted among the members of Estonian Association of SMEs. The study involved goal setting, development and implementation of strategies, competitive advantages striven for, orientation toward growth, and factors hindering enterprises’ development. As a result, characteristics of strategic management in enterprises with different levels of growth orientation (expanding, stable and declining enterprises) as well as those depending on other enterprise’s characteristics (e.g., coincidence of managers and owners; age and size of enterprises, etc) were proposed. The analysis showed the existence of clear relationship between the coincidence of owners and managers and existence of formalised plans, whereby company growth leads to the increasing difference of coincidence of owners and managers and therefore increases the role of strategic plans in the enterprises. Measures taken for strategy formation (e.g. managers’ role, cooperation) are supporting factors for positive implementation performance of the intended strategy in expanding firms. The analysis of the factors hindering company growth indicates an increasing need for managers’ training in the area of strategic management. National entrepreneurship policy should, in addition to supporting start-up enterprises, pay more attention to supporting the implementation of company growth potential by help of relevant measures.
SME, strategic management; strategy implementation, coincidence of managers and owners, growth orientation, growth barriers, entrepreneurship policy.
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