The study ascertains whether there are differences in the formality of training and development initiatives adopted by SMEs in three business growth categories; and the level of growth at which a more formalised approach to training and development occurs. The results show the adoption of formal training and development initiatives increases with SME growth. The transition toward more formal practices generally begins early in the growth process, as evidenced by a greater significant increase between low and moderate than moderate and high growth firms, in the proportion of SMEs that implement formal training and development initiatives. The results also demonstrate commitment to management development increases with business growth. There is a greater significant difference between low and moderate than moderate and high growth SMEs, in the proportion of firms that implement management development practices. However, differences between high compared with moderate growth enterprises, suggest management development may be more evolutionary. Taken together, results suggest that as SMEs progress through development pathways, they adopt a more ‘strategic’ approach to training and development, characterised by an increasing degree of commitment of resources to formal training and development initiatives.
|Keywords:||Training, Formality, SMEs, Business Growth|
Lecturer, Flinders Business School, Flinders University, Adelaide, South Australia, Australia
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