C127, College Building, Middlesex University, The Burroughs, London NW4 4BT
A theoretical debate exist between formality and informality in SMEs. Terziovski's (2009) research into formal and informal SME management practices concluded that formal structure and innovation strategy are the key drivers for innovation leading to high performance. This builds on previous work (Patel, 2005; Prakash and Gupta, 2008) arguing that formal structures add clarity to employees' roles, leading to greater employee commitment and overall organizational effectiveness. Others, such as Fiegenbaum and Karnani (1991), Appiah-Adu and Singh (1998), Narayanan (2001) and Qian and Li (2003) argue that SMEs are competitive because of flexible organisational structure and centralised decision making which supports informality.
Hence a theoretical tension exists between formality and informality in SMEs. Formality and Informality has been researched through a wide range of lenses. In the past, formality and Informality were explored by studying their planning processes, management styles, and employee management.
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