An Exploratory Study of the Influence of Leadership on SMES Survival in Nigeria

An Exploratory Study of the Influence of Leadership on SMES Survival in Nigeria

Author: 
Kolade Elijah Fajuyigbe
Program of study: 
D.M.
Abstract: 
The failure rates of SMEs (small and medium enterprises) in developing countries have been very high, with many of them closing down within the first five years of operation. The research method was qualitative. The research design was a descriptive case study design assisted in the exploration of the influence of leadership on SMEs survival in Lagos, Nigeria. The multiple cases involved 20 SMEs in Lagos, Nigeria with a purposive sample of 20 participants. The exploration of the influence of leadership on SMEs survival involved in-depth semi-structured interviews, direct observations, and artifacts for data triangulation. The data collection and analysis provided findings that revealed leadership practices for replication regarding SMEs survival. Data analysis included the use of NVivo 10® software resulting in four major themes and 24 sub themes. Four major themes were: (a) leadership experience perspective on SMEs survival, (b) leadership practices perspective on SMEs survival, (c) business practices perspective on SMEs survival, and (d) sustainable practices perspective on SMEs survival. Five of the 24 sub themes were: (a) listen to learn, (b) performance, (c) recognition,(d), skills renewal, and (e) value-driven. The recommendation for SME owners/managers and leaders in the private, public, and academic sectors is to embrace leadership styles and leadership development practices that will assist in SMEs survival. The diverse perspectives from males and female leaders provided multiple data sources achieving triangulation. The study revealed that SME owners/managers should have leadership experiences, demonstrate leadership practices, develop and employ business practices, and sustainable leadership practices
Dedication: 
This dissertation is dedicated to the memory of my late mother, Rebecca Olayemi Fajuyigbe and my late father, Joseph Ogunlegan Fajuyigbe, who made sure that the best educational opportunities were available to me. They instilled in me a passion for learning, a strong work ethic, and a love of life, family, and friends. I would like to recognize my loving wife, Faith Ayomide Sarah Fajuyigbe, and children Kolade Ebenezer, Yetunde Elizabeth, Joseph Babajide, Elijah Abiola, and Olayemi Marvelous Fajuyigbe who understood my mission and made many sacrifices while I was on my journey to complete my doctorate. They too share the love of education and learning given to us by my parents, uncles Elder Lawrence, and Pastor Festus Fajuyigbe, Brothers Joshua, and Gbenga Fajuyigbe, and in-laws Prof Amos and Sister Dorcas Aduroja. I want to acknowledge my father-in-law Senior Apostle John Kolade for his support in my endeavor to succeed. With the research and writing completed, I can only hope to repay these important people in my life for all the sacrifices they have made on my behalf.
Acknowledgements: 
I would like to thank all who supported and assisted me in one way or another through hills and valleys of my doctoral journey. My second committee chair, Dr. James Ziegler came on board at the critical moment – called the eleventh hour towards the completion of my doctoral journey. He was invaluable in answering questions and providing the direction I needed to complete this journey. He was always available to answer my emails and phone calls. He guided me towards the completion of my dissertation, even when I was uncertain on how to move forward. My former chair – Dr. Eugene Lee guided me through the process for dissertation proposal and approval, even when I was uncertain on how to move forward. My committee members, Dr. Michael Taku, and Dr. Chizoba Madueke, provided input and guidance contributing to the learning experience and enriching the research process. They showed unwavering patience waiting on me to work through my research study. Also, they provided insight and were responsive to my needs in completing this process. Without them on my committee, this process would have been more difficult. Thanks to NASSI (National Associations of Small Scale Industrialists), NNEW (Neca’s Network of Entrepreneurial Women), NASME (National Association of Small and Medium Enterprises), Lagos State Chambers of Commerce, Lagos State Ministry of Commerce and Industry - SME Department (newly created), SMEDAN Lagos Office for providing access to their membership, thereby facilitating easy selection of purposive sampling design. I would like to thank the participants who agreed to be involved in this study. They went out of their way to make time for me despite the needs of their individual business. Without their commitment to participate in this study, this may not have come to fruition. I would like to give special thanks to my family. My wife, Faith, never gave upon me when I was about to give up on myself. She provided words of encouragement, gave me guidance, pushed me when I needed to be pushed, and sacrificed to make sure I could pursue my academic accomplishments. Without her support, I would have never completed my doctoral journey. I would also like to thank my children, Kolade II, Yetunde, Joseph, Elijah II, and Olayemi. They each had to endure time when I could not spend time being a dad and had to spend time being a student. Without their understanding and support, this would have been much more difficult. Finally, I want to thank all my friends and remaining family members for their encouragement and support. I am fortunate to have many colleagues and peers at the doctoral level inside and outside UOPX, and Safe Associates Limited, Lagos, Nigeria, who have served as friends, advisors, cheerleaders, and guides. Professor Amos and Mrs. Dorcas Aduroja also provided academic and financial supports, while Professor Chantie Epie’s academic guidance advanced my doctoral journey. Finally, thank you to my family for their love, support, and understanding during this academic undertaking.