Training, Competence, and Business Performance: Evidence from E-business in European Small and Medium-Sized Enterprises

Training, Competence, and Business Performance: Evidence from E-business in European Small and Medium-Sized Enterprises

Dag H. Olsen (University of Agder, Norway) and Tom R. Eikebrokk (University of Agder, Norway)
Copyright: © 2009 |Pages: 25
DOI: 10.4018/jebr.2009010105
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Abstract

This article examines the relationship between training, competence and performance of small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) in the context of e-business. Literature review combined with a triangulation of qualitative and quantitative methods were used to investigate these relationships. Data about e-business competences and performance in 339 SMEs in three European countries was combined with data about training supply from 116 providers of e-business related training. The empirical findings document a positive relationship between training, competence and performance and show that training explains variances in e-business competences and performance in terms of efficiency, complementarities, lock-in and novelty. The research has both theoretical and practical implications. It contributes to theoretical development by lending support to the idea that methodological issues are an important reason behind the lack of empirical support frequently reported in the literature. The study has practical implications for public policy makers, training suppliers and SME managers.

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