resource management of small entrepreneurs in East Africa
African governments and the international donor community have started to put substantial emphasis on private sector development and entrepreneurship, but only very few African enterprises manage to grow beyond informal micro-activities. Although there is growing awareness about factors and institutional barriers associated with small firm growth in developing countries we still know little about how these factors are translated into entrepreneurial behavior and firm-internal processes. This study conceptually draws on resource management processes and uses a multiple case study approach to provide insights on how Tanzanian entrepreneurs manage resources during the start-up and development of micro- to small-scale ventures. We find that micro-environmental differences in the resources of the entrepreneur and the institutional complexity of the venture lead to distinct patterns of resource management and venture development paths. More specifically, flying under radar in terms of operating under lower institutional requirements, and slowly accumulating resources (snowballing) are major leveraging strategies. We integrate our results into a hypothesized framework for resource management in East African transition economies and provide a set of propositions for further research and practice.
Academy of Management. Annual Meeting Proceedings, 2013