THE ROLE OF QUALITY IN GROWTH OF SMALL AND MEDIUM ENTERPRISES AND ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT IN KENYA

  • K. L. Wanjau, Department of Entreprenuership and Procurement, Jomo Kenyatta University of Agriculture and Technology, Nairobi, Kenya
  • R. W. Gakure Department of Entreprenuership and Procurement, Jomo Kenyatta University of Agriculture and Technology, Nairobi, Kenya
Keywords: Quality, SMEs, manufacturing enterprises, ISO, consultant, enterprise growth, economic growth, plant

Abstract

The purpose of this paper was to evaluate the contributions of quality initiatives towards growth and industrialization
of manufacturing small and medium enterprises (SMEs) in Kenya. Quality has been recognized as a successful
management philosophy in the manufacturing industry. The study adopted an exploratory approach using a
descriptive survey. The instruments of the study were a questionnaire, interview schedule (structured) and an
observation checklist. In this study, 123 manufacturing SMEs were extensively surveyed, to ascertain contributions
made by quality initiatives in the manufacturing sector towards realizing growth and industrialization. The
correlations between various quality implementation dimensions and growth have been evaluated and validated by
employing various statistical tools. The findings revealed that quality has a positive influence on growth and
industrialization of an organization and economic development in general. The overall results indicated that
entrepreneurial management (EM), marketing orientation (MO) and capacity enhancement of employees had
significant linear relationship with quality. Surprisingly, no statistical evidence was found to confirm the effect of
investing in technology and adoption of quality. The study recommended that SMEs must create a culture that is
conducive to and supportive of quality implementation. They must align quality implementation with their goals and
competitive environment. Government and other organizations supporting entrepreneurship development could
assist and train manufacturing SMEs to acquire appropriate technology. This will go a long way in assisting SMEs in
initiating quality practices supported by technology. Findings of the present study may assist public policy – makers
and entrepreneurs to evaluate the importance of quality in enhancing SME growth, which serve as the best potential
source of job creation and industrialization of the Kenyan economy.

Published
2019-05-15