analysis of training and competitiveness in SMEs has led to various findings
underpinned by evidence of practice in the cases concerned. The findings
selected below are related to learning processes and instances of
Small to medium size is changing either to a divisional model or a structure
by functions. The structural changes are affecting the management systems
in place as the firms need to exercise control and co-ordination.
The creation of formalised organisational processes allowed in some cases
knowledge and informal procedures to become explicit through routines and
formalised processes, increasing the firmís common knowledge. At the same
time, however, it led to rigidity, and several of the organisations studied
have taken steps to maintain or enhance employee creativity and ensure
continuation of the rapid decision making that is more common in smaller
and earlier phases.
In some other cases, the creation of a formalised knowledge base served
to integrate new employees because it made embedded organisational knowledge
explicit. On the other hand, not all of the firms studied took the same
path in terms of formalising their structures formalisation path. Some
firms remained small, enabling them to maintain direct and informal contacts
and decision making.
To strike a balance between communication rigidities caused by formalisation
and the need to preserve employee motivation and creativity, firms studied
undertook several mechanisms for increased motivation. Not all measures
intended to foster employee initiative worked. This illustrates that it
takes more than spousing theories (Argyris) to change certain performance
habits (Sauquet 2002, pp. 13f.).