Staff Publications

Staff Publications

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    'Staff publications' is the digital repository of Wageningen University & Research

    'Staff publications' contains references to publications authored by Wageningen University staff from 1976 onward.

    Publications authored by the staff of the Research Institutes are available from 1995 onwards.

    Full text documents are added when available. The database is updated daily and currently holds about 240,000 items, of which 72,000 in open access.

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Record number 503601
Title Social Competence in Small Firms-Fostering Workplace Learning and Performance
Author(s) Lans, Thomas; Verhees, Frans; Verstegen, Jos
Source Human Resource Development Quarterly 27 (2016)3. - ISSN 1044-8004 - p. 321 - 348.
DOI https://doi.org/10.1002/hrdq.21254
Department(s) Education and Competence Studies
WASS
Marketing and Consumer Behaviour
LEI Innovation, Risk and Information Management
Publication type Refereed Article in a scientific journal
Publication year 2016
Keyword(s) Entrepreneurial learning - Small-business performance - Social competence - Workplace learning
Abstract

While it is widely accepted that social networks are key to small-firm success, detailed studies on the specific contribution of owner-managers' social competence to learning and performance are scarce. In this article, the importance of owner-managers' social competence was explored in a specific, innovative small-firm sector in the Netherlands: the agri-food sector. This was done by means of a qualitative (n = 13) and quantitative (n = 556) study. In the qualitative study, the two social competence domains most frequently cited and employed in entrepreneurial workplace learning practices were a social learning orientation and the ability to interact with strategic social partners. The quantitative study illustrated that social competence, overall, influences small-firm performance significantly. However, the relationships between social competence and small-firm performance seem to depend on the specific strategies that owner-managers pursue. In particular, this research supports the idea of social competence being an important driver of success for specific small-firm strategies and for the ongoing development of existing and new capabilities. As such, it underlines the importance of the capability-driven approach to HRD in the small-firm context. This, in turn, has implications for small-firm support programs.

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