SUNConferences, Southern African Institute of Industrial Engineering 2013

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Managing Transition from a Small to a Large Business - The Case of a Drill Rod Manufacturer
Goodwell Muyengwa, P Dube

Last modified: 2013-06-23


Transitioning from a small entrepreneurial company to a larger, “structured”, organisation presents both organisational and management challenges to the founding entrepreneur and stakeholders. Various theories have been put forward that have studied the behaviour of the entrepreneur. However the dynamics that evolve with the change process from the behaviour and decisions of the entrepreneurial founder and managerial structures that emerge have not been well researched. Through a case study research this paper reports a longitudinal study done over three years on a company that is into manufacturing of drilling rods. Theory of organisation transition and a framework for longitudinal researching of entrepreneurial organisations making transition into structured organisations was used. The change process was studied through a conceptual framework that has five informational factors. New management systems and structures were put in place; a new manufacturing strategy and business model were developed. The “verbal culture”, of small companies was replaced by written instructions and proper records keeping, the manufacturing process was documented and standardised through the implementation of Total Quality Management. This paper contributes to the understanding of how an entrepreneurial company transition to a structured one and strengthens our ability to assist entrepreneurs in achieving sustainable growth.    

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