Restructuring in SMEs – A multiple case study analysis
SMEs represent an important pillar in every economy, but in terms of financial performance they are inherently more exposed to financial volatility than large enterprises. Constrained access to resources and the liability of smallness lead to a higher propensity to failure and corporate crisis. A financial crisis is endangering the continued existence of the business, however it can also be perceived as change to reassess and reassemble resources to meet future market requirements. This either takes place through a court-supervised reorganization or through an informal restructuring without the involvement of courts. This paper focuses on the latter and employs a multiple case study including 10 successfully restructured firms and 5 failed renegotiations in Austria. Through use of the resource-based view (RBV) we analyzed what caused crises in SMEs and which strategies and measures are necessary to overcome crisis. In conclusion, it can be stated that crises are predominantly caused internally in SMEs, and successful restructuring frequently requires the engagement of both, banks and entrepreneurs. While innovation capacity is a factor that facilitates restructuring, complex and insufficiently settled family dynamics tend to hinder restructuring.
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