Proceedings of The 15th International Conference on Modern Research in Management, Economics and Accounting
Determining the level of creative thinking skills of small and medium enterprises’ owners in South Africa
Sphesihle Ndlela, Neil Barnes, and Muhammand Hoque
Small and medium enterprises (SME) need to have a good understanding of how to manage and run a business effectively. Managerial cognitive competencies become vital in handling business, and creative thinking is one of them. Creative thinking is an important cognitive competency that impacts the expansion and survival of small and medium enterprises (SMEs). Very few studies in South Africa investigated SME longevity where creative thinking skills were considered a factor. Therefore, the objective of this study was to determine the level of creative thinking skills among SME owners in South Africa. This was a cross-sectional study conducted among 204 SME owners who were selected using quota sampling from the construction and manufacturing sectors. Data were collected using a self-administered, anonymous online questionnaire and analysed using SPSS software version 27. The overall SME business owners’ score for creative thinking skills is 80.36%. This shows that the overall SME owners’ creative thinking was moderate for both the manufacturing and construction sectors in South Africa. Thus, it is recommended that for SMEs to optimize their competitive advantage and sustainability, they should employ their creative thinking skills. SME owners, therefore, need to embed creative thinking in their management skills to address complex problems.
keywords:Creative thinking, SME Management, Longevity, Competency, Entrepreneurial skills, Management