Whitman School of Management at Syracuse University
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Abstract Details

Designing Effective Management Training and Education for Small Businesses
Vol. Volume 2, Number 2 September/1997

Kelwyn A. D'Souza, Robert Askew, and Vikki Richardson

Kelwyn A. D'Souza is Associate Professor and Chairperson of the Department of Management, School of Business at Hampton University, Hampton, Virginia. At the time of the study, Robert Askew was Director, Center for Entrepreneurial Studies (CES), Hampton University and currently he is Associate Professor at Norfolk State University. Vikki Richardson is Former Graduate Student, School of Business, Hampton University, and is currently with Ford Motor Company, Detroit, Michigan. The paper draws upon the results from the ETTAP grant number ETTAP9596/HAM supported by the Office of the Small and Disadvantaged Business Utilization, U. S. Department of Transportation, Washington, D. C. (1995). The activities of the CES are supported by the Kellogg Foundation.

Designing effective management training programs for small business owners and managers require a great deal of pre-planning. Management educators from business schools have offered traditional training programs developed for students seeking careers with large corporations and academic institutes. These programs have not addressed the unique problems faced by small businesses, resulting in a poor response to training announcements. This paper presents the result of a pilot study conducted to analyze the training needs of small businesses located in the largest metropolitan areas of the Commonwealth of Virginia, and recommends problem-oriented management training modules that balance theory and practice. In the first part of the study, a series of informal seminars were organized on selected topics of interest to small business owners and managers. The on-site feedback obtained through the evaluations were statistically analyzed to summarize the responses and design the modules. In the second part of the study, each module was conducted at different sites and the management effectiveness was monitored. The first and second parts of the study are reported in this paper.

Keywords: Small business training, management training, training and management effectiveness.