English: Small and Medium-size Enterprises (SMEs) fulfil an important role in the long-term growth and development of the economy of the country. The development and growth of construction SMEs are important for all countries, as a strong SME base has the capacity to produce a high-quality infrastructure for the country.
However, research has revealed the high failure rate of small businesses within the first five years of their existence in South Africa. In addition, research also indicated that lack of long-term planning and lack of strategic thinking are major contributing factors to the failure of most SMEs.
For instance, despite the considerable growth in the industry in the past decade due to government’s considerable infrastructural spending occasioned by the 2010 FIFA World Cup, the majority of construction SMEs failed to use the opportunities gained in this period to develop into established construction entities. This study investigates how strategic management can be applied to address the problems faced by construction SMEs, and to explore techniques and tools of strategic management that can make a significant contribution to their growth and development.
The research findings, based on a literature review and a qualitative research approach, suggest that, although many construction SMEs perform poorly, some have the potential to grow and develop into more established entities by proactively managing their firms strategically. In addition, the findings indicate that SMEs that practise strategic management perform better, and that there are many advantages for SMEs that adopt strategic management principles at the organisational level.