Operations Management and Performance of Manufacturing Small and Medium Enterprises in Kenya


  • Mwamisha D Mkala
  • Kenneth L Wanjau
  • Teresia N Kyalo




Operations Management, Business Plan, Production Schedules, Quality Control


Manufacturing small and medium enterprises (SMEs) are the breeding ground for human capital competencies, creativity and innovation, which are important inputs for manufacturing competitiveness. In Kenya, manufacturing SMEs contribute 14% of gross domestic product (GDP), and train and employ 30% of the workforce. However, their growth and competitiveness are undermined by challenges in the firms’ operations management. Consequently, the firms struggle to survive as competitive enterprises, both domestically and globally. The purpose of this study was to establish how entrepreneurial orientation (EO) enhances the relationship between operations management and firm performance. Quantitative primary data were collected from managers of 83 firms registered by the Kenya Association of Manufacturers in the food and beverage sub-sector using a self-administered questionnaire. Structural equation modelling was used to analyse the data for relationships between the study variables. The study found a positive relationship between operations management and EO, and between EO and firm performance. The study also found that EO is a mediator of the relationship between operations management and performance of manufacturing SMEs in Kenya. The study recommends that for manufacturing SMEs to effectively deploy operations management competencies and gain global competitiveness, they must engage EO as a strategy to foment organisational experimentation and exploration and commercialize the resultant innovations. At the macroeconomic level, the government should support manufacturing SMEs through enactment and promotion of policies that enable operations managers to exploit their firm’s EO stock.


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How to Cite

Mkala, M. D., Wanjau, K. L., & Kyalo, T. N. (2018). Operations Management and Performance of Manufacturing Small and Medium Enterprises in Kenya. International Journal of Research in Business and Social Science (2147- 4478), 7(2), 1–13. https://doi.org/10.20525/ijrbs.v7i2.861