This chapter introduces the background information of SMEs in Korea. It highlights the problem of the statement of the study, aim and objectives. The chapter also provides the hypothesis of the study, the significance and the definition of terms that are applied in the research.
For the purpose of clarity, this section will define key terms that will be frequently used in the dissertation.
ü Small and Medium-sized Enterprises (SMEs) – non-subsidiary firms with employees less than a given number, which varies across countries (OECD, 2016)
ü Growth – this is the mindset and system oriented process (Hess and Liedtka, 2012) that strategically results to increased productivity and service income of a business (Ericson, 2010).
ü Business growth measurement – the assessment of the size of a firm based on various factors such as market share, capital employed, sales turnover and the number of employees (Hess, 2010).
All over the world, SMEs are the backbone of a modern economy. They contribute to the economic growth, job creation and innovation. According to the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) (statistics 2016), SMEs represent over 85% of total enterprises and ensure more than 60% of total jobs worldwide.
Korea is one of the countries with the highest employment rate in the SMEs sector. Table 1 illustrates data comparison on the number of SMEs and the number of people employed in the UK, EU and three Asian countries; Philippines, Japan and South Korea. This data, according to the industrial Policy data 2016 by the European Commission the number of SMEs in all five categories ranges from 99.6% to 99.9% of the total enterprises. These figures indicate that small and medium enterprises are the dominant form of global business enterprises. In addition, the table reveals that the number of people employed in South Korea accounts for the highest percentage of the total number in enterprise with the figure of 87.7%. In 1980, since the policy to support SMEs was strengthened, the ratio of SMEs contributing to employment started to expand. Eventually, more jobs were created from SMEs as compared to large companies in Korea.
Table 1: Interactive SME database (% of total number in enterprise)
Source: Ec.europa.eu (2006)
Number of SMEs
Number of people employed
This study will be significant to the economy of Korea as it can lead to increased growth and development of SMEs and particularly the firms in the wedding sector. The finding of this research will also benefit the owners and the project managers by suggesting the appropriate PPM tools that can contribute to increased growth and development of SMEs in Korea. The general public will also benefit since the growth of wedding industry will increase the employment. Finally, this paper sets a pace for other scholars to investigate other factors that can promote the development of SMEs in Korea through the application of the appropriate PPM tools.
There are many processes of working strategically within the environment of large enterprises. However, there is little research that is being done about a sustainable growth strategy focusing on SMEs. According to Thakor (2011), strategy should be applied depending differently depending on the size of the enterprises. The researcher realized that the newly adopted wedding strategies in Korea require proper management and application of the appropriate growth strategies an area which has not been a subject of focus to many scholars. The investigators opted to analyze the wedding industry in Korea by assessing the appropriate growth strategies that can be adopted through the application of the PPM tools.
To support the growth of SMEs in Korea- the example of the wedding companies
The objectives of this study will be to:
i. Analyse the trend of the wedding industry with a focus of Korea
ii. Critically review the growth models for SMEs
iii. Critically review PPM tools relevant for SMEs growth management
iv. Explore the good practice of SMEs growth to serving foreign markets
v. Identify current position of wedding industry SMEs in Korea
vi. Investigate the factors that affect growth of SMEs in Korea
vii. Recommend growth strategies for wedding SMEs supported by PPM tools.
This dissertation is composed of six main chapters as outlined below.
Chapter one consists of the introduction and the background of this study. It also contains important definitions of some of the terms that have appeared in most instances within the dissertation. Further, it contains the purpose, significance and justification of the thesis alongside which the aim and objectives have been enlisted.
Chapter two is the literature review and contains an exposition of the theory behind the study. The theory has been majorly acquired from previously documented researches: journals and books. In it, the SMEs have been explored in-depth in line with all the factors that affect their growth; the strategies (e.g. the Ansoff Matrix) that are taken to fuel their growth and the challenges that are associated with the growth. Additionally, the growth models for SMEs have been explored and finally a review of the initial condition of the SME wedding industry in Korea has been done.
Chapter three contains the Research methodology employed in this study. In this chapter, the research onions are outlined together with the research philosophy and the strategy. Moreover important data collection tools and terms related to the data collection and classification have been discussed together with their merits and demerits. A brief background of the considered firms for this study has also been given in this chapter.
Chapter four contains an in-depth analysis and discussion of the primary data which is also presented in this chapter. In this case, the data has been analyzed and discussed based on the themes of the research each set is meant to explore.
Chapter five contains the ultimate conclusion of this study. In this chapter, the research findings are linked to the research’s objectives and main aim. Ultimately, recommendations based on the findings are given for the improvement of the Korean wedding industry and also for the improvement of future researches that would be related to this.
The chapter has given the relevant background of this study in a precise manner. Further, it has offered the critical definitions of the majorly used words in this study. In line with all this, the chapter has introduced all the objectives that this thesis is to accomplish. In this case the hypothesis has also been set out such that the SMEs (wedding SMEs) in Korea are questioned in terms of growth. In what follows therefore, the researcher will seek relevant literature and give a perspective of what is expected in the end of this research.