Original Research

Lack of business planning: A barrier to successful implementation of total quality management in South African agricultural small-, micro- and medium-sized enterprises

Awonke Sonandi, Mmboswobeni W. Ladzani, Eric J. Nealer
The Journal for Transdisciplinary Research in Southern Africa | Vol 17, No 1 | a1013 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.4102/td.v17i1.1013 | © 2021 Awonke Sonandi, Mmboswobeni W. Ladzani, Eric J. Nealer | This work is licensed under CC Attribution 4.0
Submitted: 20 January 2021 | Published: 27 October 2021

About the author(s)

Awonke Sonandi, Eastern Cape Department, Rural Development and Agrarian Reform, Bisho, South Africa
Mmboswobeni W. Ladzani, Department of Business Management, College of Economic and Management Sciences, University of South Africa, Pretoria, South Africa
Eric J. Nealer, Department of Public Administration and Management, College of Economic and Management Sciences, University of South Africa, Pretoria, South Africa


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Abstract

This study aimed to establish baseline data for performance concerning the business planning function of agricultural small-, micro- and medium-sized enterprises (Agri-SMMEs) in the Eastern Cape Province, South Africa. It also endeavoured to investigate the extent to which Agri-SMMEs that had adopted total quality management (TQM) had improved their business planning performance. An action research design and mixed methods, which included the internationally recognised South African Excellence Model (SAEM), were used to collect qualitative and quantitative data from Agri-SMMEs in the Western Eastern Cape (WEC) that had adopted the TQM philosophy, as well as from WEC and Eastern Eastern Cape (EEC) Agri-SMMEs that had not adopted that philosophy. Whether or not they had adopted TQM, the Agri-SMMEs studied were performing poorly relating to the business planning function when benchmarked against world-class standards. Hence, Agri-SMMEs that had implemented the TQM process did not necessarily have a performance advantage over those that had not adopted the process. With respect to practical implications, the use of the SAEM for continuous performance improvement of the business planning function should be promoted and interventions should be provided for the identified shortcomings relevant to this function. It is the first study of its kind to be conducted in the agricultural sector in South Africa. Therefore, the findings should provide a useful guide to enterprises contemplating implementing a TQM programme.

Keywords

TQM; South African Excellence Model; business planning; agricultural small-; micro- and medium-sized enterprises

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