Original Research

An assessment of strategic decision-making processes among small and micro enterprises in South Africa

Roger Gopaul, Renitha Rampersad
Acta Commercii | Vol 20, No 1 | a819 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.4102/ac.v20i1.819 | © 2020 Roger Gopaul, Renitha Rampersad | This work is licensed under CC Attribution 4.0
Submitted: 28 July 2019 | Published: 27 July 2020

About the author(s)

Roger Gopaul, Department of Business Management, Faculty of Management Sciences, Durban University of Technology, Durban, South Africa
Renitha Rampersad, Department of Public Relations Management, Faculty of Management Sciences, Durban University of Technology, Durban, South Africa


Orientation: Supporting agencies and small and micro enterprises in South Africa could be endowed with an integrated model that outlines the characterisation and patterns of strategic decision-making in the small and micro service sector that will assist in understanding and improving decision-making to enhance business sustainability and competitiveness.

Research purpose: To assess the strategic decision-making process in small and micro service enterprises in South Africa.

Motivation for the study: This study was motivated by the factors affecting small and micro enterprise sustainability which included deficiencies in the strategic decision-making process.

Research design, approach and method: This study adopted a qualitative approach that captured the social realities of the decision-making process. The data collection techniques include semi-structured interviews of ten (10) respondents, four focus groups with five (5) respondents per group and five (5) businesses chosen for observation. Content analysis was used to analyse the data with the aid of NVIVO data analysis software. The data analysis software was used to organise data and identify themes.

Main findings: The process of strategic decision-making is pivoted on the intuitive decision-making tendencies of the business owners which reveal iterative and concurrent characteristics.

Practical/managerial implications: The effect of strategic decision-making is identified as a major challenge among small and micro enterprises leading to business failure. The implications of this research relate to identifying the most practical ways in which such decisions are formulated and devising mechanisms to enhance the decision-making process.

Contribution/value-add: The pattern of strategic decision-making exhibited a greater tendency towards intuitive decision formulation as opposed to procedural rationality and that those businesses that attempted some form of methodological environmental scan as an influencing factor in the decision-making process adopted more of an assimilated approach in the intuitive-rational decision-making continuum rather than a completely procedural rational mode.


Intuitive-rational decision-making; small medium enterprises; strategic decision-making


Total abstract views: 3211
Total article views: 3727


Crossref Citations

1. Factors influencing strategic decision-making in South African small businesses
Ireze Van Wyk, Peet Venter
Acta Commercii  vol: 23  issue: 1  year: 2023  
doi: 10.4102/ac.v23i1.1070