The critical success factors for organizational performance of SMEs in Malaysia: a partial least squares approach

May Chiun Lo, Yin Chai Wang, Rinen Justin Wah Constance, Thurasamy Ramayah


Purpose – This paper seeks to examine the relationship between the
determinants of organizational performance such as top management
support, customer focus, employees’ orientation, technology
orientation, and entrepreneurial orientation in Malaysia.

Design/methodology/approach – A quantitative research design was
applied for this study. Data was collected through survey questionnaires
applied to business owners and senior managers working in SMEs
located in three Malaysian states, using purposive sampling technique.
SmartPLS 2.0 (M3) was applied to test the hypotheses.

Findings – The findings suggest that both technology and
entrepreneurial orientations are significant success factors for SMEs
in terms of financial and non-financial performance. In addition, top
management support is found to be significantly and positively related
to financial performance.

Originality/value – The empirical analysis indicates that technology
orientation and entrepreneurial orientation add more value to
organizational performance. Therefore, it is vital for SMEs to focus on
these two critical success factors in order to improve their performance.


Top management support, customer focus, employee orientation, technology orientation, entrepreneurial orientation


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