This research aims to adopt competitiveness theory to analyse the effects of leadership competencies on the competitiveness of small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) in the tourism sector.
This research collected data from 200 participants, who are in management positions of tourism SMEs in Vietnam. Structural equation modelling was applied.
The results indicate satisfactory reliability and validity of the constructs and support for two models within a structural equation modelling to evaluate the influence of leadership competencies on the competitiveness of SMEs. The data from both customers and competitors show that the competitiveness and the performance of the enterprise are affected by hands-on experience; relationships building competencies; strategic vision; operations management competencies. Furthermore, customers also value professional knowledge of the enterprises' leaders.
The study suggests that the government agencies and tourism SMEs themselves should focus more on leadership. Training courses, exchange programs, seminars and workshops should be provided for SMEs leaders to improve their leadership competencies.
The research findings provide a more comprehensive view of internal and external factors affecting the competitiveness of SMEs in the tourism sector in Vietnam. This also contributes to competitiveness and leadership research by presenting the positive linkage between leadership competencies and the competitiveness of SMEs.