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      The competitiveness of small and medium enterprises (SMEs) in the tourism sector: the role of leadership competencies

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      Journal of Economics and Development

      Emerald

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          Abstract

          Purpose

          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.

          Design/methodology/approach

          This research collected data from 200 participants, who are in management positions of tourism SMEs in Vietnam. Structural equation modelling was applied.

          Findings

          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.

          Practical implications

          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.

          Originality/value

          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.

          Related collections

          Most cited references 41

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          On competition

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            Psychometric Theory

             Nunnally,  JC Nunnally (1994)
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              Multivariate data analysis

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                Author and article information

                Journal
                Journal of Economics and Development
                JED
                Emerald
                1859-0020
                2632-5330
                November 16 2020
                November 16 2020
                : ahead-of-print
                : ahead-of-print
                Article
                10.1108/JED-06-2020-0080
                © 2020

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