Access to debt finance, learning orientation and firm performance
To survive and compete favourably in the face of rapid technological changes, business organizations, especially, small and medium enterprises (SMEs) in the manufacturing industry need effective and creative learning philosophy. Drawing from the perspective of dynamic capability theory, this paper examined the moderating effect of access to external finance on the relationship between learning orientation and performance of small and medium enterprises. Self-administered questionnaire was used to obtain data from SME owners/managers who engaged in manufacturing activities in Nasarawa State, Nigeria. Variance based structural equation modeling was employed for statistical analysis. Findings indicate that learning orientation is positively but insignificantly related to firm performance. More so, results demonstrate that availability of external financial resources makes the relationship between learning orientation and firm performance to be stronger. The study recommends that SME owners/managers need to seek external finance to embrace the philosophy of continuous learning to create and use new knowledge to effectively deliver value that is in line with changes in the business environment.
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