Next Article in Journal
Resilience Assessment of Interdependent Infrastructure Systems: A Case Study Based on Different Response Strategies
Previous Article in Journal
Optimal Allocation of Hybrid Renewable Energy System by Multi-Objective Water Cycle Algorithm
Open AccessArticle

Stakeholders and Long-Term Sustainability of SMEs. Who Really Matters in Crisis Contexts, and When

1
Department of Business Administration, External and Internal Information Systems of Organizations: Corporate and Management Information (GISEIO), Castilla-La Mancha University, 16071 Cuenca, Spain
2
Faculty of Economics and Business, Quantitative Methods and Socio-economic Development Group, Institute for Regional Development (IDR), Castilla-La Mancha University, Plaza de la Universidad, 1, 02071 Albacete, Spain
3
Department of Financial Economics, Accounting and Operations Management, Huelva University, 21002 Huelva, Spain
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Sustainability 2019, 11(23), 6551; https://doi.org/10.3390/su11236551
Received: 8 October 2019 / Revised: 4 November 2019 / Accepted: 6 November 2019 / Published: 20 November 2019
(This article belongs to the Section Economic, Business and Management Aspects of Sustainability)
The impact of crises on the long-term sustainability of small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) has been attracting growing interest in the literature and from governments due to the significance of such companies with respect to economic growth, innovation, and employment. Although failure prediction models have been proposed based on accounting and other qualitative information, little is known regarding the influence of stakeholders on the failure process of SMEs. From the perspective of long-term sustainability, this article analyzes the role of the financial influence of stakeholders on the likelihood of business failure. An empirical study was carried out on a sample of 2352 Spanish SMEs, examining the differences between failed and non-failed SMEs and using a classification tree methodology to investigate the role played by each type of stakeholder in overcoming crisis events. The study provides empirical evidence regarding the relative importance of stakeholders to SMEs under conditions of financial distress, and proposes their categorization on the basis of their control over firms’ financial resources. Specifically, the analysis reveals that the capacity of the firm to generate sustainable wealth over time and to overcome critical situations is dependent on the most critical stakeholders. Workers, customers, and suppliers are the most important in ensuring the long-term sustainability of SMEs during the first stages of a crisis. Following the initial operational problems, other creditors (financial institutions) become relevant. In this sense, the results of this study encourage firms and governments to develop cooperation strategies with stakeholders (co-responsibility) in line with the proposed conceptual models of business sustainability. View Full-Text
Keywords: small and medium-sized enterprises; stakeholder; business failure prediction; classification trees small and medium-sized enterprises; stakeholder; business failure prediction; classification trees
Show Figures

Figure 1

MDPI and ACS Style

Manzaneque-Lizano, M.; Alfaro-Cortés, E.; Priego de la Cruz, A.M. Stakeholders and Long-Term Sustainability of SMEs. Who Really Matters in Crisis Contexts, and When. Sustainability 2019, 11, 6551.

Show more citation formats Show less citations formats
Note that from the first issue of 2016, MDPI journals use article numbers instead of page numbers. See further details here.

Article Access Map by Country/Region

1
Back to TopTop