Original Research

The perceived impact of agency control on the performance of Zimbabwean small-to-medium enterprises

Nhamo Mashavira
The Southern African Journal of Entrepreneurship and Small Business Management | Vol 13, No 1 | a356 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.4102/sajesbm.v13i1.356 | © 2021 Nhamo Mashavira | This work is licensed under CC Attribution 4.0
Submitted: 19 July 2020 | Published: 28 June 2021

About the author(s)

Nhamo Mashavira, Department of Business Management, Faculty of Management Sciences, Central University of Technology, Bloemfontein, South Africa


Background: Agency control has been studied in the context of large public listed businesses and is linked to business performance. However, very limited studies have validated such a role in small-to-medium enterprises (SMEs), especially in a developing economy.

Aim: The current study aimed at ezstablishing the perceived impact of agency control on performance, as measured by return on investment (ROI) and innovation in SMEs in Harare Province, Zimbabwe.

Setting: Primary research was conducted amongst owners or managers of SMEs in Harare Province, Zimbabwe.

Methods: The final sample consisted of 106 owners or managers of SMEs. The study was purely quantitative and adopted the survey design. Structured questionnaires were used for data collection.

Results: The study established that the most used control mechanisms were frequent monitoring and face-to-face deliberations with subordinates. Weak and statistically insignificant relationships were found to exist between agency control and business performance measured by both ROI and innovation.

Conclusion: It is best to solicit expert advice to coach owners or managers on how best agency control mechanisms could be formally instituted and managed to leverage on them.


agency control; performance; SMEs; manager; Zimbabwe.


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Crossref Citations

1. Effects of successful business practices on business performance: Evidence from immigrant entrepreneurs in Ekurhuleni, South Africa
Tatenda Chidau, Risimati M. Khosa, Magaret Phillips
The Southern African Journal of Entrepreneurship and Small Business Management  vol: 14  issue: 1  year: 2022  
doi: 10.4102/sajesbm.v14i1.490