Training in SME – what do we know?

  • Anna Kremel Örebro University School of Business
  • Carina Holmgren Dalarna University
Keywords: SME, policy, evaluation, education & training, knowledge management


With this study we synthesize academic knowledge about training methods in SMEs (small and medium sized enterprises). Training in SMEs have long been argued as important for business performance and growth. These efforts have been supported by governments and EU programs. Even though different training initiatives have been evaluated and studied during the years, there are no knowledge overview of the effects of training in SMEs. With this study we try to remedy this. The study also discusses how to conduct a literature review with the use of Zotero and Nvivo tools.


Audretsch, D.B. (2003). Entrepreneurship: A survey of the literature. Luxembourg: Office for Official Publications of the European Communities.
Becker, G.S. (1962). Investment in human capital: a theoretical analysis, The Journal of Political economy, Vol 70 no. 5 pp. 9-49.
ESF (2015). Utlysning Programområde 1 Kompetensförsörjning, Diarienummer 2015/00340
Forss, K. (2007). Utvärdering som hantverk, Lund Studentlitteratur.
Peteraf M.A. (1993). The cornerstones of competitive advantage: a resource-based view, Strategic Management Journal. Vol. 15 pp. 179-191
Bager-Sjögren, L, Gustafsson, O. och Pettersson, L. (2003). Växtkraft Mål 4 – en effektstudie. Kompetensutveckling i småföretag, Östersund: ITPS, A2003:001.
Barney J. (1991), Firm resources and sustained competitive advantage, Journal of Management, Vol. 17 No. 1 pp. 99-120.
Becker G.S. (1993), Human Capital: A Theoretical and Empirical Analysis with Specific Reference to Education, University of Chicago Press, Chicago, IL:
Berney, J. & Wright, P:M. (1998). On becoming a strategic partner: the role of human resources in gaining competitive advantage, Journal of Human Resource Management, Vol. 37. No. 1 pp. 31-46.
Nilsson, B (1996). Företagsutbildning – anpassning och/eller utveckling? i Ellström, P-E., Gustavsson B. and Larsson P. (eds) Livslångt lärande, Lund: Studentlitteratur.
Jones, P., Beynon, M.J., Pickernell, D. & Packham, G. (2013). Evaluating the impact of different training methods on SME business performance. Environment and Planning C: Government and Policy, Vol 31 No. 1 pp. 56-81.
Lindgren, L. (2008). Utvärderingsmonstret, Lund: Studentlitteratur.
Lundström, A, Vikström, P, Fink, M, Meuleman, M, Głodek, P, Storey, D and Kroksgård, A, 2013, Measuring the Costs and Coverage of SME and Entrepreneurship Policy; a pioneering study, Entrepreneurship Policy and Theory, 38(4), 941-957.
Penrose, E. (1959), The theory of the growth of the firm, (Wiley, New York).
Saru, E. (2007). Organization learning and HRD, how appropriate are they for small firms? Journal of European Industrial training, 31(1).
Zhang, M., MacPherson, A. och Jones, O. (2006). Conceptualizing the Learning Process in SMEs: Improving Innovation through External Orientation, International Small Business Journal, 24, pp 299-323.
Ylinenpää, H. (1997). Managing Competence Development and Acquisition in Small Manufacturing Firms. Doctorial thesis 1997:27, Luleå University of Technology, Department of Business Administration and Social sciences.
5.1 Business in Society - Society in Business