Menadžment konsalting kao podrška rastu i razvoju malih i srednjih preduzeća
Management consulting as support to growth and development of small and medium enterprises
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Summary: Economic growth and development is highly dependent on the ability of SMEs to develop and realize their potential for growth. At the same time, the ability of SMEs to grow is highly dependent on managerial knowledge and skills of people who are at the helm of the enterprise. In Serbia, SMEs are generally managed by owners which do not have adequate managerial skills. Existing methods of management training and passive learning do not provide the level of knowledge and skills required in present competitive environment. Because of that, there is very strong need for external professional support and adequate training, both through formal and informal education system, and in the immediate practice. This paper looks at the management consulting as a service and a process, especially as one of the sources for acquiring practical management knowledge and skills. More specifically it presents and analyzes the specifics of management consulting services to small and medium-sized ent...erprises, as well as services that are specific to businesses of this size. It also shows the importance of ethical aspects of management consulting in the SME sector, and the importance of trust and mutual relations between consultants and clients. The empirical part of the research includes analysis of small and medium-sized enterprises of different sizes and ages, especially in terms of actual or potential need for specific management consulting services. We used a survey method, to determine the attitudes of entrepreneurs and SME owners toward management consulting, its usefulness, the needs of the entrepreneurs and the owners to use consulting services, as well as the reasons for (non) use of consulting services. In particular, analyzing the needs of the growing SMEs, depending on the size of the enterprises, wе verified the hypothesis that smaller company has less possibility to use the specific consulting services, but greater need for informal, general business consulting and interdisciplinary education. We analyzed the differences between institutional and private providers of consulting services to SMEs. By comparing the availability and use of consulting services of institutional and private consultants, and quality of these services, there are some interesting information and conclusions about the need for a meaningful institutional consulting agency to focus on universal approach, and private on provision of specific consulting services. A survey has undoubtedly proved that consulting support to the SME sector in Serbia is still at an early stage, without serious regulatory mechanisms. Government has a key role in the development of institutions and programs to support the SME sector, as well as facilitating the development of the market of professional organizations to support SMEs. The results of this study can serve as a basis for redefining the mission and work programs of the institutions for non-financial support to the SME sector in Serbia, to create more meaningful local and regional strategies for development of the SME sector, as well as the improving of legislation in the field of business and management consulting.