Exploring the impact of bespoke business strategies on managing risks in Pakistani SMEs within sports goods industry

  • Shah Khalid

Student thesis: Doctoral Thesis


The main purpose of the research is the exploration of the current state of risk management practice, and its influences within the sports goods industry in Sialkot, Pakistan. The research also evaluates the most common risks mitigating approaches within SMEs. The final most important aspect of this study is the exploration of the connection between risk management and business strategies within sports goods SMEs in Pakistan. Based on the nature of the research objectives, which required more qualitative method than quantitative the researcher adopted qualitative method to collect the data. Therefore, instead of other methodologies design (Filed and Morse, 1985), the qualitative method has been utilised in order to get insights as well as improve the credibility of the results. Twenty semi-structured interviews with SMEs owners/managers are the primary data source in this research. The study is based on the interviews with owners and decision-makers of sports goods SMEs in Sialkot, Pakistan. According to Boyatzis (1998), thematic analysis is used to identify, analyse and report the patterns(themes) within the data. Therefore, thematic analysis has been adopted as the method for analysing interviews data. Thematic analysis is best for qualitative research because of its flexible nature (Braun & Clarke, 2006). The semi-structured interviews contain pre-set questions that need to be answered because of these similar characteristics; the current research will adopt thematic analysis. Thematic analytical approach has been adopted in the previous research based on SMEs for example Hudson, Smart and Bourne (2001) and Bell, Crick and Young (2004). The findings indicate that the main obstacle in improving risk management practices in small businesses is a disconnect of this practice from the company's business strategy. The current research finds out that while adopting the business strategy, SMEs face various risks such as "financial risk, reputational risk, strategic risk and price risk.". The study confirmed the lack of knowledge about business strategy and the risk management within Pakistani sports goods industry. Therefore, it is highly recommended to focus the level of knowledge. This study also suggests that smaller firms can strengthen their internal processes, including the implementation of competitive strategies and risk mitigation approaches to achieve higher levels of profitability. This research formulates recommendations for risk management strategies in the Pakistani sports goods industry. The value of this research is in its potential to improve competitive situations of Pakistani SMEs within the sports goods industry. As identified in this research, there is a lack of awareness among the SMEs regarding risks in their companies. Organization will help to find out the factors that need to make better the risk management practice. Results obtained from the current study highlighted the need for a framework within which to explore the connection between risk management and business strategies in the participating companies. The framework will enable us to establish, with empirical evidence, that risk management has notable relationships with business strategy. This research work confirmed that managing price risk, reputational risk, and strategic risk are important predictors of the selected bespoke business strategies. At the time when this study was conceived in 2015, there was limited understanding of risk management in SMEs within the sports industry. The aim was to gain an in-depth understanding and provide a complete picture of the "current state of risk management" practices within SMEs in the sports goods industry of Pakistan. Therefore, a small sample of SMEs was interviewed. Now, this approach can be expanded by utilising a large-scale survey and including a representative sample of Pakistani SMEs in the sports goods industry. This will ensure an approach, more grounded in the factual situation, to preventive risk management via the anticipatory and pacifying effect of business strategies. The Punjab Skills Development Fund (PDF) database (2016) has used for a sample of sports goods SMEs in Sialkot, Pakistan. The database updated every after three years; therefore, the basic data, i.e. employees, turnover may not reflect the current state. The study aimed to cover all range of SMEs in term of size, turnover Etc but micro-firms consist of a large number of SMEs in Pakistan. Accepting a sample bias, the study should, therefore represent the majority of the micro firms.
Date of Award23 Nov 2020
Original languageEnglish
SupervisorMohamed Branine (Supervisor)


  • Risk management
  • SMEs
  • Pakistan
  • Sports goods
  • Business strategies

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