The present study aims to contribute to the body of knowledge on HRD in small businesses by providing a detailed investigation of the role that owner-managers play in enabling social learning and performance in small firms. The investigation focusses particularly on the specific relationships of the social-interdependence orientation and social competence of owner-managers with their social learning behaviour, as well as with the performance of their small-businesses within the pig-production sector in the Republic of Korea. A survey was conducted amongst nearly 200 Korean owner-managers of pig farms. The results indicate that social interdependence orientations and social competencies have a significant relationship with social learning behaviour. Self-promotion and a cooperative orientation are especially important, with self-promotion taking precedence for social learning behaviour of a more ‘internal’ nature, and a cooperative attitude being more important social learning behaviour of a more ‘external’ nature. Social competence and social interdependence did not have a significant relationship with performance, but social learning behaviour did. The results further highlight the importance of individual social characteristics to social learning behaviour occurring outside highly structured educational settings, in addition to demonstrating that the competence and attitudes required are determined by the type of interaction partner.
- firm performance
- social competence
- Social interdependence orientation
- social learning behaviour