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The Benefit of Experience

Research team at Steinbeis University examines a tool designed for analyzing the potential of small and medium-sized enterprises

In which areas does my company display weaknesses and what are its strengths? With the help of a free tool for self-assessment, small and medium-sized enterprises can systematically improve key areas of their business, such as organizational processes and personnel management. Insights gained with the tool present the basis of a current research project at the School of International Business and Entrepreneurship (SIBE), a business school belonging to the Graduate School at the Faculty of Leadership and Management at Steinbeis University.

Digitization and new approaches to value creation are changing processes and organizational systems in companies. Particularly in these times of volatility, a key challenge faced by medium-sized enterprises is finding and retaining suitable skilled workers. An integral element of attracting skilled workers to a company is its attractiveness as an employer. To make themselves more attractive, companies need to understand their own potential and manage capabilities systematically.

The INQA self-assessment “good SMEs” offers business leaders the opportunity to systematically analyze their business potential at every stage of the value chain, looking at everything from strategy to organizational processes and personnel management. For those interested in conducting a critical assessment of their own organizational setup, the tool not only offers an opportunity to reflect on the current situation, it also provides firms with ideas and potential improvements based on experiences of other SMEs.

SIBE investigates usability and impact

The INQA self-assessment is currently subject of a scientific research project being conducted by Steinbeis. Its focus – among other things – is on how business leaders use the tool and areas in which they find it particularly helpful. The research team at the School of International Business and Entrepreneurship (SIBE) is keen to explore how well companies use the self-assessment, which issues businesses encounter, and what particular measures arise from the process of conducting the assessment.

Insights gained from this project will help make improvements to the INQA self-assessment, with special regard to current needs of small and medium-sized enterprises. At the same time, the project aims at helping firms unfold their full potential. “We are delighted to invite all SMEs belonging to the Steinbeis Network to participate in our research project” emphasizes Professor Dr. David Rygl, project lead at SIBE.

Anyone interested in conducting a self-assessment of various facets of their company and supporting the Steinbeis research team with their experience can find out more about the project here.


Nick Lange (author)
Research Assistant Innovation and Scientific Projects
Steinbeis School of International Business and Entrepreneurship GmbH (Herrenberg)