He said monitoring, negotiating, and adapting to changes, were all vital skills that went beyond regulation, and that regulatory compliance had been found to improve management practices within SMEs.
“Better regulation for SMEs may therefore not reside in the quantity of regulation, or how it is written, but how it is taken up in the processes involved in its effects,” he said. “In this way, regulations, and how businesses are supported to engage with regulation, can be made better and linked to wider agendas, such as improving productivity.”
The report, which was co-written by Dr Robert Wapshott and Professor Tim Vorley from the University of Sheffield, found that regulation can have a range of positive benefits, including maintaining competitive markets and protecting SMEs from unfair competition; encouraging improved practices, such as in managing conflict in the employment relationship; and indirectly developing management competence through the creation of formal and equitable policies and practices.
The research, developed out of a funded project for the UK Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, was published by the International Journal of Management Reviews.