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Only 6 left in stock more on the way. Only 8 left in stock. Only 7 left in stock. For the second panel in , logistic regressions show that negative or undecided responses with regard to rating often correlate with more reorganization measures, especially with changing or improving accounting standards and evaluating individual units according to ratios for earnings and productivity.
Thus, more precisely, firms without rating experience, smaller firms, and firms run by East Germans or by older managing directors are significantly reorganized to a smaller extent. This was not the case in the first panel wave. For the data, only a negative operating result of the company showed significant effects on the probability of undertaking restructuring measures Table 3.
In recent years organizational restructuring has been conducted more selectively and banks have acquired an indirect influence on the internal structure of firms via rating outcomes. This consequence of a crisis may be interpreted as the catching-up of laggards. Yet, the interviews prove that banks are frequently a driving factor in the implementation of elaborated accounting standards.
In case of financial crisis, SMEs must report to their creditors quarterly or even monthly, just like subsidiaries to a parent company or an institutional investor. Yet, there are also other, more indirect but influential factors involved. Innovative management methods often move down from large firms to SMEs.
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When the historian Harm G. A profound empirical proof of the trickle-down effect in the implementation of accounting systems developed during the last decades is provided by Martens and Schmidt : In a sample of enterprises — members of the German branch of the International Controller Association ICV — firms with more than 1, employees introduced accounting systems up to the Change within Traditional Channels: German SMEs 47 Table 3. We suggest that as learning processes occur in business, a more commercial approach emerges with a stricter profit orientation — even though SMEs may still reject the shareholder value ideology.
One accounting manager pointed out: Before, we approached some things quite differently, saw their value differently.
Transparency policy of SMEs The substantial change in bank-firm relationships also alters how enterprises acquire reputation. Although personal trust in the capabilities and skills of a potential creditor has not vanished completely from the relationships, the foundation that trust is built on has experienced a significant shift from informal reputation gained in a business community towards formal standards and balance-sheets. This shift has been adopted as a new strategy by many managers we interviewed who started to feed banks proactively with detailed figures and strategic information on a regular basis, and even exceeding requirements.
Managing director, SME 1 Transparency policy is a firm strategy that copes with the new bank requirements without leading necessarily to more distance in their relationships with the banks. Their authors interpret this as a sign of the success of institutional changes, that is, of the new requirements and incentives. In our sample, too, there is a slight rise in the equity ratio from the already high average of 37 per cent, to 38 per cent. We also note a remarkable growth in the utilization of alternative financial methods from 48 per cent in to 59 per cent in , which mainly occurs in younger firms and firms owned by other corporations and organizations.
Increasing equity and leasing have a high priority. Forty-four per cent of the firms in the hands of private owners or families and Leasing constitutes It also suggests an intentional strategy of becoming more independent from banks. Yet in contrast to large German firms cf. Deeg , it would be too much to say that German SMEs are turning away from credit financing cf. The connection between the two processes is only weak. Yet, we should note that the new professionalized standards of corporate control do contribute to cultural change in the traditional management culture of large German firms as well as SMEs cf.
Lane ; Eberwein and Tholen In spite of the expectation of the emergence of a new, shorterterm and project-oriented type of entrepreneur, as was observed in the New Economy cf.
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Martens and Michailow Succession does play a role here but is less crucial for the new generation of entrepreneurs than predicted cf. Berghoff ; In the following sections, we provide evidence for the unbroken relevance of the traditional concept of succession 3. In sum, succession within families is still the dominant pattern. But owners also compensate a lack of suitable relatives by considering a wider circle of insiders.
There is no East-West difference in this respect. The East German founders, too, wish to establish family firms within the next generation. Of the managers 84 per cent we questioned perceived the search for a successor as unproblematic. We also asked for the reasons for passing on a firm.
In These three independent features emphasize different aspects: phases of life of the respondents, life cycles of the organization, and effects of ownership in relation to the age of the company. Concerning strategic company goals, differences between the older and the different groups of younger managers are not statistically significant. Company founders, who are usually older in our sample, and especially founders in East Germany, are most interested in liquidity about 65 per cent of the East-German did emphasize this target, compared to An increase in equity is ranked in privately owned firms notably higher Older age cohorts in general emphasize turnover and liquidity in comparison to younger managing directors, but the correlations are not significant.
Although succession has not recently played a decisive role in pushing the professionalization of corporate control ahead, we conclude that it could act as a promoter of the process. With respect to qualifications, successors in West Germany tend to prefer management to engineering degrees 63 per cent and 41 per cent , whereas the corresponding East Germans confirm the traditional technical dominance with 27 per cent of the degrees in management and 80 per cent in engineering.
This is a new trend in the data set, since a negative correlation between age and management degrees 52 Change in SMEs still existed in the sample. It seems that a trend towards management degrees also affects older age cohorts of managing directors of SMEs — at least the ones directed by West Germans — indicating that it is also becoming more and more decisive for running manufacturing SMEs. There is also no correlation between the qualification of the managing director questioned and the reorganization measures the firms gave priority to in the recent years.
That is, directors with management degrees do not stress market and accounting issues more than engineers both East- and West-German managers. As with their counterparts in large German firms, younger managers of SMEs tend to bypass vocational training on their career paths, something once considered decisive for the German engineer culture in management in comparison to French or British management for example , which combines theoretical with practical competences cf. Lane For West-German as well as East-German managing directors, the percentages of persons who enter vocational training is decreasing continuously.
In the age cohort Change within Traditional Channels: German SMEs 53 result of the growing number of employed managers on the managing boards of SMEs, rather than of a shift in career patterns. Their average tenures in the sample vary between In contrast to our expectations, the variables ownership and qualification background revealed small correlations with attitudes. Firm founders, successors or employed managers vary in their concept of leadership, but do not differ significantly in their attitudes about, for example, the social responsibility of the firm or state regulation Martens and Michailow The East-West differences are much more significant and stable here.
One explanation could be socialization processes within the SME sector, since even the skydivers among managing directors rarely come from large firms. The finding might also prove the general distance towards the shareholder value orientation as a new manager ideology, which we have found in the in-depth interviews. Yet, those interviews also suggest that managing directors underestimate the challenges posed to traditional social relationships in SMEs caused by the professionalization of corporate governance and the intensification of financial efficiency and cost control Becker, Bluhm and Martens We argue that major changes have occurred in the traditional channels of business and are contributing to the gradual dissolution of the nationally embedded, coordinated German market economy.
In recent years the banks have played a major role. The new surge in the professionalization of corporate control improves not only the information flow to investors transparency of external actors but also increases the transparency of profits and losses within firms. It can be proved that the results of ratings have an influence on restructuring processes in companies.
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This impact of financial ratios is new in the context of German SMEs. This change does not correspond to the spread of a new type of entrepreneur who perceives managing a firm as a temporary project. Yet it contributes to the ongoing decline of the traditional engineering culture in German management. Successors in the manufacturing sector have social ties to the firm they take over either as relatives or former employees, and do not consider leading that particular firm as a transition stage in their personal life.
Although they do not undertake an open ideological shift toward shareholder value, they appear to more readily embrace the new requests and incentives of a financially-oriented and professionalized concept of corporate governance. According to the savings bank, three-quarters of German SMEs are customers of savings banks.
Firms also more often use savings and cooperative banks in order to obtain state financial aid. Mezzanine capital is a form of equity that gives the investor few rights in corporate control.
Nevertheless, the expected return on investment is often so high that the new form has attracted only few customers among SMEs so far cf. KfW The abbreviation refers to the enterprise where the interview took place in this case SME 56 , additionally the year of the interview mentioned. Josef Ackermann, as CEO of the Deutsche Bank, agreed as a member of the supervisory board of Mannesmann to the Vodafone deal after a fierce takeover battle that led to the dissolution of Mannesmann and job losses in Germany.
The deal included a large bonus for Klaus Esser and others , the head of the managing board at that time. For Esser, see footnote 6.