Post-Crisis Sustainable Performance of Manufacturing SMEs : The Roles of Positive Orientation, Financial Slack, and External Networks

Research output: Journal Publications and Reviews (RGC: 21, 22, 62)21_Publication in refereed journalpeer-review

View graph of relations



Original languageEnglish
Article number12998
Journal / PublicationSustainability
Issue number17
Online published29 Aug 2023
Publication statusPublished - Sept 2023



This paper examines the roles of positive orientation, financial slack, and external networks in the sustainability of small and medium-sized manufacturing enterprises (SMEs) following the global financial crisis in 2008–2009. The financial crisis is a good example of sudden, unexpected external disruption, in which a firm’s resilience as well as sustainability is seriously tested. Using a sample of 207 manufacturing SMEs in Hong Kong, we tested the simultaneous effects of positive orientation, financial slack, and external networks on post-crisis firm performance through strategic change. Our findings show that positive orientation and external networks play an enabling role in strategic change, which in turn leads to high performance. The enabling role of financial slack is, however, not supported. The study also shows that positive orientation, financial slack, and external networks have direct and positive effects on firm performance. The results provide academics and practitioners with a new perspective of the underlying mechanism that sustains the firm performance of SMEs under a financial crisis. © 2023 by the authors. Licensee MDPI, Basel, Switzerland.

Research Area(s)

  • small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs), positive orientation, financial slack, external networks, strategic change, sustainable performance, environmental hostility

Download Statistics

No data available