ATEKE, Brown Walter
Department of Marketing
Rivers State University, Port Harcourt
GODDAY, Raymond Luke
Department of Marketing
Niger Delta University Wilberforce Island, Amassoma, Bayelsa State
Economic advancement of nations is interlaced with growth and prosperity of businesses. Hence, policymakers devote resources to orchestrating enabling environment for businesses, especially SMEs, to thrive.
Governments have over the years made deliberate efforts to promote SMEs, in lieu of their contributions
to economic development. However, SMEs do not rely solely on government support to thrive. They also
require capabilities that provides sufficient fillip to operational success. This study examined the relevance
of channel-bonding capability to performance of SMEs in agribusiness. The study took a one-dimensional
view of channel-bonding capability; and used customer-base enlargement, profitability and portfolio
expansion as proxies of SMEs’ performance. The study adopted an explanatory research design, and
collected primary data through cross-sectional survey, using a structured questionnaire whose validity and
reliability was confirmed through exploratory factor analysis and Cronbach’s Alpha test respectively. The
population of the study comprised SMEs in agribusiness in Rivers State. 90 SMEs in agribusinesses in
Rivers State were surveyed. After data cleaning, data collected from 77 SMEs were found usable for
analyses. Pearson Product Moment Correlation served as test statistic, relying on Statistical Package for
Social Science (SPSS) version 24.0. The study found that channel-bonding capability has strong, positive
and statistically significant relationship with performance of SMEs in terms of customer-base enlargement
portfolio expansion and profitability. The study therefore concluded that channel-bonding capability
informs improved performance of SMEs in agribusiness; and recommends that SMEs in agribusinesses in
Rivers State that seek improved performance in terms of customer-base enlargement, portfolio expansion,
profitability should develop and deploy the capability to develop, nurture and manage relationship with
channel partners.
Keywords: Channel-bonding capability, customer-base enlargement, portfolio expansion, profitability,
SME performance

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