Entrepreneurship and the small to medium‐sized enterprise

John Day (Huddersfield University Business School, University of Huddersfield, Huddersfield, UK)
Paul Reynolds (Huddersfield University Business School, University of Huddersfield, Huddersfield, UK)
Geoff Lancaster (Liverpool John Moores University, Liverpool, UK)

Management Decision

ISSN: 0025-1747

Publication date: 1 June 2006



The purpose of this paper is to suggest a framework for competing theories of entrepreneurship but to argue for transparency in one's attempts to understand this phenomenon. Then to argue that, when matching small business advisers to small business, one should consider their entrepreneurial abilities and match as appropriate. A parsimonious method is suggested to measure entrepreneurial ability – divergent thinking.


A discussion of entrepreneurship and a proposed matrix that considers the relative entrepreneurial abilities of both partners and is then expanded to account for different decision scenarios.


A simple test for divergent thinking is suggested to measure entrepreneurship, applied to some hypothetical scenarios, and is supported by some broad evidence on the relationship between small businesses and commercial banks.

Research limitations/implications

At this stage a conceptual article but with real implications for managing SME and adviser relationships.

Practical implications

Should lead to a better understanding by both the SME and their advisers of what each party needs to contribute to ensure a successful outcome.


Provides a framework for classifying entrepreneurship and a different perspective on the SME and adviser relationship; suggests a different way from, say, traditional entrepreneurial orientation scales by which to measure entrepreneurial capacity of either the adviser or the SME.



Day, J., Reynolds, P. and Lancaster, G. (2006), "Entrepreneurship and the small to medium‐sized enterprise", Management Decision, Vol. 44 No. 5, pp. 581-597. https://doi.org/10.1108/00251740610668851

Download as .RIS



Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2006, Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Please note you might not have access to this content

You may be able to access this content by login via Shibboleth, Open Athens or with your Emerald account.
If you would like to contact us about accessing this content, click the button and fill out the form.
To rent this content from Deepdyve, please click the button.