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Culture: a missing perspective on small‐ and medium‐sized enterprise development?

Richard Choueke (Edge Hill College of Higher Education, Ormskirk, UK)
Roger Armstrong (University of Central Lancashire, Preston, UK)

International Journal of Entrepreneurial Behavior & Research

ISSN: 1355-2554

Article publication date: 1 August 2000



This paper precedes the final stages of a five‐year research project the aim of which was to seek explanations as to reasons for “organizational growth” and “business success” in the small and medium size enterprise (SME) sector. The groundwork for the empirical study comprised a literature review of existing perspectives on SME growth and development. The authors originally identified two major perspectives. The first of these focused upon a group of writers whose explanation was informed by “growth model” literature. This perspective identifies clear stages of growth and development over time, each of which generates a trigger for organizational growth. The second perspective on business growth and development was through explanations focusing upon individual agency and entrepreneurship. However, during the work on the literature review, the attention of the authors became focused on research that dealt with the influence of “organizational culture” on the performance of companies within the corporate sector. Moreover, what was apparent from the literature review, was a clear gap, the lack of reference as to the effects of organizational culture on the development of SMEs. Initial analysis of the empirical data indicates several differing views as to the actual meaning of the term of “organizational culture” from amongst the research sample. In the majority of cases respondents who identified unique “cultures” in their organizations believed that those “cultures” had a positive effect on the performance of their companies. This effect was even more clearly articulated by those respondents who perceived their companies to be “growth orientated”. The focus of this paper is a consequence of the journey from the literature review through to the initial findings of the empirical work and subsequent evaluation and reflection.



Choueke, R. and Armstrong, R. (2000), "Culture: a missing perspective on small‐ and medium‐sized enterprise development?", International Journal of Entrepreneurial Behavior & Research, Vol. 6 No. 4, pp. 227-238.




Copyright © 2000, MCB UP Limited

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