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Understanding how perceived barriers influence growth intentions and behaviours: Accounts from small business owner‐managers in Russia

Rachel Doern (School of Management, Royal Holloway, University of London, London, UK)

International Journal of Entrepreneurial Behavior & Research

ISSN: 1355-2554

Article publication date: 16 August 2011

Abstract

Purpose

This paper aims to expand on existing conceptualisations of barriers to small business growth by addressing the question of how, or in what ways, do perceived barriers influence the growth intentions and behaviours of owner‐managers?

Design/methodology/approach

Adopting an interpretive methodological approach, in‐depth semi‐structured interviews were held with 27 owner‐managers working in St Petersburg, Russia. Participants were asked about their intentions for their businesses, how they intended to grow and what, if anything, prevented or interfered with these intentions. Template analysis was used to develop owner‐managers' perceptions and experiences of barriers to growth, and to facilitate theory building.

Findings

Six ways in which perceived barriers influence the growth intentions and behaviours of small business owner‐managers were identified. Barriers: stop owner‐managers from intending to grow; undermine intentions; add to the ambivalence around growth intentions; provide incentives to grow; postpone intention realization; and slow down the process of realizing intentions to grow.

Research limitations/implications

Because data were collected at one point in time, it was not possible to capture the dynamic nature of barriers or the intentions/behaviours they influenced. Future research could be strengthened through the use of longitudinal designs and process‐based methods (e.g. diary studies).

Practical implications

Educators and policy makers should help owner‐managers understand the ways in which barriers can affect business growth and be overcome.

Originality/value

This study is the first to examine how barriers influence growth intentions and behaviours, and to facilitate theory development on the topic.

Keywords

Citation

Doern, R. (2011), "Understanding how perceived barriers influence growth intentions and behaviours: Accounts from small business owner‐managers in Russia", International Journal of Entrepreneurial Behavior & Research, Vol. 17 No. 5, pp. 488-514. https://doi.org/10.1108/13552551111158826

Publisher

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Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2011, Emerald Group Publishing Limited