Climbing the mountain: management practice adoption in growth oriented firms in Wales

Gary Packham (Welsh Enterprise Institute, University of Glamorgan Business School, Treforest, Wales, UK)
David Brooksbank (Welsh Enterprise Institute, University of Glamorgan Business School, Treforest, Wales, UK)
Christopher Miller (Welsh Enterprise Institute, University of Glamorgan Business School, Treforest, Wales, UK)
Brychan Thomas (Welsh Enterprise Institute, University of Glamorgan Business School, Treforest, Wales, UK)

Journal of Small Business and Enterprise Development

ISSN: 1462-6004

Publication date: 1 December 2005

Abstract

Purpose

This paper proposes that owner‐managers of growth firms are more likely to have developed or acquired managerial practices that facilitate such expansion. The paper, therefore, examines how growth oriented firms in Wales have adopted management practices to build the necessary entrepreneurial capacity to sustain growth.

Design/methodology/approach

A group interview technique was utilised to examine the management development process in 18 growing firms across the manufacturing, construction sectors.

Findings

The research highlighted that whilst firms argued that the management practices they had implemented were to facilitate further growth, the relative importance of practices such as marketing, financial management and planning varied across sectors. Furthermore, it was apparent that growth firms identified in this study were more inclined to look at the adoption of management practices from a strategic perspective.

Research limitations/implications

The exploratory nature of this study means that it is difficult to generalise these findings outside the boundaries of the adopted research strategy. In addition, links between performance and managerial action are always very difficult to demonstrate conclusively as this process is often dependent on owner‐managers recounting and recognising cause and effect relationships. Nevertheless, the study does strengthen existing academic argument that key management practices outlined in this paper are regularly adopted by growing firms.

Practical implications

The findings will assist policy makers and owner/managers with regard to identifying and understanding why certain management practices engender small business growth.

Originality/value

The paper adds its support to the growing literature which examines the process of management development in small growth firms. Moreover, given Wales' current dearth of growth oriented firms, the paper implies that policy makers should support training and initiatives that develop entrepreneurial and managerial competencies that are industry specific.

Keywords

Citation

Packham, G., Brooksbank, D., Miller, C. and Thomas, B. (2005), "Climbing the mountain: management practice adoption in growth oriented firms in Wales", Journal of Small Business and Enterprise Development, Vol. 12 No. 4, pp. 482-497. https://doi.org/10.1108/14626000510628171

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Publisher

:

Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2005, Emerald Group Publishing Limited

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