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Information sources used by contractually integrated retail entrepreneurs: A preliminary study

Arto Lindblom (Department of Marketing and Management, Helsinki School of Economics, Helsinki, Finland)

Journal of Small Business and Enterprise Development

ISSN: 1462-6004

Article publication date: 8 August 2008

Abstract

Purpose

This study aims to focus on the use of information sources by contractually integrated retail entrepreneurs. The research question is as follows: how can the use of information sources by contractually integrated retail entrepreneurs be classified using the dimensions of “external/internal” and “formal/informal”? In addition to analyzing the use of information sources, this study seeks to shed light on the relation between the information sources used by retail entrepreneurs and retail entrepreneurs' effectiveness.

Design/methodology/approach

An internet survey study was conducted among K‐retailers from K‐alliance. K‐retailers are independent retail entrepreneurs who own and manage their retail businesses, and who invest considerable personal and financial resources in these enterprises. The total number of questionnaires sent out was 1,170. Of these, 226 were satisfactorily completed for use in the analysis.

Findings

The study reveals that the majority of contractually integrated K‐retailers rely on external information sources when making decisions at the store level. Internal information sources are used by only a small minority of K‐retailers. In addition, the use of formal information sources seems more likely to increase the level of sales than does the use of informal sources.

Research limitations/implications

With regard to future research avenues, there is a need for a more comprehensive framework that takes into account the contextual factors and the structural characteristics of retailing organizations. In addition, the perceived reliability of information sources should be considered in assessing the use of various information sources.

Practical implications

This study contends that the effectiveness of the contractually integrated retail entrepreneurs is related to individual retailers' ability to take advantage of formal information sources.

Originality/value

This study provides a new point of view regarding perspectives on the use of information sources by contractually integrated retail entrepreneurs. This study also illustrates the relation between the use of information sources and retail entrepreneurs' effectiveness.

Keywords

Citation

Lindblom, A. (2008), "Information sources used by contractually integrated retail entrepreneurs: A preliminary study", Journal of Small Business and Enterprise Development, Vol. 15 No. 3, pp. 527-539. https://doi.org/10.1108/14626000810892328

Publisher

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Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2008, Emerald Group Publishing Limited