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Aligning teaching and practice: a study of SME marketing

Sheilagh Resnick (Nottingham Business School, Nottingham Trent University, Nottingham, UK)
Ranis Cheng (Nottingham Business School, Nottingham Trent University, Nottingham, UK)
Clare Brindley (Nottingham Business School, Nottingham Trent University, Nottingham, UK)
Carley Foster (Nottingham Business School, Nottingham Trent University, Nottingham, UK)

Journal of Research in Marketing and Entrepreneurship

ISSN: 1471-5201

Article publication date: 12 July 2011

Abstract

Purpose

This study aims to explore the role of marketing in small and medium‐sized enterprises (SMEs) and to consider how amendments can be made to the UK higher education (HE) teaching curriculum to inform marketing teaching and learning around a small business context.

Design/methodology/approach

A qualitative, exploratory approach using semi‐structured in‐depth interviews amongst ten owners of SMEs in the East Midlands region of the UK was used.

Findings

Marketing in SMEs is centred on customer engagement, networking and word of mouth communication. HE academic institutions should take account of these findings and work towards introducing SME‐specific marketing material in its teaching and learning curricula.

Research limitations/implications

This study uses a small number of SME companies in one region and therefore the generalisability of the findings may be limited. Further research could extend the number of SME companies and to other regions of the UK.

Practical implications

The findings have a bearing on the UK HE marketing curriculum. This study offers insights into how the marketing curriculum in HE needs to be adapted in light of the findings to ensure marketing graduates are equipped to enter SME employment.

Originality/value

Studies aligning how marketing in SMEs is practiced compared to HE teaching curriculum are limited. This research contributes to the body of literature by further exploring the characteristics and marketing activities of SMEs and highlighting the need to align teaching and practice of marketing in UK HE institutions.

Keywords

Citation

Resnick, S., Cheng, R., Brindley, C. and Foster, C. (2011), "Aligning teaching and practice: a study of SME marketing", Journal of Research in Marketing and Entrepreneurship, Vol. 13 No. 1, pp. 37-46. https://doi.org/10.1108/14715201111147932

Publisher

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Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2011, Emerald Group Publishing Limited