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Transformational place building: a mixed method exploration of small businesses

David F. Thomas (Monfort College of Business, University of Northern Colorado, Greeley, Colorado, USA)
James M. Gould (School of Human Sciences, University of Northern Colorado, Greeley, Colorado, USA)
Diane B. Gaede (School of Human Sciences, University of Northern Colorado, Greeley, Colorado, USA)
Richard R. Jurin (Biology/Environmental Studies, University of Northern Colorado, Greeley, Colorado, USA)

Journal of Enterprising Communities: People and Places in the Global Economy

ISSN: 1750-6204

Article publication date: 18 October 2011

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to explore the nature of transformational business practices using the construct of organizational place building. The objective is to develop a more expansive model of place building that examines and the potential of their business practices on place.

Design/methodology/approach

This project employed a mixed method research focusing on collecting, analyzing, and mixing both quantitative and qualitative data in a single study or series of studies. Members from the chamber of commerce of three cities in Northern Colorado participated in two phases of research.

Findings

The mixed method approach captured key themes that provided a discernable structure to the place building construct, and revealed that businesses build place in a variety of ways each according to their own culture and business model.

Research limitations/implications

The traditional model of corporate social responsibility while important, is limited in scope and influence. In contrast, we have argued for a more expansive perspective which examines how transformational organizations value place and the potential of their business practices to enhance or diminish community well‐being.

Social implications

The paper presents a step in the direction of building a coherent theory of how organizations build place and poses new questions about the role of organizations in relation to places.

Originality/value

A theoretical understanding of how organizations contribute to the construction of place would benefit from the work of economists, geographers, sociologists as well as management theorists.

Keywords

Citation

Thomas, D.F., Gould, J.M., Gaede, D.B. and Jurin, R.R. (2011), "Transformational place building: a mixed method exploration of small businesses", Journal of Enterprising Communities: People and Places in the Global Economy, Vol. 5 No. 4, pp. 286-299. https://doi.org/10.1108/17506201111177325

Publisher

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Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2011, Emerald Group Publishing Limited