Matlay, H. (2008), "Editorial", Journal of Small Business and Enterprise Development, Vol. 15 No. 1. https://doi.org/10.1108/jsbed.2008.27115aaa.001Download as .RIS
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Copyright © 2008, Emerald Group Publishing Limited
At the beginning of each new volume, I look back and reflect on the successes and achievements of previous publishing years. It is now seven years since I took over the editorship of JSBED, under difficult and challenging circumstances. In my first editorial (Vol. 9, No. 1, 2002) I outlined the options, opportunities and challenges facing us in relation to the strategic development and growth of this journal. From the beginning, I felt that it was crucial for us to ensure a good flow of high quality and empirically rigorous contributions, with a combined focus on both theoretical and practical aspects of small business and enterprise development. In the opening editorial of each of the subsequent volumes, I reiterated my commitment to increase and consolidate the flow of well-written and empirically rigorous articles that were directly pertinent to our rapidly expanding field of research. In the highly competitive milieu of contemporary academic publishing, the quality aspect of submissions remains one of the greatest challenges facing the Editorial board.
By the time this issue emerges in the public domain, an important, yet controversial, aspect of the UK academia would have come to an end. The influential and much debated “Research Assessment Exercise” (RAE) was introduced as a peer review process to evaluate the quality of research in UK higher education institutions (HEIs). Previous RAE evaluations were held respectively in 1992, 1996 and 2001. The final, 2008 RAE, follows a major review of the process which took place during the 2002-2003 period. In March 2006, the UK government announced its intention to abandon the current peer review process and replace it with an assessment system based upon numerical indicators, provisionally labeled as “metrics”. We all recognize the importance of quality in research dissemination and accept that there must be a better way to assess its impact not only upon academia but also on its applicability in real life situations.
The first issue of the new volume contains 11 articles and one “Point of view” feature. The number and variety of themes included in this general issue is indicative of the wide range of themes covered, and methodologies adopted, by contributors to our journal. In the first article, Scholes, Westhead and Burrows explore the ownership transfer of private family firms through internal management buy-out (MBO) and external management buy-in (MBI) succession routes. Their results highlight the importance of information sharing and confirm that family business owners may not always be in the strongest strategic position. In the next article, Andersson and Florén discuss the interface between internationalization and related managerial behavior in small firms. The authors conclude that combining internationalization and managerial behavior in small firms gives rise to interesting new research questions and directions. In the following contribution, Jones and Holt adopt an activity-based approach to provide readers with an activity theory framework for the analysis of entrepreneurs engaged in the creation of new business ventures (NBVs). They illustrate the contradictions and tensions experienced by nascent entrepreneurs as they consider the possibilities and opportunities associated with converting their business ideas into viable business ventures. In the fourth article of this issue Thakkar, Kanda and Deshmukh propose a role interaction model for understanding the supply chain orientation of small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs). The model presented by the authors provides an initial insight and appreciation of the dynamic changes that can help SMEs transform and improve their supply chain.
In the fifth article, Ledwith and O’Dwyer examine the impact of product launch, advantage and market orientation on new product development and organizational performance in SMEs. The authors identify several significant differences between the impact of product launch, advantage and market orientation on new product development and organizational performance in small and large firms. They highlight important areas in which small firms can improve their new product and organizational performance. Levent Altinay evaluates the relationship between Turkish entrepreneurs’ cultural attributes and the entrepreneurial orientation of their firms. He found that there is a strong relationship between the religion of an entrepreneur and his/her firm’s recruitment, market segmentation and advice seeking practices. Interestingly, the English language fluency of an entrepreneur can influence his/her choice of using formal channels of advice and support. In the next article, Bhutta, Rana, and Asad evaluate the relationship between specific organizational indicators (such as sales/employee, increase/decrease in sales and investment plans) and various personal characteristics of owners/entrepreneurs in Pakistan. They conclude that some aspects of the profiles of owners/entrepreneurs in Pakistan can impact significantly upon the profitability of their firms. The eighth article focuses upon the impact that the mentality of owner/managers can have upon enterprise performance during different stages of organizational growth. Wijewardena, Nanayakkara and De Zoysa conclude that there is a strong relationship between owner/managers’ mentality and the financial performance of their enterprises. It appears, however, that this relationship is not perceived to be significant in the growth and maturity stages.
In the next contribution van Gelderen, Sayers and Keen explore the way that home-based internet businesses (HBIB) are operated and the broader impact that these can have on industry and the wider economy. It emerges that these businesses tend to generates entrepreneurial variety through the unique way in which they operate and provide owner/managers with considerable autonomy, freedom and independence. Kim Klyver investigates the practices adopted by entrepreneurs in relation to their use of consultants throughout the business life cycle. She found that the involvement of consultants increases as entrepreneurs move through their business life cycle. Typically, as they gain access to more resources and encounter fragmented and specialized challenges, the feasibility and benefit of consultant involvement becomes more evident. In the eleventh article, Jacques Schnabel explores the economic rationale for the shotgun clause, which is a legally specified protocol for the dissolution of a partnership or a private corporation. This clause empowers an investor to acquire ownership of all the venture’s assets. The author discusses the behavioral ramifications of the shotgun clause and provides potential partners or shareholders with a guide and rational for its inclusion or exclusion at the time when small businesses are started. In their “Point of View” feature, Pittaway and Hannon identify and critically evaluate key criteria for assessing the viability of institutional strategies for enterprise education. The authors develop and analyze a number of models and methods of organizing enterprise education, including single department-led, as well as campus wide, models. They conclude that various models could prove valuable in different higher education contexts, and this arguably demonstrates the temporal nature of such contextual relationships.
A number of highly motivated and committed individuals have contributed – directly or indirectly – to the delivery of this issue. I would like to offer my gratitude to all contributors, referees, advisers, and to the production team at Emerald Publishing Group, for their hard work, time and commitment.