Matlay, H. (2012), "Editorial", Journal of Small Business and Enterprise Development, Vol. 19 No. 1. https://doi.org/10.1108/jsbed.2012.27119aaa.001Download as .RIS
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Copyright © 2012, Emerald Group Publishing Limited
Article Type: Editorial From: Journal of Small Business and Enterprise Development, Volume 19, Issue 1
The first issue of JSBED in volume 19, 2012 marks my eleventh year as Editor of this journal. Reflecting upon the distance travelled since 2001, when I began the journey as a novice editor, I derive a great deal of satisfaction from the overall publishing achievement, despite various tribulations and the occasional setback. Working closely with managing editors and in collaboration with contributors and advisors, we have overcome many challenges and achieved a prestigious position among the many journals published in the field of small business and entrepreneurship. It should be remembered that by 2001, when I took over as Editor, JSBED has been languishing for years at the bottom of the league of small business journals. It was considered an outlet for contributions derived from a minor small business conference held in the UK. Some of the papers presented at the conference were “refereed” and later published in the journal as “invited papers”. Soon after being appointed as Editor, I decided to refocus the journal towards the dissemination of higher quality articles, of both theoretical and practical relevance. This strategy was consolidated by a drive to internationalise the content of the journal, increase the number of articles published in each issue and expand the Editorial Advisory Board. Over the ensuing years, our journal has grown and improved incrementally. Currently it holds a respectable position in both national and international journal quality listings. In the short term, we will continue our strategy of publishing high quality, empirically rigorous articles submitted by both beginners and advanced researchers in the field of small business and enterprise development. As most of our contributions are derived from outside the UK, the international content and reputation of JSBED is likely to increase further. In the medium and long term, we intend to enhance the rating of our journal and pursue an even higher ranking among the premier outlets in this field of academic endeavour.
This issue consists of ten articles which, individually and cumulatively, evidence the wide diversity of interests and themes addressed by researchers as well as the variety of empirical approaches at their disposal. In the first article, Lussier and Sonfield compare and contrast levels of family business planning for succession in seven countries: Croatia, Egypt, France, India, Kosovo, Kuwait and the USA. The authors found that there were significant differences in family business succession planning between Croatia, Egypt, France, Kosovo, Kuwait and the United States. In contrast, there were no statistically significant differences in family business succession planning between India and six other countries. In the second contribution, Berent-Braun and Uhlaner examine the relationship of ownership behaviours with both financial performance and family assets, in family owned businesses. They identify four categories of responsible ownership behaviours, including professionalism, active governance, owner as resource and basic duties. In the third article, Kontinen and Ojala explore the ways in which social capital is developed in the internationalization process of small and medium-sized family enterprises. It emerges that family entrepreneurs exhibited a large number of structural holes when launching international operations as well as after several years of running such ventures. Instead of trying to span structural holes, these entrepreneurs chose merely to develop networks with agents and subsidiary staff. The fourth paper focuses upon social networks and ways in which these evolve during small business transition across various stages in the organizational lifecycle. Peltier and Naidu found that that social networks for small businesses change during the transition from start-up to growth and beyond. Interestingly, personal networks were most important during the start-up stage, while social networks increased in importance and contact frequency across other stages of the organizational lifecycle. Their results also show that social networks lead to superior small business performance. In the fifth contribution, Kitching and Smallbone set out to demonstrate that freelancing, as a form of small business activity, is largely neglected by researchers. The authors propose an innovative conceptual framework, which facilitates the identification and exploration of several types of freelancer hitherto ignored by the research community. They conclude that “freelancers” are a large and growing proportion of the UK small business stock and that recent recessionary conditions have led to a further expansion in their numbers.
In the next contribution, Huggins and Weir investigate how small, knowledge-intensive business service firms manage their processes, which are labelled as “intellectual assets”. It emerges that the strategic management of intellectual assets in these firms can vary significantly, depending upon their size and type. Differences in management styles often impact on the development and effectiveness of related innovation processes. The focus of the seventh article is on the impact of an owner’s knowledge of information technology upon its use and strategic alignment. Chao and Chandra found that an owner’s knowledge of IT can be a significant predictor of its strategic alignment in their firms, and that it also impacts considerably upon the adoption of Internet technologies. In the eighth paper Kumar, Boesso, Favotto and Menini explore similarities and differences in the strategic orientation and innovation patterns between smaller and larger organisations. The results show that smaller businesses prefer a “defender” or “reactor” strategic orientation and innovation pattern, while larger organisations employ a “prospector” type of strategy. Smaller firms appear to find it difficult to innovate and usually opt for the “open innovation” model. In the next article, Urban and Naidoo explore and test the fragile relationship between operations skills and small firm sustainability in a high density manufacturing environment. This study confirms that a strong positive relationship exists between operation skills and small business sustainability. The authors recommend that government inspired policies and initiatives should facilitate the development of specific skills that are central to business sustainability. The tenth and final paper in this issue sets out to determine if there are differences between recruitment processes, methods and training practices in small and large businesses operating in retailing, the manufacturing and tourism sectors of an emerging economy. Greenidge, Alleyne, Parris and Grant found that recruitment processes and training practices could vary considerably among smaller businesses and larger organizations. Typically, small businesses are more likely to rely on informal recruitment methods and training practices than their larger counterparts.
Finally, I would like to extend my gratitude to all those individuals who have contributed, directly and indirectly, to the publication of this issue, including authors, referees, advisers and the production team at Emerald Group Publishing.
Harry MatlayBirmingham City Business School, Birmingham, UK