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Article
Publication date: 1 March 2006

Mathew Todres, Nelarine Cornelius, Shaheena Janjuha‐Jivraj and Adrian Woods

To study the applicability of capacity building as a technique for developing social enterprises.

Abstract

Purpose

To study the applicability of capacity building as a technique for developing social enterprises.

Design/methodology/approach

Two emerging social enterprises, developed within the WestFocus Partnership, a consortium of seven higher education institutions, were studied in a series of capacity building sessions conducted by Brunel University Business School, UK. Reports the gathering of data for the project using participant observation, questionnaire surveys and focus groups, together with a series of capacity building sessions delivered by specialists, addressing the areas of leadership and human resources, marketing, environmental scanning, stakeholder analysis and business strategy where Session 1 addressed “Management and leadership styles”, Session 2 addressed “Strategic marketing and environmental analysis”, and Session 3 addressed “Strategy (in the widest sense)”.

Findings

The results indicated that, although capacity building could not resolve a perceived conflict between social ends and profit‐driven motives, it does play an important role in the development of successful social enterprises, even if the role is limited.

Originality/value

Propose that a capabilities approach provides a useful platform for highlighting important links between corporate social responsibility and corporate governance within social enterprises.

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Article
Publication date: 1 March 2000

Yannis Georgellis, Paul Joyce and Adrian Woods

Using a sample of some 300 small independent businesses, drawn from Central London, the paper examines how entrepreneurial behaviour affects business performance. It is…

Abstract

Using a sample of some 300 small independent businesses, drawn from Central London, the paper examines how entrepreneurial behaviour affects business performance. It is argued that small businesses motivated by a desire to grow in terms of sales and/or employees and to survive in a dynamic and competitive environment need to be innovative. However, to what extent they will innovate successfully depends on their capacity to plan ahead, their capacity to innovate and their willingness to take risk. It is shown that entrepreneurial businesses are characterised by these competencies that allow them to innovate and thus develop and grow successfully. Not surprisingly, not all small businesses are equipped with these three competencies owing to their diverse array of strengths and weaknesses arising from the diversity in the managerial motives and aspirations of entrepreneurship. These results highlight the importance of the capacity to innovate and the capacity to plan ahead as strong predictors of small businesses’ performance.

Details

Journal of Small Business and Enterprise Development, vol. 7 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1462-6004

Keywords

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Article
Publication date: 29 March 2013

Weifeng Chen, Adrian Woods and Satwinder Singh

This paper aims to investigate the organisational changes (OCs) and the development of Chinese reformed township and village enterprises (RTVEs), their marketing and R&D…

Abstract

Purpose

This paper aims to investigate the organisational changes (OCs) and the development of Chinese reformed township and village enterprises (RTVEs), their marketing and R&D strategies, and the impact of changes in terms of overall performance.

Design/methodology/approach

A case study methodology involving semi‐structured interviews is adopted. The unit chosen is the Guotai International Group (GTIG) in Zhangjiagang, Suzhou, Jiangsu province, China, in which the organisational changes over a period of over 40 years are analysed.

Findings

OCs in Chinese RTVEs are found to be driven by a combination of local government plans and market forces. Considering the hybrid nature of the organisation and ownership structures, changes in Chinese RTVEs follow a very much “top‐down” approach.

Research limitations/implications

The findings imply that managers appointed by the state in RTVEs usually lack the necessary skills in marketing and business management, and can be resistant to organisational changes, such as the willingness to undertake risks. As a result, RTVEs may become stuck in a cycle of low‐cost, low‐tech products, inhibiting any breakthrough in developing their own quality brands.

Originality/value

This is one of few papers studying change over a long span of time to arrive at research findings that will be useful to academic researchers in their future work. The qualitative findings from this paper would also enrich the literatures on organisational change in Chinese RTVEs.

Details

Journal of Organizational Change Management, vol. 26 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0953-4814

Keywords

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Article
Publication date: 1 October 1999

Adrian Woods, Anne‐Marie Coles and Keith Dickson

The right to copyright protection is an important asset in industries which rely on individual creativity for competitiveness. Considers the role and function of UK…

Abstract

The right to copyright protection is an important asset in industries which rely on individual creativity for competitiveness. Considers the role and function of UK copyright law for design protection in the furnishing fabric sector, with particular reference to the implications for introducing knowledge of the law into design training. Reports on the findings of an industry survey which investigated both the actual experience of design infringement and practitioners’ views about potential measures of improving awareness of copyright law. The increasing propensity to find copies in overseas markets is documented along with data pertaining to the sources of information on legal measures to which currently designers have recourse. It is concluded that, due to changing factors in the industry, modern design training courses need to review the educational requirements of future designers in this area.

Details

Journal of European Industrial Training, vol. 23 no. 7
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0309-0590

Keywords

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Article
Publication date: 23 October 2009

Adrian Woods and Charles Dennis

The UK government is committed to increasing the proportion of young people entering higher education. This means that graduates will make up a greater proportion of the…

Abstract

Purpose

The UK government is committed to increasing the proportion of young people entering higher education. This means that graduates will make up a greater proportion of the labour market. To some extent, this applies to all businesses, but will particularly affect small and medium sized enterprises (SMEs), that have traditionally employed a lower proportion of graduates. Accordingly, the purpose of this paper is to help universities understand better what they could do to both prepare their graduates for jobs in small firms and to help them communicate better with small firms.

Design/methodology/approach

The empirical findings are based on a telephone questionnaire survey of SMEs (n=396), drawn from a range of sectors.

Findings

The findings indicate that, dependent on: the size of the firm, the proportion of graduates currently employed, the sector that the firm is in, its location and the role played in the organisation by the respondent, the firm's attitude towards employing graduates can be explained reasonably well. Overall, while nearly 60 per cent of respondents reported that their firm needed graduates, only 22 per cent felt that the graduates they had seen were well prepared for the world of work.

Research limitations/implications

The study is limited on account of the difficulty of obtaining a representative sample of SMEs across all sectors and geographical areas. The main implication is that universities need to work much harder in convincing smaller firms with a low percentage of graduates already working to take on graduates, especially when the owner‐manager is the key decision maker with respect to the employment decision. Further, universities in the London area have a much more difficult job in building relations with firms than those in other locations.

Originality/value

The main value of the paper is in opening a window on what SME employers think about employing graduates.

Details

Journal of Small Business and Enterprise Development, vol. 16 no. 4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1462-6004

Keywords

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Article
Publication date: 1 January 1995

Paul Joyce, Adrian Woods and Sharon Black

INTRODUCTION Companies operating in international markets have been told that innovation lies at the heart of success and that they should establish early warning systems…

Abstract

INTRODUCTION Companies operating in international markets have been told that innovation lies at the heart of success and that they should establish early warning systems to help them see the signals of change (Porter, 1990). At the global level, technological developments and competitive conditions have been seen as ‘increasing pressure on firms to co‐operate along and between value‐added chains’ (Dunning, 1993). However, does this apply only to multinational enterprises competing in world markets? In the early 1990s many small firms in London were also under pressure; they were often in industries characterized by significant technical changes, to which managers had responded by introducing technical developments into their own firms. They had often been severely constrained in their attempts to achieve their business objectives by difficult competitive conditions, notably the poor growth of market demand and the increasing intensity of competition. Of course, businesses everywhere have always faced changes in their competitive environments and it is the responsibility of management to make appropriate responses to these changes. However, firms vary in their ability to identify and understand the competitive environment and in their ability to mobilize and manage the resources needed for a successful response (Pettigrew and Whipp, 1993).

Details

Journal of Small Business and Enterprise Development, vol. 2 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1462-6004

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Article
Publication date: 1 August 1938

ADRIAN BRUNEL

AS the state of the world grows more depressing, I find that my taste in literature becomes lighter. I have developed a nervous horror of being bored, as well as a…

Abstract

AS the state of the world grows more depressing, I find that my taste in literature becomes lighter. I have developed a nervous horror of being bored, as well as a feverish anxiety to be distracted, and so I now subject my fiction to a pre‐reading test. When I am about to choose a novel, I first turn over the pages to see if there is plenty of dialogue and not too many long paragraphs of descriptive matter; once this peculiar criterion of mine is satisfied, I begin reading and if the dialogue is not “literary talk” but is true to life, amusing and character revealing, I then decide to buy, borrow or hire the book.

Details

Library Review, vol. 6 no. 8
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0024-2535

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Article
Publication date: 1 November 2003

Ruth Simpson, Debbie Holley and Adrian Woods

This paper examines the impact of restructuring within the transport and logistics sector on women managers working at senior and less senior (middle/junior management…

Abstract

This paper examines the impact of restructuring within the transport and logistics sector on women managers working at senior and less senior (middle/junior management) levels of the organization. The majority of women experienced increased performance pressures and heavier workloads as well as an increase in working hours. At the same time, there were pressures to work at home (i.e. weekends and evenings) and reduced opportunities to work from home (i.e. during normal office hours). Management level emerged as an important factor in how these changes were interpreted. Senior managers perceived more positive outcomes in terms of increased motivation and loyalty. Despite a longer working week, they were less likely to report low morale as an outcome from long hours. In fact, irrespective of management level, women working shorter hours were more likely to report low morale as an outcome. Results are discussed in relation to literature on restructuring and careers, in terms of perceptual framing and in relation to different levels of investment in the organization.

Details

Journal of Managerial Psychology, vol. 18 no. 7
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0268-3946

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Article
Publication date: 1 May 1940

SYMPATHY will be extended to our colleagues in the beautiful lands of Denmark and Norway, whose civilisation is so far in advance in all its political and social qualities…

Abstract

SYMPATHY will be extended to our colleagues in the beautiful lands of Denmark and Norway, whose civilisation is so far in advance in all its political and social qualities of that of the invaders. Denmark has for years had a library service unequalled in Europe, in particular for its country services, and its town libraries have been administered with a liberality that becomes a country where a happy, cultured and lovable people dwell—or did so dwell until the catastrophe. Norway, too, has much the same liberality of spirit, and amongst its librarians are many who are valued personal friends of their British comrades, who have studied in our library schools and worked in our libraries. We hope they and their libraries will come through safely.

Details

New Library World, vol. 42 no. 10
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0307-4803

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Article
Publication date: 9 November 2015

Adrian T.H. Kuah and Vishanth Weerakkody

– The purpose of this paper is to present a critical viewpoint on the negative aspects of market, price and cost transparencies to consumers in terms of its costs.

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to present a critical viewpoint on the negative aspects of market, price and cost transparencies to consumers in terms of its costs.

Design/methodology/approach

It adopts an inter-disciplinary approach from the marketing, economics and accounting literature. The paper explores market transparency in the ever-changing world and uses brand names like Starbucks and iPhone to illuminate instances where imperfect markets are supported by consumers.

Findings

Recognizing the role that the Internet plays in promoting price transparency, it espouses how extant information can add costs and risks to the consumer’s value judgement. Finally, the paper advocates that arbitrary judgements existing in cost accounting make it difficult to compare unit cost. This could result in consumers paying extra money to benefit from cost transparency.

Practical implications

This paper argues that three main issues may arise in providing unit cost to the consumers. First, transparency entails built-in costs, whether they are in taxes or product prices. Second, in accounting, unit cost information is currently not equitable between businesses. Finally, the paper argues that extra time and effort in making sense of unit cost information lead to questions about the viability of transparent costing.

Originality/value

The arguments for transparency have been widely discussed, supported and promoted by many. While negative aspects are known to businesses, few consider the consumer’s perspective. By amalgamating evidence and arguments from different disciplines, this paper lends value, providing a critical perspective where transparent unit cost revelation can be more costly and less viable than what is assumed.

Details

European Journal of Marketing, vol. 49 no. 11/12
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0309-0566

Keywords

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