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Article
Publication date: 7 March 2016

Peter Carey and George Tanewski

Business advisory services are an emerging service category for external accountants in the small and medium-sized enterprise (SME) environment. The purpose of this study…

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Abstract

Purpose

Business advisory services are an emerging service category for external accountants in the small and medium-sized enterprise (SME) environment. The purpose of this study is to investigate determinants of SME demand for business advice, drawing on the agency theory, relational marketing and resource-based literatures.

Design/methodology/approach

The study empirically tested theoretical predictions based on an Australia-wide survey of SMEs, in which 485 firms responded to a questionnaire.

Findings

The results show that the purchase of business advice is significantly and positively associated with the perceived competence of the external accountant, but significantly and negatively associated with length of the relationship. However, the authors observe a significant positive interaction between tenure of the relationship and competence. A unique contribution of this study is the development of the understanding of the combined role of the external accountant’s competence and the tenure of the relationship. The findings indicate that SMEs require time to verify whether accountants have the competence to provide business advice, suggesting that information asymmetry and uncertainty is minimised only after SMEs have nurtured relationships with their external accountants, and after they have developed some confidence in the competence of their external accountants. At the same time, the negative association with tenure suggests that when accountants are not perceived as competent advisors, SMEs purchase less advice over time.

Research limitations/implications

The paper has important theoretical implications by augmenting agency theory, the relational marketing and the resource-based literature, and it clarifies which antecedent factors are important in explaining demand for business advisory services provided by accountants to their SME clients. In particular, the paper highlights the importance of the combined roles that the external accountant’s competence and tenure play in the SME–accountant relationship, highlighting how these two factors can overcome credence issues and ex ante information problems.

Practical implications

The findings have practical implications for government initiatives targeting support to SMEs, as the findings identify small firms and firms planning to grow as likely to gain the greatest benefit from external advice and support.

Originality/value

This study adds to the limited literature and scant theoretical discussions on the emergence of business advisory services that accountants provide to their SME clients by drawing on several theories to explain the determinants of business advice.

Details

Managerial Auditing Journal, vol. 31 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0268-6902

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 11 April 2018

Robert Blackburn, Peter Carey and George Tanewski

The purpose of this paper is to test a conceptual framework explaining the role of relationships and trust in enabling the purchase of business advice by small business…

1516

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to test a conceptual framework explaining the role of relationships and trust in enabling the purchase of business advice by small business owner–managers from their external accountants.

Design/methodology/approach

The study uses a semi-structured interview approach with 20 small- and medium-sized enterprise (SME) owners and accountants in London and Melbourne.

Findings

The interview data support the conceptual framework’s central proposition that relationships and trust, rather than being antecedents of demand for advice, are necessary conditions for enabling latent demand. SMEs with greater propensity to trust are more open to buying business advice but not necessarily from their accountant.

Research limitations/implications

A limitation of the fieldwork is that it is based on a non-random and limited sample of accountants and SMEs.

Practical implications

Accountants in public practice can no longer assume that the already established relationships with their clients, developed while providing compliance services, will automatically lead SME clients to purchase business advice.

Originality/value

The paper contributes to the accounting literature by developing a conceptual model of relationships and trust that will assist the profession in better understanding the complex dynamics of the accountant–client relationship. The conceptual model distinguishes, for the first time, the antecedent factors of demand for business advice from the enabling roles of relationships and trust. Fieldwork interviews also yielded new insights into how SMEs’ decisions to purchase business advice are influenced by specific personality traits of SME owner–managers and additional antecedent demand factors not identified in the extant literature – economic conditions, environmental turbulence and business life-cycle.

Details

Qualitative Research in Accounting & Management, vol. 15 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1176-6093

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 9 May 2008

John Gaskell and John Ashton

Against the backdrop of the Financial Services Authority's Retail Distribution Review, this study aims to present an assessment of the potential development of a UK…

1535

Abstract

Purpose

Against the backdrop of the Financial Services Authority's Retail Distribution Review, this study aims to present an assessment of the potential development of a UK personal financial advising profession. The development of a profession dedicated to providing financial advice is critically discussed by assessing a range of regulatory and industry views.

Design/methodology/approach

The study indicates both a critical literature review and survey of retail financial services planning advisors. The critical literature review considers the market failures which surround the provision of financial planning advice in the UK. A survey of professionally qualified personal financial planning advisers ascertains perceptions of developments to the current regulatory framework to accommodate a more professionally based system of financial advice.

Findings

It is reported that a conflict between the current regulatory system and the traditional liberal model of the professions exist. This conflict inhibits the development of a financial services advising profession. Survey evidence collected from professionally qualified financial planning advisors bears out this perspective.

Research limitations/implications

Two key research implications emerge from this study. First, the development of a professional model of financial planning advising appears to be inhibited by the current regulatory system. Secondly, current regulation of financial services sales through a market mechanism appears to limit access to financial planning advice.

Practical implications

The study raises two key practical implications. First, the current system of regulating financial sales, appears to exclude a substantial segment of the population from access to professional financial planning services. Secondly, the development of a profession and increasing professional behaviour in retail financial services sales conflicts with the current model of regulation.

Originality/value

This research paper both reviews the wider arguments surrounding the regulation of retail financial services sales and forwards new evidence as to the attitudes of professionally qualified financial advisors towards regulatory change. This has importance in clarifying a number of the key policy concerns in the regulation of financial services sales.

Details

Journal of Financial Regulation and Compliance, vol. 16 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1358-1988

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 1 November 2006

Cathleen A. McGrath, Larry E. Pate, Edmund R. Gray and Charles M. Vance

The purpose of this article is to examine the nature and influence of entrepreneurs' advice networks on the innovative performance of their companies from both economic…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this article is to examine the nature and influence of entrepreneurs' advice networks on the innovative performance of their companies from both economic and social perspectives. Specifically, it aims to address three research questions: Does information typically flow both ways in advice dyads? How important is trust in these relationships? What is the ideal structure of an advice network?

Design/methodology/approach

As part of a larger study, executives at 20 entrepreneurial software companies in the Greater Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, region of the USA were interviewed in person to determine the nature and structure of their advice networks.

Findings

The executives reported sharing business and technical advice with their contacts, both within and outside of their own organizations. Entrepreneurs who maintained diverse, uncommonly connected advice networks led organizations that were perceived as more innovative than those with more densely connected networks.

Research limitations/implications

Future studies should examine these research questions in economic and cultural settings outside the USA, and examine the influence of advice‐network size and different network environments on advice‐network value and productivity.

Practical implications

Entrepreneurs should be careful to not take trust in these networks lightly.

Originality/value

Entrepreneurs may be able to leverage their advice networks for maximum innovation by adding new advice contacts not connected to their current advice contacts. Entrepreneurs should be careful to not take trust in these networks lightly.

Details

International Journal of Organizational Analysis, vol. 14 no. 4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1934-8835

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 25 June 2020

Da-Chi Liao, Wen Bin Chiou, Jinhyeok Jang and Shao Hua Cheng

Drawing on cognitive theories of information and democracy, this paper argues that carefully designed voting advice applications (VAAs) strengthen voter competence by…

Abstract

Purpose

Drawing on cognitive theories of information and democracy, this paper argues that carefully designed voting advice applications (VAAs) strengthen voter competence by matching voters’ preferences on important policy issues with parties' relevant positions on those issues.

Design/methodology/approach

To examine the causal effect of information acquisition on voting willingness, we employed a lab experiment on the pioneering VAA program in Taiwan: iVoter. Our participants consisted of 120 undergraduates who were randomly assigned to be treated (two groups) or controlled (one group). Each participant of the respective treatment groups was provided with full or partial information. The purpose was to identify the ideological distance between the participant and the respective political parties. Individuals in the control group did not receive the respective information prior to their decision on whether to vote or not.

Findings

Those who received full relevant information were most willing to vote in the forthcoming elections. We furthermore found VAA utilization to be positively associated with other aspects of democracy, such as political enthusiasm, civic duty and political efficacy.

Originality/value

This paper aims to contribute to the development of VAAs and to democracy as a whole by confirming a causal link between receiving relevant information and voting willingness.

Details

Asian Education and Development Studies, vol. 11 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 2046-3162

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 25 February 2020

Kent Eriksson, Cecilia Hermansson and Sara Jonsson

This paper investigates the viability of the relationship-oriented business model. Specifically, it examines the effects of bank customers' satisfaction, loyalty, and…

1448

Abstract

Purpose

This paper investigates the viability of the relationship-oriented business model. Specifically, it examines the effects of bank customers' satisfaction, loyalty, and trust in bank advisors on two client-level performance measures; client-level non-interest revenue, and client-level revenue on net interest spread. It further investigates how effects are moderated by differences in clients' risk tolerance and financial literacy.

Design/methodology/approach

The findings are based on analyses of a data set that combines survey data (collected from 13,525 bank clients in 2013) with bank record data from each respondent. The cross sectional data is analyzed using OLS-regression and structural equation modeling.

Findings

Overall, the findings are that the relationship banking model generates non-interest revenue, but not revenue on net interest spread. In more detail, findings show that trust has a positive direct effect on client-level non-interest revenue. Furthermore, trust mediates the entire effect of satisfaction and loyalty on client-level non-interest revenue. Customer satisfaction and loyalty do not lead to enhanced client-level non-interest revenue if there is little trust in bank advisors. Findings further show that the relevance of trust for non-interest revenue is higher for clients with high risk tolerance and high financial literacy. Satisfaction, loyalty, and trust have no effect, however, on client-level revenue on net interest spread.

Originality/value

While previous literature mainly has used subjective intentions (e.g., repurchase behavior) as operationalization of performance, this paper combines subjective survey data and objective performance data, allowing the investigation of how the customer relationship model affects actual performance. Furthermore, the paper investigates the relational banking model's effect on non-interest and net interest spread revenue, and we show that the relational banking model generates only non-interest revenue, and not net interest spread revenue. The fine-grained client-level data also allows the investigation on how the effect of trust on client-level performance differs among client groups with different cognitive characteristics (i.e., risk tolerance and financial literacy).

Details

International Journal of Bank Marketing, vol. 38 no. 4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0265-2323

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 24 September 2020

Cecilia Dalborg and Yvonne von Friedrichs

In many regions, the potential of social entrepreneurship and social innovation are not fully used. The purpose of this study is to explore issues and challenges in the…

Abstract

Purpose

In many regions, the potential of social entrepreneurship and social innovation are not fully used. The purpose of this study is to explore issues and challenges in the business advisory support offered to social entrepreneurs and, from this background, give suggestions on how the advisory process to social entrepreneurs could be modified to better gain society.

Design/methodology/approach

Representatives from 15 business advisory organisations in Sweden were interviewed to examine how their support to social enterprises meets the needs of the companies, and to discover possible problems encountered regarding the business advice available to social enterprises. Using thematic analysis, six different overarching themes were identified that characterise issues and challenges in the business advisory support offered to social enterprises.

Findings

The results show that many advisers lack experience in social entrepreneurship, yet they consider that social enterprises are not “genuine” entrepreneurs, and that they, therefore, refer them to advisers focussing on co-operative enterprises. Furthermore, the absence of sustainable business models, the lack of financial resources and the existence of municipal monopoly are identified by the advisers as challenges.

Practical implications

This paper reveals an Achilles’ heel in the business advisory support offered to social enterprises, namely, the lack of experience and knowledge of social entrepreneurship amongst current business advisers, as well as a prioritisation of advice to more “commercial” entrepreneurs because of policy instruments and the expectations from the public funders of increased profitability and growth in the companies that receive advice. The mainstream business advisory service could play a key role by bringing together the various stakeholders in this shared value process. This would, however, require increased knowledge and new government policies and directives that ensure that social entrepreneurs are prioritised in the business advisory situation.

Originality/value

This paper demonstrates that the current advisory system is not adapted to fit the needs of social enterprises. It also proposes the need to include participation and proximity in the business model design.

Details

Social Enterprise Journal, vol. 17 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1750-8614

Keywords

Book part
Publication date: 28 May 2019

José Weinstein, Javiera Peña, Javiera Marfán and Dagmar Raczynski

Trust has been identified as key to students’ academic improvement. The purpose of this paper is to identify the conditions that build trust in teachers, both towards…

Abstract

Trust has been identified as key to students’ academic improvement. The purpose of this paper is to identify the conditions that build trust in teachers, both towards their colleagues and school leaders, and to explore the emotions triggered among these participants. This study uses the critical incident technique to conduct interviews with 34 teachers from the Valparaíso Region (Chile). Results show that incidents are easily remembered when a subordinate relationship is involved. Many critical incidents are related to situations in which teachers are particularly vulnerable. Hence, teachers value the treatment received and support provided. The arrival of new teachers to a school is crucial when building bonds of trust. Benevolence is the facet that stands out the most in incidents reported by teachers and school leaders, while satisfaction is the most recurrent emotion. In the case of school leaders, benevolence is closely followed by competence. In the case of teachers, benevolence is followed by honesty, openness and competence. In this case, the associated emotion is affection.

Details

Emotion Management and Feelings in Teaching and Educational Leadership
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-78756-011-6

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 2 October 2018

Annica Björkman and Martin Salzmann-Erikson

The purpose of this paper is to explore and describe online communication about the experiences and attitudes toward Swedish Healthcare Direct, a national telephone advice

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to explore and describe online communication about the experiences and attitudes toward Swedish Healthcare Direct, a national telephone advice nursing (TAN) service.

Design/methodology/approach

A descriptive research design was adopted using a six-step netnographic method. Three Swedish forums were purposefully selected and data from the virtual discussions were collected.

Findings

Three themes emerged: expectancy and performativity of the nurses, absurdity in accessibility and the scrutinizing game. The most prominent finding was the scrutinizing game, which included aspects of bidirectional mistrust from both nurses and callers. Another salient finding was the attitudes that callers held toward nurses who used a technique interpreted as “passing the buck.”

Research limitations/implications

The use of a nethnographic method is novel in this area of research. Consequently, the body of knowledge has regarding telephone advise nursing service has significantly been broadened. A limitation in this study is that demographic data for the posters are not available.

Practical implications

Bidirectional distrust is an important issue that must be acknowledged by TAN services, since it might damage the service on a fundamental level. Healthcare providers, politicians, and researchers should account for the power and availability of virtual discussions when seeking consumers’ opinions and evaluating the quality of the care provided.

Originality/value

This analysis of the ongoing discussions that take place on the internet provides insight into callers’ perceptions of a national TAN service. The bidirectional mistrust found from both the nurses and the callers might be a threat to callers’ compliance with the advice given and their care-seeking behavior.

Details

Internet Research, vol. 28 no. 5
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1066-2243

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 30 May 2018

Pratibha Wasan

Banks in India are underperforming on customer-centric measures. The existing mechanisms used by Indian banks for evaluating their customer interface are efficiency…

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Abstract

Purpose

Banks in India are underperforming on customer-centric measures. The existing mechanisms used by Indian banks for evaluating their customer interface are efficiency measures which are limited in deciphering bank’s success in fulfilling customer needs. The purpose of this paper is to build a case for banks to evaluate their processes on the dimension of customer experience (CE).

Design/methodology/approach

The study performs in-depth review of literature to identify the factors of CE and uses confirmatory factor analysis to confirm these factors in Indian retail banking context. Post factor confirmation, it uses discriminant analysis to test the predictive strength of the CE factors for discretionary behaviors of customers.

Findings

CE factors are categorized as functional clues (convenience and credibility), humanic clues (employee competence and compassion) and mechanic clues (service context). The study finds that the functional clues are the most significant predictors of customers’ discretionary behaviors followed by humanic clues while the mechanic clues are only hygiene factors for customer behaviors.

Practical implications

The study highlights CE factors which could be developed into potential competitive advantages for banks. Banks can prioritize their investments in these factors for improved economic performance.

Originality/value

There is no clear definition of CE in the extant literature particularly, in the context of retail banking. A factor-level study of CE for discretionary behaviors of bank customers is an attempt to provide specific inputs to those banks which are looking forward to use CE as a means to win and retain customers in markets characterized by intense competition.

Details

International Journal of Bank Marketing, vol. 36 no. 4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0265-2323

Keywords

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