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Article
Publication date: 21 May 2018

Andrew Atherton, Dongxu Wu and Zhongmin Wu

The purpose of this paper is to understand whether the personal capital of the entrepreneur positively or negatively affects outcomes from self-employment.

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to understand whether the personal capital of the entrepreneur positively or negatively affects outcomes from self-employment.

Design/methodology/approach

Data from the UK’s longitudinal household surveys (BHPS, UKLHS) between 1991 and 2014 were analysed. Relationships between age, education, health and family status, income earned and hours worked were tested.

Findings

Entrepreneurs with higher levels of personal capital enjoyed higher incomes. However, those with lower levels of personal capital were more likely to have negative returns from self-employment, and so experience it as “self-exploitation”.

Research limitations/implications

A basis for understanding different outcomes from self-employment was developed and tested.

Practical implications

Specific characteristics of continuing and new entrepreneurs were identified that are positively associated with beneficial outcomes from self-employment.

Originality/value

Positive and negative outcomes from self-employment are explained. The notion of personal capital is developed as an explanatory framework for variable outcomes from self-employment.

Details

Journal of Small Business and Enterprise Development, vol. 25 no. 6
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1462-6004

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Article
Publication date: 14 September 2010

Andrew Atherton and David Smallbone

The purpose of this paper is to examine state promotion of private sector development in China, with particular emphasis on local configurations of support and service provision.

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1449

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to examine state promotion of private sector development in China, with particular emphasis on local configurations of support and service provision.

Design/methodology/approach

Via analysis of two cases, constraints on the development of small‐ to medium‐sized enterprise (SME) support and enabling environments and infrastructures are explored.

Findings

The cases highlight several fundamental constraints to state support for private sector development, including: an under‐developed market for business development and other support services; lack of budgetary facility in municipalities to resource publicly supported services to private SMEs; a lack of expertise within local government to develop mechanisms to engage with and support the development of privately owned enterprises.

Research limitations/implications

The localised nature of implementation of the 2003 SME Promotion Law, at municipal and county level, appears to be a constraint on systematic development of comprehensive SME support systems, as mandated by this law.

Practical implications

First, the private sector has grown without emergence of a purposive infrastructure of direct state support to enable this development, which appears to be a positive outcome from reform. Second, future private sector growth may be constrained should local government not develop mechanisms to engage with the private sector to enable its continued growth and development.

Originality/value

The paper offers insight into current, and future, relations state promotion of enterprise in China.

Details

Journal of Chinese Entrepreneurship, vol. 2 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1756-1396

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Article
Publication date: 27 January 2012

Andrew Atherton

This paper seeks to understand the dynamics of new venture financing across 20 business start‐ups.

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6491

Abstract

Purpose

This paper seeks to understand the dynamics of new venture financing across 20 business start‐ups.

Design/methodology/approach

A total of 20 cases were explored, via initial discussions with the founder(s), and follow‐up contact to confirm sources of financing acquired during new venture creation. This approach was adopted because of the challenges associated with acquiring full details of start‐up financing, and in particular informal forms of new venture financing.

Findings

Significant variation in, and scale of, new venture financing was identified. In multiple cases, funding patterns did not tally with established explanations of small business financing.

Research limitations/implications

The primary limitation of the analysis is the focus on a small number of individual cases. Although this allowed for more detailed analysis, it does not make the findings applicable across the small business population as a whole. New ventures acquired very different forms of finance, and in different configurations or “bundles”, so creating a wide range of start‐up financing patterns and overall levels of capitalisation. This suggests that multiple factors influence founder decisions on start‐up funding acquisition. It also indicates the wide divergence between highly capitalised and under‐capitalised start‐ups.

Practical implications

Many of the new ventures were started with low levels of capitalisation, which as the literature suggests is a strong determinant of reduced prospects for survival. This suggests a possible “financing deficit”, rather than gap, for a proportion of business start‐ups.

Originality/value

The paper provides an alternative methodology for considering new venture financing, and as a result concludes that standard, rational theories of small business financing may not always hold for new ventures.

Details

International Journal of Entrepreneurial Behavior & Research, vol. 18 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1355-2554

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Article
Publication date: 14 August 2007

Andrew Atherton

The purpose of this research is to examine the activities and behaviours of potential entrepreneurs as they move towards engagement in business start‐up.

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5801

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this research is to examine the activities and behaviours of potential entrepreneurs as they move towards engagement in business start‐up.

Design/methodology/approach

Based on in‐depth engagement with seven founders of new businesses, and informed by a review of the relevant literature.

Findings

A series of transitions towards business start‐up are identified, which in turn produced a five‐step framework for examining and understanding the “pre‐start” phase of preparation for entrepreneurship.

Research limitations/implications

The case‐based approach provided detailed and contextualised insight into how a small group of founders prepared for business start‐up. There may be a need to test the framework with a larger group of business founders to assess its wider relevance and applicability.

Practical implications

The pre‐start framework identifies how individuals progress towards start‐up, and so could be used as the basis for a programme to encourage individuals to move through each step towards engagement in business start‐up. The movement from step to step can also be used to assess overall levels of preparation for entrepreneurship within the wider population, and so has the potential to be a useful indicator of overall levels of entrepreneurial orientation.

Originality/value

The paper presents a process‐focused model of the pre‐start dynamic.

Details

Journal of Small Business and Enterprise Development, vol. 14 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1462-6004

Keywords

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Article
Publication date: 24 October 2008

Andrew Atherton

This paper aims to explore the development and implementation of enterprise policy in China, and the emergence of intermediaries and local strategies designed to encourage…

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1417

Abstract

Purpose

This paper aims to explore the development and implementation of enterprise policy in China, and the emergence of intermediaries and local strategies designed to encourage SME development.

Design/methodology/approach

The paper is based on interviews and workshops held with local and national government in 2003 and 2006, and informed by reference to and analysis of the policy and academic literature.

Findings

The dynamics and nature of local implementation of national enterprise legislation are mapped out, indicating an interactive dynamic between central government directive, local government adoption and response, and localised dynamics of enterprise and economic development. This “three‐way” model provides a nuanced explanation of local implementation of national enterprise legislation.

Practical implications

The framework can be used at the municipal level to understand how national enterprise legislation can be implemented. The framework also points to wider patterns of local implementation of national government legislation.

Originality/value

The paper provides a detailed model of local policy implementation, using the SME Promotion Law as a specific case of legislation.

Details

Journal of Small Business and Enterprise Development, vol. 15 no. 4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1462-6004

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Article
Publication date: 15 May 2007

Andrew Atherton and Peter Elsmore

To explore the cases for and against the use of computer‐assisted qualitative data analysis software (CAQDAS) in qualitative organisation and management research.

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2352

Abstract

Purpose

To explore the cases for and against the use of computer‐assisted qualitative data analysis software (CAQDAS) in qualitative organisation and management research.

Design/methodology/approach

Reflecting the debate inherent in the questions raised about the use of CAQDAS, a dialogue between the authors is used.

Findings

There are risks associated with using CAQDAS without considering its underpinning principles and assumptions about data analysis. If these are considered explicitly as part of a research methodology, then CAQDAS may be a valuable analytical tool. If not, there is risk of distortion and bias in results from the use of CAQDAS.

Originality/value

The paper addresses a commonly posed question for qualitative researchers, in a format and structure that is likely to stimulate further debate.

Details

Qualitative Research in Organizations and Management: An International Journal, vol. 2 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1746-5648

Keywords

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Article
Publication date: 1 June 1998

Paul D. Hannon and Andrew Atherton

There is an ongoing debate within the academic literature about the value of the business plan in the development of the small firm. On closer inspection of the research…

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5122

Abstract

There is an ongoing debate within the academic literature about the value of the business plan in the development of the small firm. On closer inspection of the research, there appear to be clear benefits in the use of business planning as a process within the smaller business. This is in contrast to the production of a business plan as an output focused predominantly on convincing and acquiring resources from other organisations and individuals. As a process, business planning can be both formal and informal. It is also focused on understanding and responding to the context within which the business operates. Strategic awareness capability, as both a bundle of activities and a core competence, helps to make sense of this context, and serves as a means of managing interactions between the firm and its environment. It also allows for a more sensitive reading of the limitations and strengths of the planning process in markets that are, for the small business, generally unpredicatable and complex. When combined, strategic awareness capability and planning effectiveness can be used to develop a typology of business types that provides insight into the processes by which business development can be supported. In addition, strategic awareness capability can be considered a core competence of the small business and conceptualised in terms of different levels of experience, and expertise. As a result, small firms with varying levels of experience face different challenges and needs when using and developing strategic awareness capability.

Details

Journal of Small Business and Enterprise Development, vol. 5 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1462-6004

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Article
Publication date: 1 January 2006

Andrew Atherton and Paul D. Hannon

To generate and test a coherent framework of incubation strategies and interventions that can be deployed to encourage enterprise development through new venture creation…

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2409

Abstract

Purpose

To generate and test a coherent framework of incubation strategies and interventions that can be deployed to encourage enterprise development through new venture creation in local economies.

Design/methodology/approach

Postal questionnaire to new ventures, combined with ongoing engagement of and consultation with incubation practitioners and local economic development professionals.

Findings

Seven generic incubation strategies were identified and developed. Four focus on a premises‐driven approach to incubation, and three on a more process‐based approach. All seven strategies represent opportunities for tailored and hence targeted approaches to the development of incubators and incubation services.

Research limitations/implications

The study focused on one rural county in England. There is a need to test the strategies in other contexts, to determine their wider relevance.

Practical implications

The seven incubation strategies can be used to develop tailored approaches to incubation, within a comprehensive framework of incubation “options”. The authors suggest that a combination of approaches is developed as the basis for effective local incubation practice.

Originality/value

The paper provides a framework for developing incubation strategies that offers coherence and the opportunity for “bottom‐up” yet integrated approaches.

Details

Journal of Small Business and Enterprise Development, vol. 13 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1462-6004

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Article
Publication date: 1 March 2005

Gerard McElwee and Andrew Atherton

Purpose – This paper considers the models, methodologies, techniques and data utilised in articles published in The International Journal of Entrepreneurship and Innovation

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2700

Abstract

Purpose – This paper considers the models, methodologies, techniques and data utilised in articles published in The International Journal of Entrepreneurship and Innovation over the period 1999‐2003, in an attempt to determine theoretical and methodological trends and themes emerging from within the literature. Design/methodology/approach – The paper considers articles published in the journal from multiple perspectives including: methods of data analysis, epistemological frameworks deployed, dominant academic disciplines and geographical location of the authors. Topic areas and keywords associated with each article are examined in order to identify particular foci for publication and to broadly determine the “topography” of published output. Findings – The broad publication profile was of more quantitative than qualitative papers, with some consideration of policy issues. Research limitations/implications – Analysis is confined to an example of one journal in the field and thus its comparative validity is limited. Practical implications – A very useful account of publication trends in the discipline. The article is of value to academics who are seeking to publish. Indicates the methodological trends that are utilised in the discipline. Originality/value – This is an innovative investigation into publication trends in the discipline.

Details

Journal of Small Business and Enterprise Development, vol. 12 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1462-6004

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Article
Publication date: 11 January 2016

Alexander Newman, Daniel Prajogo and Andrew Atherton

The purpose of this paper is to examine the effects of market orientation on exploratory and exploitative innovation, and the moderating effects of family ownership on…

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1354

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to examine the effects of market orientation on exploratory and exploitative innovation, and the moderating effects of family ownership on these relationships.

Design/methodology/approach

This study utilizes multi-group path analysis and confirmatory factor analysis in LISREL on data from 228 firms in the Australian service sector.

Findings

This study establishes that both customer and competitor innovation are positively related to exploitative and exploratory innovation. However, customer orientation does not lead to significantly stronger effects on exploitative innovation than on exploratory innovation, and competitor orientation does not lead to significantly stronger effects on exploratory innovation than on exploitative innovation. In addition, the study found that the relationship between customer orientation and exploratory innovation was stronger for family firms, while the relationships between competitor orientation and both exploratory and exploitative innovation were stronger for non-family firms.

Research limitations/implications

The cross-sectional design is one weakness of this study. In addition, as firms in the present study came from the service sector the generalizability of the findings to other sectors of the economy need to be determined.

Practical implications

These findings of this study highlight the need for managers to build a strong market orientation in order to promote innovation, and consider the effects of ownership structure on innovation strategies.

Originality/value

This study is the first to measure the relative influence of customer and competitor orientation on a firm’s use of exploitative and exploratory innovation strategies.

Details

Journal of Service Theory and Practice, vol. 26 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 2055-6225

Keywords

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