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Open Access
Article
Publication date: 14 February 2020

Christopher Miller, Brychan Celfyn Thomas and Michael Roeller

This study attempts to create new insights into innovation management through the integration of innovation management processes and sustainable, iterative circles…

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Abstract

Purpose

This study attempts to create new insights into innovation management through the integration of innovation management processes and sustainable, iterative circles. Through the exploration of the use of sustainable, iterative circles in a manufacturing environment, this paper explores their role in facilitating customer-focused innovation practices. Other supporting antecedences for innovative behavior are reviewed, and their combined effect upon delivering cost-effective product developments are assessed.

Design/methodology/approach

Data were collected through semi-structured interviews in manufacturing organizations from the automotive industry. Interviews were conducted with senior functional managers to interpret the application of sustainable, iterative development circles. Analysis of the data was undertaken via thematic analysis based upon pertinent and emergent themes.

Findings

Sustainable, iterative development circles overcame the inherent path-dependency of traditional linear development approaches, whereas, traditional approaches structure the involvement of key business functions, iterative circles facilitate more flexible approaches to product development that more closely met the requirements of the customer, especially when those requirements are in a state of flux.

Practical implications

This iterative, customer-centric approach to product development reflects the increasingly dynamic market environments in which manufacturing organizations operate. Using this approach helps to focus the organization’s attention upon customer requirements rather than the challenges of adhering to the rigid dogma of a chosen development methodology.

Originality/value

This study proposes a new approach toward the development of innovations in manufacturing organizations utilizing the sustainable, iterative circles, and therefore, contrasts with the traditional, linear development methodologies that are usually employed.

Details

Journal of Work-Applied Management, vol. 12 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 2205-2062

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Book part
Publication date: 17 June 2019

Ahmed Abdullah, Gareth R. T. White and Brychan Thomas

This chapter discusses the use of an extended stage model for the evaluation of the adoption of e-business in small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs). Empirical studies…

Abstract

This chapter discusses the use of an extended stage model for the evaluation of the adoption of e-business in small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs). Empirical studies of e-business adoption are rare in Middle Eastern and developing countries and the chapter provides valuable insight into this region, by presenting an account of the use of the extended stage model to explore the level of e-business adoption among Yemeni SMEs.

In making this examination, the challenges and opportunities that accompany e-business adoption are revealed. The internal drivers and barriers, such as finance and skills, are recognised along with the external factors that include infrastructure and legislation. It also provides valuable insight into the macro-level sociopolitical determinants of e-business adoption that have not previously been appreciated; the study was undertaken during the Yemen Civil War in 2016.

Current adoption models imply that organisations adopt technologies in a linear fashion, gradually increasing complexity and capability. This study makes an important contribution by recognising that there are multiple points at which SMEs may ‘enter’ the technology-adoption ladder.

Details

Creating Entrepreneurial Space: Talking Through Multi-Voices, Reflections on Emerging Debates
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-78769-577-1

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Article
Publication date: 1 October 2001

Adrian Sparkes, Brychan Thomas, Nick Clifton and Marco Rosales

A major challenge facing Welsh speciality Small and Medium‐sized Agri‐food Enterprises (SMAFEs) is how to sustain growth in a global market. This can be enhanced through…

Abstract

A major challenge facing Welsh speciality Small and Medium‐sized Agri‐food Enterprises (SMAFEs) is how to sustain growth in a global market. This can be enhanced through e‐commerce and the marketing of product through the Internet to an international audience. Recent research carried out by the Welsh Enterprise Institute (WEI) found that there may only be 10 per cent of Welsh SMAFEs using the Internet for this purpose. The challenge, therefore, is how to enable SMAFEs to market effectively their products; to put these small firms not only in contact with local markets but also international markets; to ensure a range of “authentic” food products is available to Welsh communities in other countries and those people with affinity to “all things Welsh”; and to establish channels that facilitate repeat purchase by visitors to Wales. This challenge can be responded to by enabling SMAFEs to gain access to the Internet and to be confidence in its use, to develop “user friendly” Web sites, to link to overseas markets through the Internet, and to establish a long‐term customer base. The WEI has undertaken a two stage survey to measure SMAFE usage of e‐mail and the Internet in Wales. The buying habits of Welsh Affinity Groups (WAGs) on the Internet in the USA, Canada and other countries has also been studied and it is planned to establish network links between the SMAFEs and the WAGs, and communities overseas. This paper describes the survey of SMAFEs in Wales and reports on the analysis of the findings together with recommendations for the establishment of a comprehensive Welsh food portal. This is related to the study of the WAGs in the USA and Canada and a proposal for the development of a virtual “market place” between the SMAFEs and the WAGs is explored. The WEI has joined forces with Web design companies WebAware and MAWR Ltd., to offer high quality consultancy and advice to provide Web site and e‐commerce solutions relevant to SMAFEs to create an anticipated multi‐million pound net gain to Wales and the Welsh Agri‐food sector through world‐wide sales. A Welsh food portal is therefore of immense importance as a marketing entrepreneurship interfacing tool not only to Agri‐food enterprises in Wales but also to customers from across the World. The paper concludes by arguing for the need for appropriate support to be provided for speciality Welsh SMAFEs to make them aware of the importance of the adoption of e‐commerce including the Internet and Web sites. This paper is a version of one that has been published in the International Journal of Applied Marketing, published by International Marketing Journals, ISSN: 1742‐2612.

Details

Journal of Research in Marketing and Entrepreneurship, vol. 3 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1471-5201

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Abstract

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International Journal of Entrepreneurial Behavior & Research, vol. 22 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1355-2554

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Article
Publication date: 1 March 2004

David G. Pickernell, Michael J. Christie, Patricia A. Rowe, Brychan C. Thomas, Laura G. Putterill and Jamie Lynn Griffiths

The purpose of this paper is to examine the possibilities of increasing the benefits to be derived from farmers markets (FMs) in Wales, through utilisation of networks…

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1641

Abstract

The purpose of this paper is to examine the possibilities of increasing the benefits to be derived from farmers markets (FMs) in Wales, through utilisation of networks augmented by information communications and technology (ICT). In particular, the paper explores recent developments in the use of ICT in the agri‐food sector and the need to develop networks to utilise such technology fully. The paper explores the administrative structures that may be required to allow these arrangements to be effectively organised. The use of FMs in Wales as a conduit for such networked arrangements, and the introduction of the South East Wales Association of Farmers’ Markets (SEWAFM) Web site, are then considered against this backdrop.

Details

British Food Journal, vol. 106 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0007-070X

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Article
Publication date: 1 September 2004

Brychan Thomas, Gary Packham, Christopher Miller and David Brooksbank

To stay at the forefront of new technology, small and medium‐sized enterprises (SMEs) can be assisted through Internet and Web sites providing innovation and technology…

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2459

Abstract

To stay at the forefront of new technology, small and medium‐sized enterprises (SMEs) can be assisted through Internet and Web sites providing innovation and technology support services. The cost of the latest technology, including hardware, training and personnel, however, can be insurmountable for SMEs with limited financial and technological resources. The business support community in Wales is continually evolving its own Internet and Web site offerings to make sure that businesses, especially SMEs, are kept abreast of the latest innovations, most productive methods and provision of support services. Considers the provision of Web‐based innovation and technology support in Wales and examines its coverage in relation to Welsh SMEs. Utilises a range of data collection techniques including interviews with policy makers and the analysis of reports and Internet sites.

Details

Journal of Small Business and Enterprise Development, vol. 11 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1462-6004

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Article
Publication date: 1 June 2001

Adrian Sparkes and Brychan Thomas

A major challenge facing Celtic Fringe agri‐food SMEs (in countries and regions of “Celtic” origin such as Wales, Ireland and Brittany) is how to sustain growth in a…

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5135

Abstract

A major challenge facing Celtic Fringe agri‐food SMEs (in countries and regions of “Celtic” origin such as Wales, Ireland and Brittany) is how to sustain growth in a global market: a market that is being expanded via e‐commerce through the Internet to an international audience. This paper reports on a two‐stage survey undertaken by the Welsh Enterprise Institute initially involving a short questionnaire that measures current Welsh agri‐food SME usage of e‐commerce and promotion via the Internet. A selected follow up of respondents was undertaken utilising a more in‐depth questionnaire study of the management implications and critical success factors of those enterprises using the Internet. The paper concludes by arguing the need for appropriate support to be provided for Celtic Fringe, and specifically Welsh, agri‐food SMEs to make them aware of the importance of the adoption of e‐commerce as a critical success factor for their marketing in the twenty‐first century.

Details

British Food Journal, vol. 103 no. 5
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0007-070X

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Article
Publication date: 1 July 2006

Pam Voisey, Lynne Gornall, Paul Jones and Brychan Thomas

The purpose of this paper is to examine the impact and success of a business incubation project on its participants. The study aims to consider the impact of the project…

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8541

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to examine the impact and success of a business incubation project on its participants. The study aims to consider the impact of the project in terms of developing and supporting entrepreneurial activity within Wales. It seeks to build on and enhance existing business incubation literature and contribute to the field by identifying “good” practice and considers the measurement of success within such projects.

Design/methodology/approach

This study employs an individual case study methodology which evaluates all aspects of the Graduate Teleworking Initiative (GTi) project. A range of qualitative and quantitative methods is utilised to capture the views of aspiring entrepreneurs. In addition the progress of entrepreneurs is compared with “distance travelled” methodologies developed by other EU programmes, using the experiences of GTi businesses as individual case histories. In addition, this paper looks at additional ways to measure the success of this type of project, based on a study of the current academic literature and work currently being undertaken with funding agencies in Wales in respect of economic regeneration. The case study method is recognised as the most effective research strategy to capture the “rich” experience of complex projects.

Findings

The study finds that, if incubation facilities are to receive continuing support, the measurement of success needs to be broader than a set of statistical outputs. The academic literature queries whether business incubation works, and invites us to decide if the end result is of value or not. This paper considers additional ways to measure the success of this type of project. Applications for public funding in support of business incubators as part of an overall economic regeneration strategy should be able to provide a wider evaluation of effectiveness, and this paper seeks to develop a model to this purpose, to assist the ongoing development of incubator facilities in Wales.

Practical implications

This study will be of interest to business incubation providers and entrepreneurial researchers in identifying valid and achievable success measures and should inform developments in this field.

Originality/value

The paper provides a unique insight into a successful business incubation project and identifies the key to its on going success. Furthermore, the study identifies generic measures of success for a typical business incubation project based on the GTi experience and a detailed investigation of alternative business incubators.

Details

Journal of Small Business and Enterprise Development, vol. 13 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1462-6004

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Article
Publication date: 28 March 2008

Marilia Angove, Caryl Cresswell, Rubina Akhtar, Justine Rolfe, David Brooksbank and Brychan Thomas

The purpose of this paper is to investigate the Cyfenter Development Partnership action research programme primarily aimed at under‐represented entrepreneurs in Wales. The…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to investigate the Cyfenter Development Partnership action research programme primarily aimed at under‐represented entrepreneurs in Wales. The Welsh Assembly Government and the EQUAL initiative of the European Social Fund support the programme with the objective of informing and developing inclusive policies, strategies and practices within mainstream enterprise support.

Design/methodology/approach

The methodology used to identify the needs of under‐represented groups when establishing a business and barriers to the start‐up process has been action research, which combines both information gathering and facilitation of change.

Findings

The research data indicate that all under‐represented groups face similar challenges and issues and many experiences are not exclusive to any one particular group. Financial risk, lack of collateral and self‐finance were significant issues for the under‐represented groups.

Research limitations/implications

Although the overall response rate of 12 per cent for the telephone and postal surveys was low, it was felt that the responses were sufficient for the study to proceed as further qualitative data gathering was undertaken.

Practical implications

Through the empowerment of excluded entrepreneurs, to express and suggest potential solutions, it is expected that policies and practices can be leveraged where enterprise support can become more relevant and appropriate for all. It is also expected that this will lead a greater number of under‐represented entrepreneurs to access mainstream enterprise support.

Originality/value

A key objective of the programme is to create and facilitate a platform for direct communication between under‐represented groups, policy makers and enterprise support provision, within a solutions‐oriented context.

Details

Equal Opportunities International, vol. 27 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0261-0159

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Article
Publication date: 1 April 2006

Gary Packham, Paul Jones, Brychan Thomas and Christopher Miller

The on‐line tutor or e‐moderator faces a diversity of new challenges, including instructional design, organisation, direct instruction and facilitating discourse. This…

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1417

Abstract

Purpose

The on‐line tutor or e‐moderator faces a diversity of new challenges, including instructional design, organisation, direct instruction and facilitating discourse. This study aims to contrast the views of students and tutors regarding what factors constitute effective e‐moderation in order to identify key attributes of an on‐line tutor.

Design/methodology/approach

A qualitative methodology was adopted. The research utilised a semi‐structured interview technique to collect data contrasting and comparing the views of 35 students and 35 tutors on the constituents of effective e‐moderation.

Findings

The paper finds that from a student perspective the quality of feedback, student support and module management were key attributes of an effective e‐moderator. In contrast tutors argued that motivating students, including the provision of constructive feedback and developing an engaging on‐line persona were critical to successful e‐moderation. Comparison revealed that students and tutors have a broadly similar view to what constitutes effective on‐line moderation and any disparities related to how these groups tended to interact with the learning environment. Students were concerned primarily with how moderation enabled them to engage with the learning environment whereas tutors tended to discuss effective moderation in terms of factors that facilitated the learning process.

Originality/value

The study recognises the key attributes of an effective e‐moderator that should inform course design and tutor training.

Details

Education + Training, vol. 48 no. 4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0040-0912

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