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Article
Publication date: 9 April 2018

Carley Foster and Clare Brindley

Networking is a key element of entrepreneurial and SME activity. The skills required to network share similarities to those of a marketer and can be associated with…

Abstract

Purpose

Networking is a key element of entrepreneurial and SME activity. The skills required to network share similarities to those of a marketer and can be associated with feminine traits, such as relationship building. Yet, little is known about how female SME marketers engage in networking. This study aims to address this gap by exploring how self-employed female services marketers build, use and value networks over the lifetime of their business.

Design/methodology/approach

In-depth narrative interviews were conducted with 26 self-employed women working in the UK marketing services sector. Template analysis was used to analyse the materials.

Findings

A model encapsulates the fluid nature of the networking activity throughout the lifetime of the participants’ businesses by illustrating which networks the women used and their perceived value. Networking led to multi-directional outsourcing opportunities and philanthropic marketing activity, all of which supported the success of the SME. Despite support from family, friends and the community, these were not regarded as networks by the women.

Practical implications

At the individual level, insights are offered into which networking activity is more valuable for female entrepreneurs working in the sector. For policymakers, the study indicates that participants did not see value in the formal, government networks and the women did not engage with professional bodies. More creative solutions to supporting female marketing entrepreneurs are required.

Originality/value

The study is original, in that it offers qualitative insights into how self-employed female marketers use and value networks throughout the lifetime of their business. It concentrates on one sector (marketing services) and so answers criticisms that studies in entrepreneurship do not consider specific sectors. In contrast to studies which focus on one stage of the business lifecycle, this research contributes to a holistic, longitudinal understanding of entrepreneurial female networking activity in marketing. More generally, it contributes to the paucity of literature which explores the reality of working in the marketing services sector.

Details

Qualitative Market Research: An International Journal, vol. 21 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1352-2752

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Article
Publication date: 1 December 2000

Clare Brindley and Bob Ritchie

In the UK, the Department for Education and Employment has sought to improve the responsiveness of higher education to the needs of the labour market and to foster…

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2091

Abstract

In the UK, the Department for Education and Employment has sought to improve the responsiveness of higher education to the needs of the labour market and to foster partnerships between higher education institutions and employers. This paper reports the experiences of the UK Government North West Office funded project that fostered such a partnership approach. A substantive theme of the research addressed the issues associated with graduate recruitment within the SME sector. The process model used to engender the partnerships is outlined, along with the research instrument that elicited perceptions of both the SMEs and the undergraduate students about each other prior to and subsequent to the completion of the project. The study found significant changes in perceptions held by the undergraduates and the host companies at the end of the partnership. An evaluation of the operation of the partnership project is undertaken and recommendations for course developments and other learning methods are discussed.

Details

Education + Training, vol. 42 no. 9
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0040-0912

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Article
Publication date: 1 October 2002

Steven Peet, Clare Brindley and Bob Ritchie

This paper explores and validates the premise that European small‐ to medium‐sized enterprises (SMEs) are less advanced in their adoption of e‐business than their US…

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2678

Abstract

This paper explores and validates the premise that European small‐ to medium‐sized enterprises (SMEs) are less advanced in their adoption of e‐business than their US counterparts. The authors then examine the efforts of the European Information Society Project Office (ECISPO) in encouraging and informing SMEs by using the Internet as an educational, informational and networking tool. The methods employed by the ECISPO are evaluated against an information processing model. The authors then question the validity/usefulness of the site usage statistics which are provided in an aggregated format. The paper concludes that the full interactivity of the Web is being underutilised as an informational tool and proposes an e‐business adoption model for the SME sector. The paper also concludes that site usage statistics need to be presented in a disaggregated form to enable more detailed analysis to be performed.

Details

European Business Review, vol. 14 no. 5
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0955-534X

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Article
Publication date: 2 March 2015

Anne Laure Humbert and Clare Brindley

This paper aims to challenge the myth of risk-averseness among women entrepreneurs and analyses risk in the context of gender. It explores risk perceptions and examines…

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1472

Abstract

Purpose

This paper aims to challenge the myth of risk-averseness among women entrepreneurs and analyses risk in the context of gender. It explores risk perceptions and examines the relationship between the concept of risk and women’s socially attributed roles.

Design/methodology/approach

This paper adopts a qualitative approach, where ten Irish women business owners were interviewed, that encouraged them to talk about their entrepreneurial experiences. The research design aimed to elicit data concerning how gender and the socio-economic context influenced risk.

Findings

Risk is shown as a gendered concept which needs to be widened to suit the experiences of women entrepreneurs and the influences of the gendered expectations of care dictated by the socio-economic environment.

Practical implications

Risk as a concept needs to be expanded to go beyond financial risk. The different types of risk encountered by women should be addressed by policy to promote a further growth of women-led enterprises and support those considering self-employment.

Originality/value

The paper develops an understanding of risk among women entrepreneurs in their socio-economic context. It challenges the viewpoint of seeing women entrepreneurs as risk-averse and thus leading to low-growth prospects for their business ventures.

Details

Gender in Management: An International Journal, vol. 30 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1754-2413

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Article
Publication date: 8 July 2014

Lynn Oxborrow and Clare Brindley

The apparel industry has acted as a microcosm of global industrial change, exemplified by changes in structure, relationships and technologies. The purpose of this paper…

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2944

Abstract

Purpose

The apparel industry has acted as a microcosm of global industrial change, exemplified by changes in structure, relationships and technologies. The purpose of this paper is to identify the risk drivers, the changing supply strategies and the relationships suppliers are developing or exiting from, notably because of the increasing power of retailers in the fast fashion sector.

Design/methodology/approach

The research adopts a qualitative, case study methodology of the Leicester (UK) based suppliers who operate in the fast fashion market.

Findings

Rich narrative data shows that the apparel supply chain has changed. The small and medium size enterprises (SMEs) have had more success in managing the upstream rather than the downstream, supported by their move towards a more design driven system. This willingness has been motivated by their wish to “own” the relationship with the buyer but this has not always resulted in greater power or returns and relationships have continued to be fractious.

Research limitations/implications

There is a lack of research on supply chains, especially, apparel supply chains that focus on reality rather than best practice. This paper addresses the power relationships that are exerted in the supply chain and the cultural aspects that influence them, which have hitherto lacked academic focus.

Originality/value

Adds empirical data to the theoretical work in the area, specifically, the shape of SME supply chains and the nature of risk in supplying fast fashion. It identifies the unequal power base of the supply chain and SMEs’ strategies for coping, or not, to some extent dependent on their culture.

Details

Journal of Fashion Marketing and Management, vol. 18 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1361-2026

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Article
Publication date: 1 March 2002

Bob Ritchie and Clare Brindley

Focuses on specific elements of supply‐chain and partnering arrangements to assess the contribution of these to managing the supply chain and making it more responsive to…

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4212

Abstract

Focuses on specific elements of supply‐chain and partnering arrangements to assess the contribution of these to managing the supply chain and making it more responsive to the changing business environment. The initial sections of the paper articulate the key elements of supply chain management, risk management and relationship marketing. A model is then developed that displays the complementarity of these elements. Conclusions are drawn from three case studies in relation to certain key elements of the model, with suggestions for further development of the model in terms of conceptual and applied research.

Details

Integrated Manufacturing Systems, vol. 13 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0957-6061

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Article
Publication date: 1 October 1999

Clare Brindley

It is estimated that gambling on the Internet will be worth as much as $3bn by 2001. Gambling via interactive technology is already underpinned by two recent changes in…

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5621

Abstract

It is estimated that gambling on the Internet will be worth as much as $3bn by 2001. Gambling via interactive technology is already underpinned by two recent changes in consumer behaviour. First, increasing familiarisation with interactive technology and second, by changes in the way the gambling market operates. These already changing behaviour patterns, signal the success drivers on which gambling on the internet can build. The implications of this new leisure consumption pattern are discussed and the paper concludes that the synergy between marketing gambling and technology will transform the production and consumption of gambling.

Details

Internet Research, vol. 9 no. 4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1066-2243

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Article
Publication date: 1 March 2005

Bob Ritchie and Clare Brindley

To develop a contingency framework that will assist in overcoming the concerns expressed about the ability to integrate and generalise findings from research studies into…

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4230

Abstract

Purpose

To develop a contingency framework that will assist in overcoming the concerns expressed about the ability to integrate and generalise findings from research studies into entrepreneurship and small‐ to medium‐sized enterprises (SMEs).

Design/methodology/approach

A preliminary framework is developed as a contribution towards fulfilling the need for a means of connecting often, diverse studies into SMEs and entrepreneurship. The framework is evaluated initially in terms of previous studies in the field and subsequently employing results from the authors' own cross‐national empirical studies involving ethnic, gender and cultural barriers to engaging in entrepreneurship.

Findings

The results from a series of empirical studies of experienced managers and aspiring managers are presented. The nature of the cultural differences and the implications for future research and policy making are evaluated. Issues such as the motivating and de‐motivating factors associated with establishing and managing an SME are highlighted.

Research limitations/implications

The findings are used to initiate the development and formulation of a contingency framework of entrepreneurship, which identifies cultural factors and differences as significant contingency variables.

Practical implications

The importance of recognising the impact of cultural and gender differences on the development and application of policies and practices designed to stimulate and sustain entrepreneurship and enterprise is highlighted. This theoretical contribution should lead to more robust policy development.

Originality/value

The development of a contingency framework which addresses differences in the contextual circumstances in differing countries or regions in terms of culture, gender and ethnicity. Providing support for this framework based on the review of relevant literature and empirical evidence.

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: 6 March 2007

Bob Ritchie and Clare Brindley

The purpose of this paper is to examine the constructs underpinning risk management and explores its application in the supply chain context through the development of a…

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18105

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to examine the constructs underpinning risk management and explores its application in the supply chain context through the development of a framework. The constructs of performance and risk are matched together to provide new perspectives for researchers and practitioners.

Design/methodology/approach

The conceptual and empirical work in the supply chain management field and other related fields is employed to develop a conceptual framework of supply chain risk management (SCRM). Risk in the supply chain is explored in terms of risk/performance sources, drivers, consequences and management responses, including initial approaches to categorization within these. Two empirical cases are used to illustrate the application of the framework.

Findings

A new framework is presented that helps to integrate the dimensions of risk and performance in supply chains and provide a categorisation of risk drivers.

Research limitations/implications

SCRM is at an early stage of evolution. The paper provides a clarification of the dimensions and constructs within this field together with directions for future research and development.

Practical implications

The focus on performance in terms of efficiency and effectiveness linked to risk drivers and risk management responses provides insights to managing and measuring risk in supply chains.

Originality/value

The paper consolidates the work in an emerging strand of supply chain management. Two key challenges facing the research community are addressed, the ability to prescribe strategies to address particular risk drivers and the interaction of risk management and performance.

Details

International Journal of Operations & Production Management, vol. 27 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0144-3577

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Article
Publication date: 5 October 2012

Lynn Oxborrow and Clare Brindley

Since the 1990s the fashion industry has reflected the issues generally arising in the manufacturing sector, namely rapid and deep structural changes, the development of…

Abstract

Purpose

Since the 1990s the fashion industry has reflected the issues generally arising in the manufacturing sector, namely rapid and deep structural changes, the development of new supply chain relationships, ICT impacts and increasing globalisation with the attendant issues of ethical sourcing, off‐shoring, new emerging markets and recessionary ripples. This paper focuses on one particular aspect of the fashion industry, namely the apparel sector, and in particular “fast fashion” to explore the issues arising for the SMEs in the supply chain.

Design/methodology/approach

The research adopts a qualitative methodology and is longitudinal in nature, spanning five years from August 2006. The first stage of the research is reported here, where a series of focussed interview scenarios were conducted over an 18‐month period. The sample of 12 SMEs was a convenience one, drawn from the 30 participants who took part in a business‐to‐business event in Leicester, a geographical location which acts as a microcosm of the apparel industry. Interviews were used to elicit narrative data about what was actually happening in these apparel supply chains.

Findings

The apparel supply chain has changed significantly due to recessionary ripples and structural changes. SMEs have had more success in managing the upstream rather than the downstream relationships and relationships between buyers and suppliers continue to be fractious. Innovation has occurred but is hampered by the relationships that persist. Culture has proved to be a key dimension.

Research limitations/implications

There is a lack of research on supply chains, especially, apparel supply chains that focus on reality rather than best practice. The relationships that are exerted in the supply chain and the cultural aspects that influence them have also lacked academic focus.

Originality/value

The paper adds empirical data to the paucity of theoretical work in the area by the construction of a model that articulates the key factors (relationships, innovation and culture) that operate within cluster supply chains. It also identifies the unequal relationships and how SMEs devise strategies to cope or not, to some extent dependent on their culture.

Details

International Journal of Retail & Distribution Management, vol. 40 no. 11
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0959-0552

Keywords

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