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Article
Publication date: 1 December 2005

Gary Packham, David Brooksbank, Christopher Miller and Brychan Thomas

This paper proposes that owner‐managers of growth firms are more likely to have developed or acquired managerial practices that facilitate such expansion. The paper…

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1201

Abstract

Purpose

This paper proposes that owner‐managers of growth firms are more likely to have developed or acquired managerial practices that facilitate such expansion. The paper, therefore, examines how growth oriented firms in Wales have adopted management practices to build the necessary entrepreneurial capacity to sustain growth.

Design/methodology/approach

A group interview technique was utilised to examine the management development process in 18 growing firms across the manufacturing, construction sectors.

Findings

The research highlighted that whilst firms argued that the management practices they had implemented were to facilitate further growth, the relative importance of practices such as marketing, financial management and planning varied across sectors. Furthermore, it was apparent that growth firms identified in this study were more inclined to look at the adoption of management practices from a strategic perspective.

Research limitations/implications

The exploratory nature of this study means that it is difficult to generalise these findings outside the boundaries of the adopted research strategy. In addition, links between performance and managerial action are always very difficult to demonstrate conclusively as this process is often dependent on owner‐managers recounting and recognising cause and effect relationships. Nevertheless, the study does strengthen existing academic argument that key management practices outlined in this paper are regularly adopted by growing firms.

Practical implications

The findings will assist policy makers and owner/managers with regard to identifying and understanding why certain management practices engender small business growth.

Originality/value

The paper adds its support to the growing literature which examines the process of management development in small growth firms. Moreover, given Wales' current dearth of growth oriented firms, the paper implies that policy makers should support training and initiatives that develop entrepreneurial and managerial competencies that are industry specific.

Details

Journal of Small Business and Enterprise Development, vol. 12 no. 4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1462-6004

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Article
Publication date: 28 June 2011

Paul Jones, Christopher Miller, Amanda Jones, Gary Packham, David Pickernell and Przemyslaw Zbierowski

The Polish economy is continuing its expansion through the adoption of free market economics in the post‐communist era. To encourage this growth in a future where…

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2042

Abstract

Purpose

The Polish economy is continuing its expansion through the adoption of free market economics in the post‐communist era. To encourage this growth in a future where difficult global economic conditions are likely to persist, it is essential that entrepreneurial activity is encouraged within the next generation of graduates. This study aims to explore the attitudes and motivations of Polish students towards an entrepreneurship education programme.

Design/methodology/approach

To achieve the research objectives the methodological approach adopted for this study involved semi‐structured interviews undertaken with 122 Polish students. Each student undertook an interview within which they were asked to reflect on the impact of an entrepreneurship education programme on their entrepreneurial attitudes and motivations.

Findings

This study builds on Jones et al., whose “snapshot” study found that Polish students had limited prior entrepreneurial experiences and expectations and welcomed the opportunity to undertake entrepreneurship education. The findings here confirmed the results of the prior study, but also provided greater insight regarding the reasons underpinning respondent behaviour.

Research limitations/implications

The data collected within this study are limited to the experience of Polish students. It is questionable whether the results are generalisable to different nationalities. Additional research must be undertaken to explore this further.

Practical implications

The results have implications for the construction and delivery of entrepreneurship education to student groups.

Originality/value

The study contributes to the extant knowledge in the context of the experience of enterprise education in a developing country. The paper will be of value to enterprise education providers in aiding the construction and delivery of such programmes.

Details

Education + Training, vol. 53 no. 5
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0040-0912

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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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Article
Publication date: 30 September 2008

Paul Jones, Amanda Jones, Gary Packham and Christopher Miller

This paper aims to appraise the delivery of an enterprise education course to a cohort of Polish students evaluating its impact in encouraging entrepreneurial activity…

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2342

Abstract

Purpose

This paper aims to appraise the delivery of an enterprise education course to a cohort of Polish students evaluating its impact in encouraging entrepreneurial activity. The Polish economy continues its expansion with adoption of free market economies post communism. To encourage this growth, entrepreneurial activity must be encouraged within the next generation of entrepreneurs namely the student community. The course entitled Starting a New Enterprise (SANE) was developed to provide entrepreneurial skills and knowledge of the business planning process. The enterprise education literature questions its effectiveness in encouraging entrepreneurial activity. This study profiles the SANE course focusing on students entrepreneurial motivations, prior experiences and future intent.

Design/methodology/approach

This study presents a quantitative review of the Polish students' reflections on the experience of enterprise within the SANE course. The basis for this investigation involved two semi‐structured questionnaires undertaken prior to and on completion of the course. In total, 59 students completed the first questionnaire and 50 respondents the second.

Findings

The study found that Polish students had limited prior entrepreneurial experiences and expectations and welcomed the opportunity to undertake enterprise education. The findings suggested an equal proportion of male and female students aged 18‐24 favoured a future entrepreneurial career. Moreover, a quarter of all respondents welcomed an immediate entrepreneurial career on graduation and found value in the development of a business proposal. The findings suggested that entrepreneurial education informs entrepreneurial intent and career aspirations.

Originality/value

This study provides evidence into the effectiveness of enterprise education courses as a mechanism to encourage nascent entrepreneurial activity.

Details

Education + Training, vol. 50 no. 7
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0040-0912

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Article
Publication date: 23 November 2010

Gary Packham, Paul Jones, Christopher Miller, David Pickernell and Brychan Thomas

This paper aims to examine the impact of enterprise education on entrepreneurial attitude within European higher education institutions (HEIs) in France, Germany and…

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5044

Abstract

Purpose

This paper aims to examine the impact of enterprise education on entrepreneurial attitude within European higher education institutions (HEIs) in France, Germany and Poland. The research seeks to consider whether differences between cultural and industrial heritage can influence entrepreneurial attitude and mediate the effectiveness of enterprise education.

Design/methodology/approach

Research argues that Europe requires more entrepreneurs willing to innovate and create new ventures to facilitate economic growth. This research builds on prior studies, which have examined the impact of enterprise education and training on business start‐up. In particular the study utilises the concept of entrepreneurial attitude to measure how enterprise education influences students' perceptions of, and motivations towards, entrepreneurship as a viable career option. The study contrasts and compares the impact of a short enterprise course on entrepreneurial attitude among undergraduate students in French, German and Polish HEIs. A quantitative methodology employed a research instrument utilising five‐point Likert arrays to contrast attitudes and opinions of students both prior to, and after, the delivery of the course.

Findings

Enterprise education has a positive impact on entrepreneurial attitude of French and Polish students. Conversely, the course had a negative impact on male German students. It was also found that while female students are more likely to perceive a greater benefit from the learning experience, the impact of enterprise education on entrepreneurial attitude is actually more significant for male students.

Practical implications

The research findings are of interest to academia and policy makers. The study suggests that entrepreneurial attitude among European students can be influenced by exposure to enterprise education. The results also indicate that gender, cultural and industrial heritage can moderate the impact of enterprise education.

Originality/value

The paper provides evidence that differences between gender, culture and regional settings need to be considered in the design and delivery of enterprise programmes if they are to have the desired impact on entrepreneurial intent and graduate entrepreneurship.

Details

Education + Training, vol. 52 no. 8/9
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0040-0912

Keywords

Content available
Article
Publication date: 28 October 2013

Dr Paul Jones

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1168

Abstract

Details

Journal of Small Business and Enterprise Development, vol. 20 no. 4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1462-6004

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Article
Publication date: 28 October 2013

David Pickernell, Paul Jones, Gary Packham, Brychan Thomas, Gareth White and Robert Willis

This study aims to examine e-commerce within UK small and medium sized enterprises (SMEs). More specifically, it seeks to explore associations between e-commerce and…

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4602

Abstract

Purpose

This study aims to examine e-commerce within UK small and medium sized enterprises (SMEs). More specifically, it seeks to explore associations between e-commerce and internal and external antecedents including trading behaviour, owner/manager characteristics, innovation, public sector involvement, business advice and finance sources.

Design/methodology/approach

An 8,500+ sample derived from the 2008 UK Federation of Small Businesses survey was utilised. An OLS regression equation was generated where the percentage of sales made using e-commerce constituted the dependent variable. Independent variables were constructed for several sets of factors including innovation, business advice and sources of finance, as well as a range of owner and SME typology variables.

Findings

The results suggest that e-commerce is more strongly apparent in SMEs started from scratch and where they were involved in basic or high knowledge services or the tourist trade. SMEs undertaking e-commerce were also associated with innovation in the form of copyright, as well as public procurement with local authorities and the university sector. Specific business advice in the form of capacity, family and suppliers was also associated with e-commerce trading.

Research limitations/implications

These results have implications for SMEs and public sector stakeholders. SMEs must recognise the importance of several potential antecedents such as intellectual property rights, specific business advice and finance to encourage e-commerce. Moreover, it was apparent that certain SME characteristics, namely locality and trading behaviour, were associated with effective e-commerce.

Originality/value

This study will be of value to academia, SMEs and key public sector stakeholders in the formulation of policy for ICT development.

Details

Journal of Small Business and Enterprise Development, vol. 20 no. 4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1462-6004

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Article
Publication date: 13 September 2011

Paul Jones, Christopher Miller, David Pickernell and Gary Packham

Purpose – The objective of this paper is to examine the initiation of the University of the Heads of the Valley Initiative (UHOVI) project and evaluate the development of…

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1551

Abstract

Purpose – The objective of this paper is to examine the initiation of the University of the Heads of the Valley Initiative (UHOVI) project and evaluate the development of its focus, materials and structure. Design/methodology/approach – The methodology employs interviews with a purposive sample of local employer stakeholders. The rationale for this approach is that it allows identification of the key requirements that UHOVI will need to fulfil if it is to be successful in this endeavour, within a reasonable timeframe. The in‐depth interviews also allow increased clarity in terms of the conclusions that can be drawn, particularly in terms of the recommendations for the next stages of UHOVI project. Findings – UHOVI's aim is to encourage social inclusion, through vocational education and training programmes explicitly suited to non‐traditional learners in an area of high social deprivation. UHOVI is a strategic partnership backed by the Welsh Assembly Government and the European Social Fund, between the University of Glamorgan and University of Wales, Newport. The purpose of the project is to alleviate the long‐term problems inherent within the Valleys area of Wales, which include low levels of professional and managerial jobs, limited qualifications and educational progression and high levels of economic inactivity, sickness and disability. Practical implications – This study can also act as a case study for other similar policies undertaken in similar economic geographies in the future. It also provides an important and original insight into the underpinning design of a large scale social inclusion educational project which will be of interest to policy makers, academia and enterprise support agencies. Originality/value – The paper provides an in‐depth study of the significant UHOVI project, examining the requirements for such an initiative in terms of both content and delivery of vocational education, and how this can affect the role that an education and training programme can play in meeting a social inclusion agenda.

Details

Education + Training, vol. 53 no. 7
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0040-0912

Keywords

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Article
Publication date: 26 August 2014

Malcolm J. Beynon, Paul Jones, Gary Packham and David Pickernell

The purpose of this paper is to investigate student motivation for undertaking an entrepreneurship education programme and their ultimate employment aspirations through a…

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1074

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to investigate student motivation for undertaking an entrepreneurship education programme and their ultimate employment aspirations through a novel data mining technique. The study considered what relationship certain motivation characteristics have to students’ aspirations, specifically in terms of their intention to be self-employed or employed.

Design/methodology/approach

The study examined enrolment data of 720 students on an entrepreneurial education programme, with work statuses of full-time, part-time or unemployed and have known aspirations to either employment or self-employment. The Classification and Ranking Belief Simplex (CaRBS) technique is employed in the classification analyses undertaken, which offers an uncertain reasoning based visual approach to the exposition of findings.

Findings

The classification findings demonstrate the level of contribution of the different motivations to the discernment of students with self-employed and employed aspirations. The most contributing aspirations were Start-Up, Interests and Qualifications. For these aspirations, further understanding is provided with respect to gender and student age (in terms of the association with aspirations towards self-employed or employed). For example, with respect to Start-Up, the older the unemployed student, the increasing association with employment rather than self-employment career aspirations.

Research limitations/implications

The study identifies candidate motivation and the demographic profile for student's undertaking an entrepreneurial education programme. Knowing applicant aspirations should inform course design, pedagogy and its inherent flexibility and recognise the specific needs of certain student groups.

Originality/value

The study contributes to the literature examining motivations for undertaking entrepreneurship education and categorising motivating factors. These findings will be of value to both education providers and researchers.

Details

International Journal of Entrepreneurial Behavior & Research, vol. 20 no. 6
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1355-2554

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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

Keywords

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