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Article
Publication date: 19 October 2020

Mike Bull and Geoff Whittam

In this paper the authors investigate precarious value creation in English football clubs. They examine strategic, economic, cultural and social capital to analyse the…

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Abstract

Purpose

In this paper the authors investigate precarious value creation in English football clubs. They examine strategic, economic, cultural and social capital to analyse the orientations of legal owners of football clubs (entrepreneurs) and the implications for moral owners (the fans). Their research question is not if entrepreneurs create value – but whether the value created is productive or destructive.

Design/methodology/approach

The research design is a case study of the professional football industry, specifically 44 football clubs in the top two professional divisions in England, namely the English Premier League and the English Football League Championship. The authors’ methodology is secondary textual data. Their approach is to examine official club statements, triangulated with regional and national press reports, fan accounts and narratives from published artefacts; fan blogs and websites.

Findings

The “opening up” of the professional football industry in England to market forces in 1983 has subsequently attracted entrepreneurs that use football clubs as artefacts to pursue other business interests. Over-grazing on strategic and economic capital at the expense and exploitation of social and cultural capital exists. As entrepreneurial opportunities to exploit a football club's assets becomes more apparent, the unique relationship between club and fan is being strained. The authors observe detachment, disenchantment and protest.

Research limitations/implications

The data sought for this study design was necessarily in the public domain and therefore drawn from secondary sources. The scope was English football and the top two divisions, thus the findings are context specific to that region and level.

Practical implications

For policy, the authors call for a new government inquiry into football ownership in English football, re-examining heritage, purpose and value creation.

Social implications

Football fans are the majority stakeholder in the football industry but are under-represented in English football because of the private ownership of football clubs. Fans are, however, a barometer for how their owners are acting as custodians of their clubs and if the value created by entrepreneurs is productive or exploitative.

Originality/value

This paper has value in drawing attention to this unique and ignored industry from an entrepreneurship perspective, provoking a call for further research to explore this phenomenon. Sustainable value creation may be a useful framework for further research in this and other industries.

Details

International Journal of Entrepreneurial Behavior & Research, vol. 27 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1355-2554

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 10 June 2019

Fiona Henderson, Kelly Hall, Audrey Mutongi and Geoff Whittam

This study aims to explore the opportunities and challenges Self-directed Support policy has presented to Scottish social enterprises, thereby increasing understanding of emerging…

Abstract

Purpose

This study aims to explore the opportunities and challenges Self-directed Support policy has presented to Scottish social enterprises, thereby increasing understanding of emerging social care markets arising from international policy-shifts towards empowering social care users to self-direct their care.

Design/methodology/approach

This study used guided conversations with a purposive sample of 19 stakeholders sampled from frontline social care social enterprises; social work; third sector; health; and government.

Findings

An inconsistent social care market has emerged across Scotland as a result of policy change, providing both opportunities and challenges for social enterprises. Social innovation emerged from a supportive partnership between the local authority and social enterprise in one area, but elsewhere local authorities remained change-resistant, evidencing path dependence. Challenges included the private sector “creaming” clients and geographic areas and social enterprises being scapegoated where the local market was failing.

Research limitations/implications

This study involved a small purposively sampled group of stakeholders specifically interested in social enterprise, and hence the findings are suggestive rather than conclusive.

Originality/value

This paper contributes to currently limited academic understanding of the contribution of social enterprise to emerging social care markets arising from the international policy-shifts. Through an historical institutionalism lens, this study also offers new insight into interactions between public institutions and social enterprise care providers. The insights from this paper will support policymakers and researchers to develop a more equitable, sustainable future for social care provision.

Details

Social Enterprise Journal, vol. 15 no. 4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1750-8614

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 1 June 1998

David Deakins, Linda Graham, Robert Sullivan and Geoff Whittam

There has been little research on the processes of providing support to new firm entrepreneurs, and little evaluation of the provision of support to existing small firm…

2178

Abstract

There has been little research on the processes of providing support to new firm entrepreneurs, and little evaluation of the provision of support to existing small firm entrepreneurs through advice, counselling or consultancy. Despite this lack of research, support for new firm entrepreneurs has been largely withdrawn in England and Wales with the focus of support, through Personal Business Advisers (PBAs), targeted at existing small firm entrepreneurs who employ more than 20 people and have the potential for growth. There are theoretical arguments that suggest support for new start entrepreneurs should be provided on a mentoring basis. If this is provided selectively, then this should have an impact on the management ability and confidence of such new firm starts. This paper reports the results of interviews with new firm entrepreneurs engaged in such a mentoring relationship. The research, undertaken in Scotland, suggests that such a relationship is beneficial. Given the high failure rates of new firm formation, such support could have wider application and benefits. It is suggested that, for certain regions, provision of new firm support can yield positive and worthwhile returns to public sector investment, particularly in a region such as the West of Scotland, characterised by a need to diversify its economy and raise the formation rate of new start small firms and entrepreneurs.

Details

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

Keywords

Book part
Publication date: 4 August 2014

David Moyes, Mike Danson and Geoff Whittam

It is important that agency advice and support for SMEs in rural areas is congruent with how business-owners perceive their needs and challenges. To explore how well matched these…

Abstract

Purpose

It is important that agency advice and support for SMEs in rural areas is congruent with how business-owners perceive their needs and challenges. To explore how well matched these two sides are, this chapter investigates the difficulties faced by small businesses operating in rural southwest Scotland.

Methodology/approach

In-depth interviews with business influencers (those whose activities affect businesses either through application of policy initiatives, development of policy or the giving of business advice) and owner-managers of rural businesses compare and contrast the perceptions of the challenges of rurality for small businesses.

Findings

Mismatches are revealed between the concerns of rural business-owners and what business influencers understand them to be. Business influencers consider that structural weaknesses and a ‘lifestyle’ business culture in the region inhibit growth, but business owners are strategic in their business aspirations and approaches to growth. However, they are also highly critical of the promotion of the region and concerned about the misunderstanding of potential visitors that the region is remote and difficult to access.

Research limitations

This chapter reports experiences in a particular rural location; such experiences are typical of many rural regions and, thus, the findings should be transferable.

Practical implications

The region’s economic strategy focuses on reducing the significant prosperity gap with the rest of the country. Key to this is the development of indigenous business sectors. However, the policy interventions derived from a misapprehension of the constraints and underpinning culture of indigenous businesses are unlikely to be successful and may be counter-productive.

Originality value

Contrasting the perspectives of those who do business with those who influence business reveals issues of understanding which need to be addressed.

Details

Exploring Rural Enterprise: New Perspectives On Research, Policy & Practice
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-78441-109-1

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 29 May 2009

Paul J. Ferri, David Deakins and Geoff Whittam

Whilst all models of the entrepreneurial process identify the role of networking as important at both the start‐up and developmental stage of a business latterly these models have…

3845

Abstract

Purpose

Whilst all models of the entrepreneurial process identify the role of networking as important at both the start‐up and developmental stage of a business latterly these models have expanded the notion of networking and embraced the concept of social capital. However, much of the literature on measuring social capital has focussed on the quantity of social capital within a given geographical space. This paper seeks to expand this research by examining the depth and richness of social capital for new venture creation and thereby identifying the impact of social capital in new venture creation.

Design/methodology/approach

Current research has tended to be quantitative, for example the World Values Survey. However, 2001 there is a need to explore the value of social capital in the entrepreneurial process. This paper presents a critical review of the existing literature on measuring social capital in the entrepreneurial process. It is anticipated that the research will reveal rich, contextual information which will identify the need to investigate social capital from a qualitative perspective.

Findings

The paper's examination of the social capital literature thus far, although not exhaustive, has noted the emergence of several common themes that associate the issues of measurement with lack of empirical consensus on an accepted definition of social capital.

Practical implications

Policy makers charged with developing an entrepreneurial culture and the establishment of new ventures, might wish to look at encouraging both nascent and existing entrepreneurs to exploit their formal and informal network relationships, seeking the development of organisations and institutions that will assist in building social capital.

Originality/value

This paper contributes to the existing literature in emphasising the necessity of understanding the “measurement” of intangible factors in understanding social capital in the entrepreneurial process.

Details

Journal of Enterprising Communities: People and Places in the Global Economy, vol. 3 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1750-6204

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 27 February 2007

Stuart Paul, Geoff Whittam and Janette Wyper

The purpose of this research is to explore whether the “pecking order hypothesis” (POH) applies to the capital finance preferences of start‐up businesses.

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Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this research is to explore whether the “pecking order hypothesis” (POH) applies to the capital finance preferences of start‐up businesses.

Design/methodology/approach

In‐depth interviews with 20 Scotland‐based entrepreneurs were conducted in order to reveal the subtleties of the capital finance preferences which applied to a sample of start‐up firms. To ensure reliability and validity, data was analysed using a systematic schema.

Findings

Consistent with the POH we found that entrepreneurs in start‐ups turn to internal sources first, that is, their own funds. In contradiction to the POH, however, evidence in this paper finds that where external funds are required, the main source is equity rather than debt. In the majority of cases, in depth interviews show that a bridged pecking order applies in that the businesses move from self‐funding to external equity in preference to, or instead of bank finance. Two reasons for this pattern can be established. First, entrepreneurs consider debt to be a personal liability as it invariably requires to be underwritten by personal guarantees. Entrepreneurs place a self‐imposed limit on the extent to which they are prepared to mortgage their assets. Second, entrepreneurs deliberately seek out equity investment as a means of obtaining added value over and above the finance invested. Rather than the external equity being viewed as expensive, it is viewed as good value as a well‐chosen investor can add business skills and social capital in the form of commercial contacts and access to relevant networks.

Practical implications

Entrepreneurs searching for investment should assess the post‐investment role they wish investors to play. Successful consideration of this issue will make it more likely that a start‐up business obtains external finance and that entrepreneurs achieve good “matches” with investors, and vice versa.

Originality/value

The value of this paper rests in its finding that a bridged pecking order may apply to start‐up firms in that entrepreneurs move directly from self‐funding to equity.

Details

Journal of Small Business and Enterprise Development, vol. 14 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1462-6004

Keywords

Content available
Book part
Publication date: 4 August 2014

Abstract

Details

Exploring Rural Enterprise: New Perspectives On Research, Policy & Practice
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-78441-109-1

Abstract

Details

Exploring Rural Enterprise: New Perspectives On Research, Policy & Practice
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-78441-109-1

Book part
Publication date: 4 August 2014

Colette Henry and Gerard McElwee

The objective of this chapter is to lay the foundation for the edited collection of contemporary research contributions contained in this book. Specifically, the chapter is…

Abstract

Purpose

The objective of this chapter is to lay the foundation for the edited collection of contemporary research contributions contained in this book. Specifically, the chapter is concerned with defining and conceptualising rural entrepreneurship.

Methodology

The chapter seeks to explore why and how a rural enterprise can be defined, and determines whether rural entrepreneurship is a distinctive category of entrepreneurship theory and practice. Building on descriptive rural enterprise taxonomies proposed in previous studies, the chapter considers the drivers and barriers impacting on firm start-up, growth and decline in rural environments.

Findings

The authors argue that there is little difference between a rural and non-rural enterprise in terms of structure, that is how the business is organised or managed, or how the characteristics of the individual entrepreneur are exhibited. Thus, it would appear that there is no specific category for, nor definition of a rural entrepreneur beyond that of ‘an individual who manages a venture in a rural setting’.

Research limitations

The chapter is based mainly on a review of extant literatures.

Originality/value

The chapter concludes that it is the exogenous factors that differentiate rural from non-rural ventures, and it is these factors that will have a significant impact on start-up, growth and failure rates.

Details

Exploring Rural Enterprise: New Perspectives On Research, Policy & Practice
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-78441-109-1

Keywords

Content available
Article
Publication date: 9 January 2017

Paul Jones

629

Abstract

Details

International Journal of Entrepreneurial Behavior & Research, vol. 23 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1355-2554

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