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Outlines a qualitative methodology for researching in entrepreneurial small firms and through an application of this methodology to a group of five entrepreneurs…
Outlines a qualitative methodology for researching in entrepreneurial small firms and through an application of this methodology to a group of five entrepreneurs, illustrates its appropriateness in explaining how such firms manage and develop their personal contact networks over the life cycle of an enterprise. Draws on the relevant literature to provide a contextual setting for the research. The research approach adopted is largely inductive and it resulted in the emergence of a theoretical model of network evolution for owner‐managed entrepreneurial small firms.
Demonstrates how a single case study/action science methodology was applied by the researchers in assisting the lead entrepreneur and management team in a small firm to…
Demonstrates how a single case study/action science methodology was applied by the researchers in assisting the lead entrepreneur and management team in a small firm to develop marketing planning competencies, thereby ensuring company growth and hopefully survival. The research illustrates how the acquisition of these skills enabled the client company to overcome a series of obstacles to strategic growth and thereby maintain a positive entrepreneurial effort.
This paper considers the roles of business intelligence (BI) and e‐business systems in enhancing the quality of decision making in knowledge‐based and high‐tech start‐ups…
This paper considers the roles of business intelligence (BI) and e‐business systems in enhancing the quality of decision making in knowledge‐based and high‐tech start‐ups. A qualitative study, using in‐depth discussions with 11 companies based in Northern Ireland, was conducted. The study examined the extent of BI usage and evaluated the extent of implementation of effective e‐business systems in the sample companies. The study concludes that, whilst the sample firms recognized the value of both BI and e‐business models, the modus operandi of the entrepreneurial high tech start‐up is very much rooted in the traditional small firm paradigm of personal contact networking.
In recent years the use of networks and, in particular, personal contact networks (PCNs) has emerged as a focus for research in the area of small firm entrepreneurship. A…
In recent years the use of networks and, in particular, personal contact networks (PCNs) has emerged as a focus for research in the area of small firm entrepreneurship. A tacit theme emerging from this area has been the need for entrepreneurs to develop a competency in using their PCNs as a means of resolving marketing problems faced in developing their enterprises. The competency literature itself focuses primarily on the subject of management development, with scant attention given to the identification of specific competences for small firm entrepreneurs and, in particular, the challenges they face in marketing decision‐making. Previous research by the authors addressed this shortcoming and pointed to the value of using PCNs for resolving marketing problems in the entrepreneurial small firm. A spectrum of entrepreneurial competences critical for marketing‐led enterprise development was developed. A conceptual model is proposed of how small firm entrepreneurs might use their existing competency strengths to develop a further competency in the proactive use of PCNs, a strength which is critical for the planned success of the entrepreneurial enterprise.
Film provides an alternative medium for assessing our interpretations of cultural icons. This selective list looks at the film and video sources for information on and interpretations of the life of Woody Guthrie.
Considers an area of growing importance in marketing research. Small to medium‐sized enterprises (SMEs) are continuing to play an increasing role in the development of…
Considers an area of growing importance in marketing research. Small to medium‐sized enterprises (SMEs) are continuing to play an increasing role in the development of western economies. Puts forward the argument that existing approaches to conducting marketing research in SMEs are rooted in the big firm mindset and, therefore, in positivist thinking, tending to focus mainly on survey methods. Examines the various orientations that predominate in and shape the SME context. Develops a research position with a syncretised qualitative research methodology outlined and applied to a research project carried out by one of the authors into 57 small firms in the UK. All of the orientations of the SMEs appeared rooted, to a large extent, in one or more highly influential individuals who fashion the culture and direction of these firms. Argues for an approach to research in SMEs that recognises the various influencing orientations including the impact on marketing research and the role of the entrepreneurial individual.
This paper examines the problems of translating marketing theory into effective marketing practice and specifically concentrates on the difficulties that surround the…
This paper examines the problems of translating marketing theory into effective marketing practice and specifically concentrates on the difficulties that surround the marketing planning process. First the authors explore the barriers to marketing planning and relate these to the lack of specific marketing competencies. Then the concept of work‐based learning is discussed and a programme of this nature suggested which builds on key marketing planning competencies.
This paper forms Part 2 of a monograph detailing a study that sought to examine the key determinants of SME marketing. It reports the key findings with respect to…
This paper forms Part 2 of a monograph detailing a study that sought to examine the key determinants of SME marketing. It reports the key findings with respect to marketing competency in SMEs, explores the strong sales orientation of such firms, examines the nature and use of SME personal contact networks and considers to what extent formal marketing planning is practiced in such enterprises. New insights to these important areas of small firm research are presented. A new model of SME marketing competency is developed, depicting competencies at three levels, foundation, transitional and marketing in practice. The monograph concludes with a holistic interpretation of the data that enables the development of a new model of SME marketing.
This monograph is the consequence of a variety of experiences. It reflects an interest in SMEs and entrepreneurship stretching back almost 17 years from the author’s days…
This monograph is the consequence of a variety of experiences. It reflects an interest in SMEs and entrepreneurship stretching back almost 17 years from the author’s days in the fresh food industry. It reflects knowledge from a series of studies and projects in which the author has been engaged since commencement of an academic career in 1990. In particular, it reflects the findings of a five‐year piece of doctoral research that the author conducted with 57 firms in Ireland and the UK between 1995‐1999. The study seeks to identify the key determinants of SME marketing activity. The research objectives focused on determining a framework of marketing competencies for SMEs, the extent of formal marketing processes practised, and how SME marketing decisions are made. Further research objectives emerged (these were inductive in nature) that focused on determining the extent of the sales orientation in SMEs and on gaining insights into the use and character of the contact networks of the individuals who manage such enterprises. A syncretised qualitative methodology was developed for the study. The research approach was both deductive and inductive. The analytical strategy adopted a range of tools but was predominantly characterised by data reduction through detailed coding and the development of strict frameworks for analysis. The findings identified a spectrum of marketing competencies for SMEs. It existed at three levels – foundation, transitional and operational. It was shown that the sales orientation of SMEs is what determines their marketing character. A core spectrum of SME sales competencies was identified. It showed significant overlap with the marketing competency spectrum. It was concluded that, since the sales orientation determines the marketing competencies, it also shapes the marketing character of SMEs. The sample firms engaged in significant formal marketing practice, most notably marketing planning. Marketing practice and decisions were characterised by significant usage of personal contact networks. Contact networks were also rooted in a strong sales orientation. It was clear that many marketing decisions that are ostensibly operational in character become strategic or eventually effect strategic change in the marketing practices of SMEs. A holistic model of SME marketing was developed. The model is an integrated complex of the elements of SME marketing examined. Whilst the holistic model developed is entrepreneurial in character, it depicts the SME as a much more sophisticated marketing entity than has been suggested in any previous research.