SMEs are both users of marketing research and subjects of market research. There is clear evidence that the decision processes in such firms often render the…
SMEs are both users of marketing research and subjects of market research. There is clear evidence that the decision processes in such firms often render the products/services designed for medium and large firms inappropriate. One of the major suppliers of services to the small firms sector is the business support infrastructure. This includes agencies associated with business start‐up/expansion and their management consultancy services concerning marketing, finance, insurance and risk management etc. This paper considers the value of using in‐depth qualitative research to establish the unique features of business support required by small firms. In addition to a review of recent studies that have adopted ethnographic, repertory grid and cognitive mapping qualitative approaches in this context, the paper presents the results from a specific study where the repertory grid procedure was used to establish the risk management practices of high technology small firms. Conclusions are drawn concerning the strengths and limitations of qualitative market research in designing SME training/development support.
Operational research plays a major role in improving the profitability of British Airways (BA), which is the largest, and one of the most successful, international airlines in the world. This study explores the knowledge and facilitation conceptions held by operational research consultants in BA in supporting the decisions and management processes of their internal “clients”. Ten consultants, who were deemed experts in soft OR, were interviewed in order to examine the knowledge they used in helping their clients to manage decisions and change. The findings suggest that while the fundamental ethos of analytical rigour characterises the world‐view that the OR consultants adopt, it may be the modifications to techniques and practices that consultants make in intuitive and creative ways that secure their effectiveness.
The purpose of this paper is to report upon an initiative within a case study UK university to facilitate service innovation in small firms. The paper aims to outline how…
The purpose of this paper is to report upon an initiative within a case study UK university to facilitate service innovation in small firms. The paper aims to outline how explicit use of such concepts has the potential to enhance the effectiveness of this form of university‐industry interaction.
The paper considers how an evaluative inquiry approach could be used to assess the contribution of explicit consideration of knowledge integration and absorptive capacity in university‐industry interaction.
The paper reveals how the study has been constructed and how the planned use of personal reflective tools and structured group interactions may enhance the consideration and utilisation of the key concepts by the university and SME clients.
The paper brings a degree of theorising upon university‐industry interaction that is largely absent in reported studies. It adds to the knowledge/cognitive perspective upon small business support.
The value of evaluative inquiry and explicit use of knowledge concepts in assisting the evolution of interactions with small businesses are highlighted.
The paper presents a compelling case for an innovative approach towards facilitating collaboration.
Customer service training for food service staff is typically structured around simple procedures (often based on acronyms) and is restricted to induction training. Two potential limitations stem from these practices: current training may fail to address the subtle general changes in approach which come with experience in food service: current approaches may not highlight the differences in service situations which could benefit from changes in specific behaviour, i.e. situations to which customer service can be tailored. Describes a study identifying the sophistication of food service skills and highlights many general behavioural differences between novice and experienced staff. Reveals a framework of different customer/ situation contexts to which service behaviours can be tailored. Discusses the implications of the study for staff training.
Quality initiatives need to be translated into actions by employees. Highlights the importance of eliciting the knowledge and beliefs which employees use to guide their decisions at work and argues that everyday discourse (e.g. conversation, group discussion) is an inadequate basis from which to unearth this information. Outlines a variety of psychological techniques which can be used to help people “get at” their own views. A study is reported which used situational interviewing and the repertory grid technique to elicit the models which food servers in the hospitality industry have of internal systems and procedures. The “maps” which food servers have of service situations and colleagues reveal areas for quality improvement.
THE Report of the Committee on Libraries, which was issued by the University Grants Committee in the summer of 1967, had for long been called the Parry Report after its Chairman, Dr. Thomas Parry, formerly Librarian of the National Library of Wales and at the time the Principal of University College of Wales in Aberystwyth. When it was first set up in June 1963 the terms of reference were as follows:
Examines the reasons why TQM has had relatively little impact in the hospitality sector and recognizes the greater risks involved in implementing TQM as opposed to a more “technique‐based” implementation. Identifies two requirements for successful implementation – the right initial conditions (which reduce the perceived risk) and the need for an appropriate environment within which TQM can flourish. In the latter context, four key concepts are identified: “external awareness”, “change potential”, “motivation”, and “manoeuvrability”. Comparisons are drawn with manufacturing organizations which identify some of the reasons for the greater impact in that sector. Concludes by identifying some ways in which the hospitality sector could start to close the gap.
In order to achieve substantial growth of VFP's hydraulics systems business at home and overseas, Richard Jasinski (38) has been appointed sales & marketing director and assistant managing director of VFP Fluid Power Ltd of Swindon, Wiltshire, a subsidiary of Aerospace Engineering plc.
Presents evidence from a research study into the impact of gender on management styles, using repertory grid as a methodology. Generalized differences were identified in the approaches of women and men to definition of the job, overall style, decision making and interpersonal relationships. Men had greater visibility to other men, while a broader insight was offered by women interviewees into the women managers′ approaches. In the context of patriarchal power relations, in which masculinity is defined as opposite and superior to femininity, feminine working styles are perceived as less effective in organizations, while masculine attributes tend to be regarded as normatively the way to manage. Such values can imbue recruitment, selection and development practices with gender bias. Recent management and leadership theory has advocated the value of a people‐centred approach, which traditionally and stereotypically has been associated with women. This might appear to open up opportunity for women. Concludes that there is a need to be alert to a redefinition of patriarchal relations as men seek to maintain status.