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Article
Publication date: 17 October 2016

Barry Ardley, Philip Moss and Nick Taylor

This paper aims to examine the perceptions of small business entrepreneurs regarding the efficacy of external business advisers in delivering sustainable strategic and…

Abstract

Purpose

This paper aims to examine the perceptions of small business entrepreneurs regarding the efficacy of external business advisers in delivering sustainable strategic and operational guidance.

Design/methodology/approach

The research is interpretivist, exploring the narratives of small and medium-sized enterprise (SME) owner/managers in manufacturing. Five in-depth interviews were carried out, revealing a range of decision stories about the use of external business advisers.

Findings

While there was some scepticism towards the use of advisers in certain situations, the research revealed that levels of trust, relationship building and the credibility of the consultant are substantial factors in determining whether the engagement is successful.

Research limitations/implications

As a small-scale study, it would be worthwhile to examine the perceptions of additional entrepreneurs to business advisers to compare research findings.

Practical implications

Policy regarding advice to small businesses should be framed in terms of the local context of the firm and its owner, rather than on broad and generalisable systems of business knowledge. Time and effort is required to build a sustainable relationship between advisers and owners, and it is recommended that particular attention be paid to the process.

Social implications

The research suggests that potentially, industrial policy regarding current delivery of small business advice requires readjustments towards more of a relationship focus.

Originality/value

Little established research appears to exist in relation to the tendency or otherwise, for SME decision makers to pursue and use external advice. This paper helps to fill an important gap in the literature while offering some significant and nuanced insights into the perceptions of SME owner managers.

Details

Journal of Research in Marketing and Entrepreneurship, vol. 18 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1471-5201

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Article
Publication date: 1 December 2002

Mike Simpson and Nick Taylor

This paper presents a new model of the role and relevance of marketing in small‐ and medium‐sized enterprises (SMEs). The model was developed to explain the apparent…

Abstract

This paper presents a new model of the role and relevance of marketing in small‐ and medium‐sized enterprises (SMEs). The model was developed to explain the apparent mismatch between the need for marketing activities to sustain and grow these companies in a competitive business environment (i.e. relevance of marketing) and the actual marketing efforts used by these organisations (i.e. role played by marketing). The methodology used theoretical development and initial testing of the role and relevance model on a small number of SMEs. Primary data were collected via interviews, questionnaires and observations of the marketing activities of the organisations studied. This paper describes the role and relevance model in theory and shows how to apply the model in practice. The results of the initial tests using a carefully selected number of SMEs are discussed and form the basis of the illustrative case studies presented in this paper.

Details

Journal of Small Business and Enterprise Development, vol. 9 no. 4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1462-6004

Keywords

Content available
Article
Publication date: 1 April 2006

Val Cox

Abstract

Details

Marketing Intelligence & Planning, vol. 24 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0263-4503

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Article
Publication date: 1 December 2001

Mike Simpson, Joanne Padmore and Nick Taylor

Supported Employment Enterprises (SEEs) are a unique sector of small and medium‐sized enterprises that provide meaningful, gainful employment, training and development…

Abstract

Supported Employment Enterprises (SEEs) are a unique sector of small and medium‐sized enterprises that provide meaningful, gainful employment, training and development opportunities for people with a disability. SEEs are run specifically to provide employment but are also commercial enterprises trading with other businesses. Many of these SEEs are not profitable and work under severe financial and operational constraints despite help from local authorities and the Supported Employment Procurement and Consultancy Service (SEPACS). This paper examines the effectiveness of the marketing strategies, plans and tactics of SEEs. The methodology used a national survey questionnaire sent to 96 SEEs listed in a directory of products and services produced by the Employment Service. The response rate was 45 per cent. The results showed that there is a general weakness of marketing strategies and plans in these organisations and highlighted the dysfunctional impact of local authority policies and practices. Marketing mix techniques were generally well understood by most SEEs managers.

Details

Journal of Small Business and Enterprise Development, vol. 8 no. 4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1462-6004

Keywords

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Article
Publication date: 1 September 2001

Mike Simpson, Nick Taylor and Joanne Padmore

Supported employment enterprises (SEEs) are commercial enterprises that provide meaningful, gainful employment, training and development opportunities for people with a…

Abstract

Supported employment enterprises (SEEs) are commercial enterprises that provide meaningful, gainful employment, training and development opportunities for people with a disability. Hence, SEEs are run specifically to provide employment. SEEs, with the exception of Remploy, represent a unique sector of SMEs owned and run by local authorities and charities. The Supported Employment Procurement and Consultancy Service (SEPACS) provides SEEs with per capita funding for disabled employees, capital grants for premises and equipment, grants for marketing research, business advice and performance monitoring. SEPACS is part of the Department for Education and Employment (DfEE). This paper presents some case studies of SEEs in the Yorkshire area. The work explains the complex dificulties facing these organisations and illustrates the different approaches used to cope with these situations. Many SEEs are under threat of closure or radical change in their function as employers of disabled people. This work investigates these issues through selected illustrative case studies. The general weakness of marketing strategies and plans in these organisations is highlighted and related to the impact of SEPACS and local authority policies and practices. This work establishes the important role that marketing strategies and plans could have in ensuring the future survival and growth of these companies.

Details

Journal of Small Business and Enterprise Development, vol. 8 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1462-6004

Keywords

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Article
Publication date: 1 November 2006

Mike Simpson, Jo Padmore, Nick Taylor and Jane Frecknall‐Hughes

The purpose of this paper is to report on a full‐scale testing of the role of marketing and its relevance in small and medium sized enterprises (SMEs). The objective is to…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to report on a full‐scale testing of the role of marketing and its relevance in small and medium sized enterprises (SMEs). The objective is to present the results of a rigorous assessment of a new model of marketing in SMEs.

Design/methodology/approach

A positivist approach relied on the use of the hypothetico‐deductive method to produce the theoretical model. Both quantitative and qualitative research methods were applied to investigate the model. This paper reports on a large‐scale questionnaire survey, follow‐up interviews with SMEs owner‐managers and the use of published accounts to show how companies have performed during this study.

Findings

The role and relevance model of marketing in SMEs has been thoroughly investigated and tested. The model offers a straightforward way of diagnosing the situation within an SME. The simplicity of the model allows for a clearer understanding of what is often a complex and messy situation within these companies and their business environment. Some findings suggest a positive link between a company's financial performance and its approach to marketing within the model.

Practical implications

The paper concludes that the model goes a long way to explaining the behaviour of SMEs with regard to marketing. The model appears to be viable and could be used to analyse and diagnose the situation regarding marketing within SMEs.

Originality/value

The paper offers a unique theoretical and practical insight into the issue of marketing in SMEs.

Details

International Journal of Entrepreneurial Behavior & Research, vol. 12 no. 6
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1355-2554

Keywords

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Article
Publication date: 26 October 2010

Barry Ardley and Nick Taylor

The purpose of this paper is to examine the perceptions of a group of undergraduate students undertaking marketing research consultancy projects for employers. The…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to examine the perceptions of a group of undergraduate students undertaking marketing research consultancy projects for employers. The projects are informed by action learning. The intention is to demonstrate that this method of learning facilitates a level of student skill development that more traditional marketing courses find difficult to achieve.

Design/methodology/approach

The study is underpinned by an interpretivist approach. Research involved students taking part in two focus groups during the consultancy and the completion of pre‐ and post‐consultancy open‐ended questionnaires.

Findings

Findings suggest that the marketing consultancy project represents a way to help develop the general skills required by novice marketers. Students show an understanding of the importance of acquiring communicative, interpersonal, creative and team‐based skills. These assist them in developing a practical knowledge neglected by much existing marketing teaching.

Research limitations/implications

The findings although based on a small sample, indicate that marketing education if based on action learning, positively engages learners. The emphasis on practice suggests that experience, work place socialisation and tacit knowledge, are essential components of learning about marketing that often get overlooked in more traditional marketing courses.

Originality/value

This paper suggests that much established marketing education does not take sufficient account of experiential based learning and instead, is wedded to a model of teaching that sees marketing as being mainly about the transmission of administratively based knowledge. This paper argues that relying overly on the latter will not provide tomorrow's marketers with an appropriate skill set for employment.

Details

Marketing Intelligence & Planning, vol. 28 no. 7
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0263-4503

Keywords

Content available
Article
Publication date: 26 October 2010

Ross Brennan

Abstract

Details

Marketing Intelligence & Planning, vol. 28 no. 7
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0263-4503

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Article
Publication date: 14 September 2012

Barry Ardley, Nick Taylor, Emily McLintock, Frankii Martin and Gavin Leonard

The purpose of this paper is to analyse visitor perceptions of the Lincoln Magna Carta exhibition, in the context of an experiential servicescape perspective.

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to analyse visitor perceptions of the Lincoln Magna Carta exhibition, in the context of an experiential servicescape perspective.

Design/methodology/approach

Data come from a questionnaire carried out with visitors to the Magna Carta exhibition in Lincoln Castle, UK. The approach was framed by the student as producer perspective, that is about re‐engineering the relationship between academics and undergraduate students.

Findings

It is found that three main problems exist in terms of the servicescape. These are guidance signage, the small, dark inauspicious surroundings of the exhibition itself and the level of visitor interactivity present.

Research limitations/implications

This is only a small‐scale project of one Magna Carta exhibition. Research with more visitors would help to further validate the findings and conclusions of this paper and also assist in other representations of the document in other sites.

Practical implications

Suggestions are made for improvement to a number of experiential servicescape elements. These improved representations also need to be planned for adequately in the new staging of the document, when Lincoln Castle receives planned additional funds from the Heritage Lottery.

Social implications

This paper draws attention to the fact that the Magna Carta is a shared part of a global cultural identity, where the marketing of the document represents a great privilege.

Originality/value

In this paper, the experiential servicescape framework is used in an original way to critique aspects of the current exhibition and to propose new ideas for representing the Magna Carta. The paper is based on original data that makes a novel contribution to the debate regarding research and learning in higher education.

Details

Marketing Intelligence & Planning, vol. 30 no. 6
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0263-4503

Keywords

Content available
Article
Publication date: 1 September 1998

Abstract

Details

Assembly Automation, vol. 18 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0144-5154

Keywords

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