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Article
Publication date: 11 November 2014

Cinzia Dessi, Wilson Ng, Michela Floris and Stefano Cabras

The purpose of this paper is to explore the “perceptive concordance” – the proximity of perceptions of the business- between key managers and customers of two small…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to explore the “perceptive concordance” – the proximity of perceptions of the business- between key managers and customers of two small family-owned and managed businesses (“FBs”) and two larger non-FBs in Cagliari, Italy as a preliminary basis for understanding how small retail businesses that are typically family owned have continued to compete and thrive in many Western European cities.

Design/methodology/approach

The authors asked how small FBs have been able to compete in an advanced European economy despite apparent competitive disadvantages relative to large superstores selling the same products. In addressing this question the authors drew on a qualitative research methodology in which the authors interviewed senior managers and surveyed customers of the four businesses and applied an original statistical model to assess the degree of their perceptive concordance with over 100 customers of each business.

Findings

The study's findings suggest a significant difference between key managers and customers of the sampled FBs and non-FBs in the perceptive concordance of the respective businesses held by those managers and customers.

Research limitations/implications

Based on the research in this study the authors have developed a number of scholarly and managerial implications in the way that both FBs and non-FBs may retain old customers and gain new ones by anticipating and not merely responding to their product and service preferences.

Originality/value

This paper extends the literature on customer relations management (“CRM”) in FBs by explaining how small High Street FBs in competitive retail businesses have continued to thrive in Western Europe where owner-managers have developed and successfully leveraged their tacit knowledge of the requirements of repeat customers.

Details

Journal of Small Business and Enterprise Development, vol. 21 no. 4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1462-6004

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Article
Publication date: 23 February 2010

Cinzia Dessì and Michela Floris

The paper aims to focus on management‐customer relations as a way to understand the competitive advantages of small/medium‐sized family businesses. The aim of this work is…

Abstract

Purpose

The paper aims to focus on management‐customer relations as a way to understand the competitive advantages of small/medium‐sized family businesses. The aim of this work is to verify whether management perceptions of business strengths and customer perceptions of the same strengths agree, and whether this agreement (perceptive concordance) can become an important factor in maintaining the firm's competitive advantages.

Design/methodology/approach

The research is carried out through a single case study with a sample of 120 customers.

Findings

The findings indicate that when management and customers agree on certain business issues, performance benefits. Comparing management's perception of strengths and customers' perceptions of the same strengths allow one to relate what the firm thinks of itself to what the customer sees in it.

Practical implications

The research offers useful information about the efficiency of the firm's external communications and demonstrates that a shared language between the firm and its customers does exist and is understood by both entities. Moreover, practical implications are related to customers' degree of satisfaction with respect to management beliefs, and to management's opportunity to correct the weaknesses revealed by the agreement factor.

Originality/value

The paper provides a different perspective on how to analyse competitive advantage inside small to medium‐sized family businesses with cases and specific analyses not considered in depth by the family business literature.

Details

Journal of Small Business and Enterprise Development, vol. 17 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1462-6004

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Article
Publication date: 9 October 2019

Susanne Royer and Lisa Bradley

The purpose of this paper is to propose advances for developing our understandings of valuable resources in small family firms. The focus is on group support behavior…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to propose advances for developing our understandings of valuable resources in small family firms. The focus is on group support behavior within firms. It is proposed that this behavior is unique and valuable within small family firms. Propositions are presented that are built upon previous work in psychology and family business research and is linked to the concept of familiness.

Design/methodology/approach

Two small family businesses are the two cases used to investigate the propositions. Semi-structured interviews were conducted with the owner/manager and several other staff within each firm.

Findings

The paper presents evidence for the propositions, showing that work group support is unique in family firms as it is based on factors beyond the workplace. These relationships have the potential to be strong, contributing positively to the firm’s competitive advantage.

Research limitations/implications

Two in-depth case studies of firms are included in this investigation. They are in a similar industry and location. As the findings are similar it lends weight to the evidence for the propositions; however, care should be taken with generalizing to other firms in other industries.

Originality/value

This research pulls together previous evidence and understandings and applies them to a specific aspect of small family firms that has not previously been examined in depth. The increased understanding can help family firms leverage their unique competitive advantage.

Details

Journal of Family Business Management, vol. 10 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 2043-6238

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Article
Publication date: 27 February 2018

John Mendy and Dieu Hack-Polay

The purpose of this paper is to investigate the high failure among African entrepreneurs post-2008 financial crisis. It evaluates the evidence of actual and perceived…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to investigate the high failure among African entrepreneurs post-2008 financial crisis. It evaluates the evidence of actual and perceived disadvantage and endogenous and exogenous factors affecting black and minority ethnic businesses.

Design/methodology/approach

The research is based on an interpretivist frame which uses a dialogic methodology. It uses in-depth interviews. The researchers framed discussion questions so as to invite the participants to articulate directly their experiences for the benefit of the readership, other existing African businesses and aspiring entrepreneurs.

Findings

The findings from the interviews with 20 leaders of “dead” businesses indicate the impact that place, people and poverty have on business failure and identify reasons for African business failure rates compared to other minorities. This study reveals that culture, an often understated variable, is critical in understanding the deeper reasons for the under-performance of African small entrepreneurs and its impacts on individual and collective lives.

Practical implications

Recovery solutions ought to be formulated from participants’ call for diversification, inter-cultural learning and integration as potential remedies. The research addresses the socio-economic problems encountered by owners of “dead” businesses. Policymakers and financial organisations ought to pay heed to the skills and resources that minorities offer as part of remedies for future enterprises.

Originality/value

Studies on failed African businesses are under-represented in the literature. This study identifies the important role of culture on the failure of small businesses owned by African migrants in the UK. It highlights the significant socio-economic and situational barriers that they navigate in quest for recognition and cultural integration through business endeavours.

Details

Journal of Small Business and Enterprise Development, vol. 25 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1462-6004

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Article
Publication date: 7 November 2008

Jan Schiefer and Christian Fischer

Expert wine awards are commonly used by consumers to reduce complexity in wine choice but little is known about expert vs non‐expert perceptions of sensory wine quality…

Abstract

Purpose

Expert wine awards are commonly used by consumers to reduce complexity in wine choice but little is known about expert vs non‐expert perceptions of sensory wine quality. This paper aims to examine if expert ratings are suitable quality indicators for consumers and whether there are certain groups of consumers that find expert awards more useful than others.

Design/methodology/approach

The paper compares German consumer ratings obtained in a sensory laboratory with German Agricultural Society's quality competition awards. it tests for the correspondence between expert and non‐expert ratings and for the concordance within the non‐expert group. Estimation of a linear mixed model serves to identify consumer‐side variables with an influence on individual rating distance.

Findings

Correspondence between expert and non‐experts and concordance within the non‐expert group were found to be insignificant. Experienced wine consumers with sufficient specific knowledge and superior self‐reported sensory skills better replicated expert ratings.

Research limitations/implications

With 216 wine ratings obtained from 36 German consumers, the number of observations is small. Future research should verify above findings by considering more consumers and the stability of ratings across time.

Practical implications

The findings suggest that although some consumer segments may find expert awards to be useful decision cues, for a large portion of the market, there is demand for a more consumer‐orientated system of sensory quality evaluation and labelling.

Originality/value

This paper is the first to address the usefulness of expert ratings to novice and experienced wine consumer populations. The statistical procedures employed (including linear mixed modelling) are shown to be useful techniques to handle the repeated measurement nature of the data.

Details

International Journal of Wine Business Research, vol. 20 no. 4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1751-1062

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Article
Publication date: 5 June 2017

Nathaniel Ayinde Olatunde, Deji Rufus Ogunsemi and Ayodeji Emmanuel Oke

The purpose of this paper is to examine the effect of team members’ composition on cost and time of completion of construction projects in selected higher institutions…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to examine the effect of team members’ composition on cost and time of completion of construction projects in selected higher institutions with a view to improving construction project delivery in Nigeria.

Design/methodology/approach

The study used the purposive sampling technique to select two higher institutions out of six in the study area, and census survey was used in selecting 35 completed construction projects executed by the institutions within the time frame 2000 to 2013. A total of 191 questionnaires were distributed to obtain information from construction team members (quantity surveyors, architects, structural/civil engineers, services engineers, contractors and clients) who participated in the selected construction projects. Mean item score and Kendall’s test were used in examining team members’ composition, while the relationship between team members’ composition and construction cost and time was tested using t-test and eta-squared.

Findings

The results revealed that construction team members’ composition has a significant impact on the completion time of construction projects, though with small magnitude, while the impact of construction team members’ composition on construction cost is not significant. Also, it was revealed that some team members did not play any team role due to the fact that the main criterion for team members’ composition was knowledge, skill and abilities (KSA).

Practical implications

The study finally recommended that a deliberate effort should be made in studying and ascertaining the team role every construction team member will play before appointing them to be member of a team, as improper team members’ composition could hamper effective construction project delivery in terms of completion time.

Originality/value

The study is an attempt to discourage the traditional construction team members’ selection system which was based on KSAs, which is deficient under team environment.

Details

Journal of Engineering, Design and Technology, vol. 15 no. 03
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1726-0531

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Article
Publication date: 11 April 2008

Martin Grossman and Stephen Bates

The purpose of this paper is to provide an overview of knowledge capture in the biopharmaceutical industry, focusing primarily on the transition from paper‐based to

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to provide an overview of knowledge capture in the biopharmaceutical industry, focusing primarily on the transition from paper‐based to electronic data capture (EDC) systems.

Design/methodology/approach

The paper draws on biopharmaceutical industry literature and data from example clinical studies to describe the issues involved in transitioning to EDC in the clinical trials environment.

Findings

While electronic data capture systems provide greater efficiencies along the clinical trial supply chain, the industry is still far from achieving wide scale utilization of such technologies. The barriers to successful implementation are multifaceted, involving not only the information technology itself, but also user acceptance issues, lack of interoperability standards, and regulatory compliance. Major shifts in organizational culture and a unified effort within the industry will be necessary in order to derive full benefits from electronic capture systems in the future.

Research limitations/implications

This study was limited in that case data from only one company was used to supplement the literature review. Further research is warranted to better understand the factors that facilitate adoption of electronic knowledge capture systems in the biopharmaceutical industry.

Originality/value

While the need for knowledge management in the healthcare industry is indisputable, there has been remarkably slow progress in this area, and a dearth of research exploring implementation issues. The value of this type of inquiry is profound as it will help us better understand the issues in implementation and adoption, and ultimately to deliver more effective and safe drugs to the public in a more efficient manner.

Details

VINE, vol. 38 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0305-5728

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Article
Publication date: 1 December 2003

Salvador Carmona and Anders Grönlund

Studies of organizational performance have overwhelmingly relied on evidence gathered from private sector firms. Nevertheless, the past several years have witnessed…

Abstract

Studies of organizational performance have overwhelmingly relied on evidence gathered from private sector firms. Nevertheless, the past several years have witnessed increasing interest in enhancing effectiveness and efficiency in the public sector, in turn generating considerable investment in the deployment of performance metrics in such settings. Though extant evidence provides many perceptive insights into the specifics of performance frameworks in public sector organizations, little is known about the measurement of organizational performance in police work. Our investigation drew upon the deployment of the balanced scorecard in Swedish Law Enforcement, an organization that long ago implemented the new paradigm of policing, which consisted of enhancing the quality of urban life on the mere making of arrests. Results from this investigation concur with other studies indicating that public sector organizations tend to assume a stakeholder perspective on performance measurement. In particular, Swedish Law Enforcement developed a set of measures of external success and internal performance that addressed present, past, and future time dimensions. Implementation of the balanced scorecard in police work, though, raised some problems. Our study details concern about the aggregation of non‐financial performance measures. More importantly, some crucial areas in the new concept of policing (such as community policing) were neglected by the system. Conversely, the system focused on monitoring some easy‐to‐measure indicators that provided a traditional view of police work while some crucial areas of policing were not measured. This focus ultimately lessened the operational potential of the balanced scorecard system. Our study also puts forward some suggestions for future research in this area.

Details

International Journal of Operations & Production Management, vol. 23 no. 12
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0144-3577

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Article
Publication date: 9 August 2013

Sónia Paula S. Nogueira, Susana Margarida F. Jorge and Mercedes Cervera Oliver

The article aims to analyse the perception of the internal users regarding the usefulness of the municipal financial reporting in the context of decision making in the…

Abstract

Purpose

The article aims to analyse the perception of the internal users regarding the usefulness of the municipal financial reporting in the context of decision making in the Portuguese local administration.

Design/methodology/approach

This research is quantitative and positive, based on a cross‐section analysis through the online application of a questionnaire to the decision makers (politicians and technicians) of the 308 Portuguese municipalities. The approach is based on the paradigm of information usefulness.

Findings

The results indicate a high usefulness for the decision making of the municipal financial reporting, in its current form and content. However, this usefulness would increase if information, other than what is mandatory, were introduced. In general, the two different groups of decision makers, politicians and technicians, behave somewhat differently, regarding the usefulness that the financial reporting holds for them. The technical decision makers consider it of greater value. There is no statistical evidence that shows that there is a link between the training area and professional experience of the internal decision makers and the usefulness of the municipal financial reporting. Both types of users show a preference for the information set within the budgetary accounts, although accrual‐based information also proves to be of excellent value.

Research limitations/implications

The main limitations of this study are related to the way information was collected (questionnaire) to obtain empirical evidence. The questionnaire, sent by email, despite reaching a wide‐ranging and dispersed population, does not assess the truthfulness and integrity of the responses. Furthermore, it does not make it possible to really identify the usefulness of the municipal financial reporting. The use of perceptive measures can also represent a threat to the study's internal validity.

Practical implications

The results of this study have important repercussions on the internal decision makers concerning the usefulness of the municipal financial reporting. Particularly, since the general approach towards the usefulness of the reporting could become a solid work basis for the regulatory bodies to enhance the current reporting model in the light of its suitability within the internal decision making.

Originality/value

Research on this study is original as it provides, as far as the authors are aware, the first empirical evidence of the perceptions of internal users on the usefulness of the municipal financial reporting in Portugal, in regard to decision making.

Details

Management Research: Journal of the Iberoamerican Academy of Management, vol. 11 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1536-5433

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Article
Publication date: 1 January 1989

Evelyn S. Meyer

When Eugene O'Neill died, theatre critic Brooks Atkinson said of him, “A giant writer has dropped off the earth….He shook up the drama as well as audiences and helped to…

Abstract

When Eugene O'Neill died, theatre critic Brooks Atkinson said of him, “A giant writer has dropped off the earth….He shook up the drama as well as audiences and helped to transform the theatre into an art seriously related to life.” (New York Times, 30 December 1953).

Details

Reference Services Review, vol. 17 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0090-7324

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