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Previous studies have shown that small- and medium-sized manufacturing firms make a substantial contribution to national economies in terms of job and wealth creation …
Previous studies have shown that small- and medium-sized manufacturing firms make a substantial contribution to national economies in terms of job and wealth creation (Daly & McCann, 1992; Schreyer, 1996). However, many smaller firms face unprecedented change arising from the increasingly competitive and changing environment in which they operate (Coopers and Lybrand, 1997; D’Aveni, 1994). Much of this competition often emanates from larger firms with greater resource capabilities. Firms of all sizes are increasingly turning to strategy as a means of achieving competitive advantage. Strategy research is mainly directed towards examining why firms differ in performance (Barnett & Burgelman, 1996; Schendel, 1996). Strategy has ‘undergone, in the 1990s, a major shift in focus regarding the sources of sustainable competitive advantage: from industry to firm specific effects’ (Spanos & Lioukas, 2001). This involves more than strategy formulation — it is about making choices based on competing alternatives and implementing the chosen direction using the organisational processes and systems (Shaw, Gupta, & Delery, 2002; Stopford, 2001). Other writers, such as Pettigrew and Fenton (2000), acknowledge that ‘soft’ aspects are an integral part of the evolutionary nature of strategy, and include cultural influences (Chakravarthy & Doz, 1992) and leadership (McNulty & Pettigrew, 1999).
A broad range of policy evaluations below is begun in Chapter 2 by Kate Johnston, Colette Henry and Simon Gillespie in their evaluation entitled ‘Encouraging Research and Development in Ireland's Biotechnology Enterprises’. This investigation critically evaluates Irish government policy towards biotechnology development over a preceding 10-year period. In Chapter 3, Anthony Ward, Sarah Cooper, Frank Cave and William Lucas examine ‘The Effect of Industrial Experience on Entrepreneurial Intent and Self-Efficacy in UK Engineering Undergraduates’ in a large-scale study that generally produces satisfactory results in terms of raising the profile of entrepreneurship among undergraduates. Deirdre Hunt, in Chapter 4, again focuses on the evolution of strategy in Ireland, this time towards the more general topic of new firm formation with a personal contribution entitled ‘Now You See Them — Now You Don’t: Paradoxes in Enterprise Development Strategy: The Case of the Disappearing Academic Start-Ups’.
– The aim of this paper is to discuss the similarities and differences of both conventional and Islamic financial institutions from various institutional perspectives.
The aim of this paper is to discuss the similarities and differences of both conventional and Islamic financial institutions from various institutional perspectives.
This conceptual paper describes the insights held by the financial institution theory which is discussed from the perspectives of the economics of the financial institution, legal environment, the political aspect of an institution, the philosophical underpinning, the components of institution and also the ethical role of institution. Then, this paper will proceed to justify the similarities and differences that have been observed between both institutions.
Discussions in this paper will reveal that specifically specific similarity is prevalent on the nature of the supervisory role. The differences between both institutions from the aspects of business organization, economic roles and law of origin have also been found.
The similarities and differences that are established on both institutions will affect the structure of the financial contract and the design of financial systems.
The paper will contribute a new knowledge specifically on the design of the Islamic financial contract based on Shariah law at the initial phase.