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Article
Publication date: 28 June 2011

Ian Laird, Kirsten Olsen, Leigh‐Ann Harris, Stephen Legg and Melissa J. Perry

The aim of this paper is to present the literature which identifies the characteristics of small enterprises and outlines the opportunities to utilise them in working with…

Abstract

Purpose

The aim of this paper is to present the literature which identifies the characteristics of small enterprises and outlines the opportunities to utilise them in working with small businesses to prevent and reduce exposures to hazardous substances.

Design/methodology/approach

A search of a variety of data sources, including Medline, PubMed, Web of Science, Google Scholar, was conducted which combined the keyword search terms “small business”, “small enterprise”, “management”, “health and safety management”, “hazardous substances”, “hazardous chemicals”, “management of hazardous substances”. High quality studies were selected and combined with studies known to the authors.

Findings

A strong body of evidence exists which shows that the management of OSH in small enterprises has been extensively reviewed and the most recurring theme is the identification of problems and challenges. A growing body of literature also confirms that models for chemical risk management and social responsibility issues can play a key role in managing hazardous chemical exposures in small enterprises. Furthermore, studies have shown that there are certain characteristics of small business that potentially provide positive opportunities for the implementation of preventive interventions.

Originality/value

The paper identifies these characteristics and features and suggests these can be effectively utilised in the design and development of interventions to prevent and reduce exposures to hazardous substances in small enterprises. Few interventions, however, have been developed utilising these positive characteristics.

Details

International Journal of Workplace Health Management, vol. 4 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1753-8351

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Article
Publication date: 1 November 1997

Gerald Vinten, David A. Lane and Nicky Hayes

There can be no doubt that the small and medium sized enterprise (SME) plays a pivotal role in most if not all economies, and that social policy makers have an interest in…

Abstract

There can be no doubt that the small and medium sized enterprise (SME) plays a pivotal role in most if not all economies, and that social policy makers have an interest in ensuring the viability of this sector of the economy, which plays a crucial role in the contract culture of national and international competitiveness. Quite apart from the essential symbiosis between the large multinationals and public limited companies and this sector, the sustainability of unemployment benefit payouts would be jeopardised should the sector experience a significant downturn. There are already worldwide concerns about the ability to continue to finance state pensions at anything like the present scale, and any loss of viability of the SME sector will simply exacerbate this situation. There are also useful reciprocations to be achieved by comparisons across sectors, including in significant areas such as internal control (Vinten, Lane, Hayes, 1996). The recent flurry of activity has included initiatives of the Institute of Chartered Accountants of England and Wales 1996) and the information needs of owners (Institute of Chartered Accountants of England and Wales 1996a), an Auditing Practices Board (1996) Practice Note, and a Department of Trade and Industry Consultation Document (DTI 1996).

Details

Management Research News, vol. 20 no. 11
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0140-9174

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Article
Publication date: 1 May 1983

Allan A. Gibb

One result of the recent upsurge of national, and indeed international, political interest in the small firm sector of the economy has been a focus on the role of…

Abstract

One result of the recent upsurge of national, and indeed international, political interest in the small firm sector of the economy has been a focus on the role of management training and development in the small firm and on the wider, but related, issue of education and training for entrepreneurship. The basis for this renewed government attention seems to lie in recognition of the employment potential of small firms rather than in the contribution that training and education might make to productivity and efficiency. Added to the weight of official concern is pressure from individuals who, without the early possibility of becoming an employee, are being forced to look to their own resources and initiative. It is, therefore, scarcely surprising that much of the recent stimulus to small firms training has come from government training schemes and, in the UK, from local community‐based ventures aimed at improving local job prospects. The accent in the UK has been on encouraging the new small business start up.

Details

Journal of European Industrial Training, vol. 7 no. 5
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0309-0590

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Article
Publication date: 1 June 1999

Andrew Thomson and Colin Gray

This paper examines statistically the determinants of management development in small businesses, based on the results of a survey of 389 small businesses carried out in…

Abstract

This paper examines statistically the determinants of management development in small businesses, based on the results of a survey of 389 small businesses carried out in 1996. Generally, the immediate issues concern the factors that influence the development of owners and managers of growing and sustainable small businesses, considered by many to be the source of future innovation and jobs in both developed and developing economies. More particularly, the survey is part of a wider investigation into management development in Britain, and the paper parallels a previous analysis of statistical determinants based on a survey of larger businesses. While entrepreneurship has received a lot of attention in small business research, comparatively little attention has been paid to the development of management competencies in small firms. In the study reported here, regression analyses were used to develop a more detailed understanding of the factors which shape the amount and nature of management development in small businesses. The key research questions, in line with the previous analysis, are: (1) what are the relative importance of environmental and structural factors on the one hand, and strategic factors such as internal management development policy on the other, in explaining the amount and value of management development activity? (2) what does this tell us about the degree to which management development is determined by choice or circumstance? (3) what are the “drivers” of management development and their relative significance? (4) what factors are most influential in assessing the achievement of management development objectives?

Details

Journal of Small Business and Enterprise Development, vol. 6 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1462-6004

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Article
Publication date: 4 November 2013

Frederick Ng, Julie A. Harrison and Chris Akroyd

The purpose of this paper is to develop a framework for the systematic examination of management accounting practices in small businesses using a revenue management

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to develop a framework for the systematic examination of management accounting practices in small businesses using a revenue management perspective. This highlights the multi-faceted nature of size as a contextual factor and emphasises the role of management accounting in supporting profit-oriented decision-making, rather than its traditional role of co-ordination, control, and accountability.

Design/methodology/approach

The framework is theoretically derived from the management accounting, revenue management, and small business literature. An illustrative case study of a small fast-food business is presented to demonstrate the applicability of this framework to practice.

Findings

The paper identifies that various dimensions of business size have different and sometimes opposing effects on management accounting practices. Given heterogeneity is a common feature of small businesses, the framework considers alternative specifications of the size contingency variable.

Research limitations/implications

The synthesis of small business characteristics and revenue management perspective offers a more incisive understanding of what has traditionally been considered a simple practice. The case study illustrates some of the influences of small business characteristics identified in the framework. Given its narrow scope, the findings are used for theorisation rather than offering generalisable results. Further cross-sectional comparisons of small businesses are needed to confirm size influences.

Practical implications

The framework can assist practitioners to gauge the strengths and weaknesses of their management accounting practices and can help assess the value of adopting more sophisticated management accounting practices, given their particular business environment. A synthesis of these small business attributes can help practitioners identify key barriers to implementation.

Originality/value

The revenue management perspective and the inclusion of key characteristics of small businesses provide a new approach to evaluating management accounting practices in small businesses.

Details

Meditari Accountancy Research, vol. 21 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 2049-372X

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Book part
Publication date: 9 August 2017

Richard D. Johnson and Kristina Diman

The purpose of this study was to develop and empirically examine a model of cloud-based human resource information systems (HRIS) adoption by small businesses based on the…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this study was to develop and empirically examine a model of cloud-based human resource information systems (HRIS) adoption by small businesses based on the technology–organization–environment model (Tornatzky & Fleischer, 1990).

Methodology/approach

This study utilized a survey of 41 small- to medium-sized enterprises in the northeastern United States to examine what HR functions were being supported by cloud-based HRIS and the relationship between three technology factors, three organizational factors, and three environmental factors, and their relationship with the adoption of cloud-based HRIS.

Findings

Findings indicated that small businesses are most likely to implement cloud-based HRIS to support day-to-day HR operations. In addition, the findings indicated that top management support (positive), vendor support (positive), and anticipated growth (negative) were each related to organizational adoption of cloud-based HRIS.

Implications

The study illustrates how the adoption of a cloud-based HRIS is motivated by different factors than those underlying the adoption of other types of information systems. Executives and small business owners will need to adapt their strategy when considering cloud-based HRIS compared to other types of systems.

Social implications

Given that small- to medium-sized organizations are the backbone of most global economies, findings from this study can help support society by helping these businesses better understand how to best consider the factors that will support the implementation of cloud-based HRIS.

Originality/value of the chapter

This chapter represents one of the first to empirically validate a model of the factors affecting adoption of cloud-based HRIS by small businesses.

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Book part
Publication date: 28 September 2015

Md Shah Azam

Information and communications technology (ICT) offers enormous opportunities for individuals, businesses and society. The application of ICT is equally important to…

Abstract

Information and communications technology (ICT) offers enormous opportunities for individuals, businesses and society. The application of ICT is equally important to economic and non-economic activities. Researchers have increasingly focused on the adoption and use of ICT by small and medium enterprises (SMEs) as the economic development of a country is largely dependent on them. Following the success of ICT utilisation in SMEs in developed countries, many developing countries are looking to utilise the potential of the technology to develop SMEs. Past studies have shown that the contribution of ICT to the performance of SMEs is not clear and certain. Thus, it is crucial to determine the effectiveness of ICT in generating firm performance since this has implications for SMEs’ expenditure on the technology. This research examines the diffusion of ICT among SMEs with respect to the typical stages from innovation adoption to post-adoption, by analysing the actual usage of ICT and value creation. The mediating effects of integration and utilisation on SME performance are also studied. Grounded in the innovation diffusion literature, institutional theory and resource-based theory, this study has developed a comprehensive integrated research model focused on the research objectives. Following a positivist research paradigm, this study employs a mixed-method research approach. A preliminary conceptual framework is developed through an extensive literature review and is refined by results from an in-depth field study. During the field study, a total of 11 SME owners or decision-makers were interviewed. The recorded interviews were transcribed and analysed using NVivo 10 to refine the model to develop the research hypotheses. The final research model is composed of 30 first-order and five higher-order constructs which involve both reflective and formative measures. Partial least squares-based structural equation modelling (PLS-SEM) is employed to test the theoretical model with a cross-sectional data set of 282 SMEs in Bangladesh. Survey data were collected using a structured questionnaire issued to SMEs selected by applying a stratified random sampling technique. The structural equation modelling utilises a two-step procedure of data analysis. Prior to estimating the structural model, the measurement model is examined for construct validity of the study variables (i.e. convergent and discriminant validity).

The estimates show cognitive evaluation as an important antecedent for expectation which is shaped primarily by the entrepreneurs’ beliefs (perception) and also influenced by the owners’ innovativeness and culture. Culture further influences expectation. The study finds that facilitating condition, environmental pressure and country readiness are important antecedents of expectation and ICT use. The results also reveal that integration and the degree of ICT utilisation significantly affect SMEs’ performance. Surprisingly, the findings do not reveal any significant impact of ICT usage on performance which apparently suggests the possibility of the ICT productivity paradox. However, the analysis finally proves the non-existence of the paradox by demonstrating the mediating role of ICT integration and degree of utilisation explain the influence of information technology (IT) usage on firm performance which is consistent with the resource-based theory. The results suggest that the use of ICT can enhance SMEs’ performance if the technology is integrated and properly utilised. SME owners or managers, interested stakeholders and policy makers may follow the study’s outcomes and focus on ICT integration and degree of utilisation with a view to attaining superior organisational performance.

This study urges concerned business enterprises and government to look at the environmental and cultural factors with a view to achieving ICT usage success in terms of enhanced firm performance. In particular, improving organisational practices and procedures by eliminating the traditional power distance inside organisations and implementing necessary rules and regulations are important actions for managing environmental and cultural uncertainties. The application of a Bengali user interface may help to ensure the productivity of ICT use by SMEs in Bangladesh. Establishing a favourable national technology infrastructure and legal environment may contribute positively to improving the overall situation. This study also suggests some changes and modifications in the country’s existing policies and strategies. The government and policy makers should undertake mass promotional programs to disseminate information about the various uses of computers and their contribution in developing better organisational performance. Organising specialised training programs for SME capacity building may succeed in attaining the motivation for SMEs to use ICT. Ensuring easy access to the technology by providing loans, grants and subsidies is important. Various stakeholders, partners and related organisations should come forward to support government policies and priorities in order to ensure the productive use of ICT among SMEs which finally will help to foster Bangladesh’s economic development.

Details

E-Services Adoption: Processes by Firms in Developing Nations
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-78560-325-9

Keywords

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Book part
Publication date: 29 January 2018

Gábor Nagy, Carol M. Megehee and Arch G. Woodside

The study here responds to the view that the crucial problem in strategic management (research) is firm heterogeneity – why firms adopt different strategies and…

Abstract

The study here responds to the view that the crucial problem in strategic management (research) is firm heterogeneity – why firms adopt different strategies and structures, why heterogeneity persists, and why competitors perform differently. The present study applies complexity theory tenets and a “neo-configurational perspective” of Misangyi et al. (2016) in proposing complex antecedent conditions affecting complex outcome conditions. Rather than examining variable directional relationships using null hypotheses statistical tests, the study examines case-based conditions using somewhat precise outcome tests (SPOT). The complex outcome conditions include firms with high financial performances in declining markets and firms with low financial performances in growing markets – the study focuses on seemingly paradoxical outcomes. The study here examines firm strategies and outcomes for separate samples of cross-sectional data of manufacturing firms with headquarters in one of two nations: Finland (n = 820) and Hungary (n = 300). The study includes examining the predictive validities of the models. The study contributes conceptual advances of complex firm orientation configurations and complex firm performance capabilities configurations as mediating conditions between firmographics, firm resources, and the two final complex outcome conditions (high performance in declining markets and low performance in growing markets). The study contributes by showing how fuzzy-logic computing with words (Zadeh, 1966) advances strategic management research toward achieving requisite variety to overcome the theory-analytic mismatch pervasive currently in the discipline (Fiss, 2007, 2011) – thus, this study is a useful step toward solving the crucial problem of how to explain firm heterogeneity.

Details

Improving the Marriage of Modeling and Theory for Accurate Forecasts of Outcomes
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-78635-122-7

Keywords

Content available
Article
Publication date: 3 April 2018

Karen A.F. Landale, Aruna Apte, Rene G. Rendon and Javier Salmerón

The purpose of this paper is to show how data analytics can be used to identify areas of potential cost savings for category managers of installation-level services. Using…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to show how data analytics can be used to identify areas of potential cost savings for category managers of installation-level services. Using integrated solid waste management (ISWM) as a test case, the authors also examine the impact of small business set-asides on price and contractor performance.

Design/methodology/approach

The authors use data analytics, specifically sequential regression, the Wilcoxon rank-sum test and ordered logistic regression to investigate the influence of service- and contracting-related variables on price and contractor performance.

Findings

The authors find that service- and contracting-related variables influence price. Specifically, they identify that a service-related variable, number of containers, significantly affects price, and that two contracting-related variables, one type of small business set-aside and the number of offers received, also significantly affect price. The authors quantify the price premiums paid for using various types of small business set-asides.

Research limitations/implications

Although the findings were significant, the authors believe that the robustness of the conclusions could be enhanced if the Air Force captured more data. Additional observations would increase the generalizability of the results.

Practical implications

This empirical experiment demonstrates that detailed analyses are required to gain insights into services’ price drivers to craft more appropriate category management strategies for installation-level services.

Originality/value

This empirical study shows how historical data can be used to assess price drivers of installation-level services. It is also one of the first to quantify the impact that small business set-asides have on price.

Details

Journal of Defense Analytics and Logistics, vol. 1 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 2399-6439

Keywords

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Article
Publication date: 1 June 1984

Sue Birley and Allan Gibb

This is the second and final part of an article which considers the role of the UK education sector in small firms management, education and training. The first part…

Abstract

This is the second and final part of an article which considers the role of the UK education sector in small firms management, education and training. The first part reviewed the changing pressures on the higher education sector which provide opportunities for its greater involvement with the owner‐managed company. It also looked closely at the needs of the “customers” for small business training and discussed how these might be usefully segmented. We now discuss the contribution of the education sector along with the “supply side” problems. The data is drawn from a survey of 80 ex‐participants of the UK Small Business Management Teachers Programme. The survey was undertaken in 1982. The objectives of this programme and its importance in the field of the small business management were discussed in the first part.

Details

Journal of European Industrial Training, vol. 8 no. 6
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0309-0590

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