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Article
Publication date: 2 September 2021

Hanna Silvola and Eija Vinnari

The purpose of this paper is to enrich extant understanding of the role of both agency and context in the uptake of sustainability assurance. To this end, the authors…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to enrich extant understanding of the role of both agency and context in the uptake of sustainability assurance. To this end, the authors examine auditors' attempts to promote sustainability assurance and establish it as a practice requiring the professional involvement of auditors.

Design/methodology/approach

Applying institutional work (Lawrence and Suddaby, 2006) and institutional logics (Thornton, 2002; Thornton et al., 2012) as the method theories, the authors examine interview data and a variety of documentary evidence collected in Finland, a small society characterized by social and environmental values, beliefs in functioning institutions and public trust in companies behaving responsibly.

Findings

With this study, the authors make two main contributions to extant literature. First, the authors illustrate the limits that society-level logics related to corporate social responsibility, together with the undermining or rejected institutional work of other agents, place especially on the political and cultural work undertaken by auditors. Second, the study responds to Power's (2003) call for country-specific studies by exploring a rather unique context, Finland, where societal trust in companies is arguably stronger than in many other countries and this trust appears to affect how actors perceive the need for sustainability assurance.

Originality/value

This is one of the few accounting studies that combines institutional logics and institutional work to study the uptake of a management fashion, in this case sustainability assurance.

Details

Accounting, Auditing & Accountability Journal, vol. 34 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0951-3574

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Article
Publication date: 1 March 1997

Mohammad Ahmadi and Marilyn M. Helms

States that students graduating from US business schools need to be aware of the tremendous career opportunities being created by small and medium‐sized firms. The modern…

Abstract

States that students graduating from US business schools need to be aware of the tremendous career opportunities being created by small and medium‐sized firms. The modern business climate is enabling small firms to emerge and grow at a faster rate than large firms. Growing firms are important to the job market because they create advancement opportunities for their employees. Suggests that the business school graduate is wise to search for an employer who shows good prospects for growth and offers a working environment which satisfies his or her personal preferences. Students need to know the sources of job information relevant to small and medium‐sized firms. They should also be cautioned to enter the job market with realistic expectations about how small firms will provide them with fulfilling work. Investigates recent career and small business research to profile the potential of careers in small firms.

Details

Education + Training, vol. 39 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0040-0912

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Article
Publication date: 1 February 1992

Andrew Boer

Considers the causes of the high bankruptcy rate in small firms inthe hotel and catering industry and suggests that although the majorcauses of failure must lie within the…

Abstract

Considers the causes of the high bankruptcy rate in small firms in the hotel and catering industry and suggests that although the major causes of failure must lie within the scope of the small firms themselves, the contribution and actions of the major lending institutions have done little to help to alleviate this situation. Explores the present relationship between the small firms, the banks and the Government and considers the effect that the turbulent competitive market of the lending institutions has had on the small firms in the industry. Finally the structure and nature of relationships between banks, small firms and the governments of other European countries are considered before conclusions are drawn.

Details

International Journal of Contemporary Hospitality Management, vol. 4 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0959-6119

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Article
Publication date: 22 April 1991

Phyllis G. Holland, Arthur R. DeThomas and Howard N. Ray

Microcomputer technology and spreadsheet software are widely available to small businesses and offer the small firm owner a means of planning more effectively and…

Abstract

Microcomputer technology and spreadsheet software are widely available to small businesses and offer the small firm owner a means of planning more effectively and efficiently. A survey of the planning practices of electronic spreadsheet owners reveals a gap between ownership of the planning tools and their effective use. The study shows the importance of preplanning the purchase of software, of motivation to plan, and of tailoring planning systems to the goal orientation of the firm in order to effectively use the electronic spreadsheet as a small business planning tool.

Details

American Journal of Business, vol. 6 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1935-5181

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Article
Publication date: 1 February 2000

Stephanie M. Jameson

The hospitality and tourism industries are two of the fastest growing and most dynamic sectors of the UK economy. Both industries are highly labour intensive and…

Abstract

The hospitality and tourism industries are two of the fastest growing and most dynamic sectors of the UK economy. Both industries are highly labour intensive and, because of this, the effective management of human resources is critical to their success. A defining characteristic of these industries is the high incidence of small firms. The issue of training in the small business sector in general has been neglected by academics and management specialists and this is also the case specifically in tourism and hospitality. This article goes some way to address this gap in knowledge and examines the recruitment and training practices of small tourism and hospitality firms. The issues examined include sources of recruitment, the extent to which small tourism and hospitality firms had training plans and training budgets, participation, and evaluation of training.

Details

Journal of European Industrial Training, vol. 24 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0309-0590

Keywords

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Book part
Publication date: 1 January 2006

Jaleel Ahmad

Much of the literature on strategic trade policy deals with industries and sectors characterized by international rivalry for market shares, and the struggle to capture…

Abstract

Much of the literature on strategic trade policy deals with industries and sectors characterized by international rivalry for market shares, and the struggle to capture “rents” over and above normal factor rewards. The present paper explores the validity and implications of strategic trade policy for small “states” and small firms that are not major players in international markets. The smallness of the firms may, in fact, be an advantage rather than a hindrance. The implications of smallness for strategic behavior are examined in the framework of a simple game-theoretic framework. These insights become sharper when extended to intra-industry trade in differentiated products. The desirable policy interventions for small countries and firms are quite different from those for large firms.

Details

Value Creation in Multinational Enterprise
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-84950-475-1

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Article
Publication date: 1 June 1978

Roy Rothwell

Introduction Governments in Western Europe are showing an increasing interest in the welfare of small and medium sized manufacturing firms (SMEs) and in the generation of…

Abstract

Introduction Governments in Western Europe are showing an increasing interest in the welfare of small and medium sized manufacturing firms (SMEs) and in the generation of new technology‐based small firms. There are a number of reasons for this, two of the most important being:

Details

Management Decision, vol. 16 no. 6
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0025-1747

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Article
Publication date: 1 February 2004

Claire Massey

Governments around the world are increasingly focusing on initiatives that encourage business improvement and build “firm capability”. A particular target of such…

Abstract

Governments around the world are increasingly focusing on initiatives that encourage business improvement and build “firm capability”. A particular target of such initiatives has been the small and medium enterprise (SME) sector. As the way in which this sector contributes to a country's economic and social goals has become more widely understood, there has been a growing emphasis on encouraging the owners and managers of these enterprises to engage in “best practice” initiatives. The assumption is that best practice will lead to increased levels of firm performance and economic growth. In New Zealand the Ministry of Economic Development has undertaken a study of business practice and performance based on a framework initially developed by the Australian Manufacturing Council in 1994 for a survey on the manufacturing sector. The study is now in its third iteration and for the first time incorporates all sectors of the economy. This paper presents the results relating to employee practices in small firms from the most recent study.

Details

Employee Relations, vol. 26 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0142-5455

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Article
Publication date: 1 March 1980

B.S. Wright

The average small firm must be bewildered and probably cynical about recent events. After years of neglect suddenly everyone loves them. Both political parties and now…

Abstract

The average small firm must be bewildered and probably cynical about recent events. After years of neglect suddenly everyone loves them. Both political parties and now large firms are anxious to help, and the number of study groups and research projects seems to multiply every week.

Details

International Journal of Manpower, vol. 1 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0143-7720

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Article
Publication date: 1 January 1993

Mahmood Bahaee

There is a general agreement in the strategic planning literature that some small firms, due to their lack of adequate in‐house resources, often rely on outside‐based…

Abstract

There is a general agreement in the strategic planning literature that some small firms, due to their lack of adequate in‐house resources, often rely on outside‐based assistance as surrogate for strategic planning practices. This study reports the findings of an empirical investigation of the effectiveness of outside‐based strategic planning on a group of small firms’ performance. The results indicate that firms which utilized outside experts did not outperform firms which did not use outsiders. Implications for managers of small firms are then discussed.

Details

Competitiveness Review: An International Business Journal, vol. 3 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1059-5422

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