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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

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10833

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: 13 July 2012

Dario Miocevic and Biljana Crnjak‐Karanovic

Global mindset has gained the respectable attention of international business scholars. Global mindset is a multidisciplinary concept comprised of cognitive and cultural…

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1444

Abstract

Purpose

Global mindset has gained the respectable attention of international business scholars. Global mindset is a multidisciplinary concept comprised of cognitive and cultural dimensions which both influence the international behavior and decision making of the firm. The key purpose of this paper is to demonstrate that global mindset is a crucial cognitive driver of the small and medium‐sized enterprise (SME) internationalization process. In order to do so, it aims to establish the link between global mindset and export performance outcomes.

Design/methodology/approach

Using a literature review, the conceptual model was developed. Data were obtained through survey questionnaire and analyzed using partial least squares (PLS) path modeling on the sample of 121 exporting SMEs in Croatia.

Findings

Findings of this study suggest that global mindset is positively, directly and significantly related to the export performance. Furthermore, the link between global mindset and export performance was assessed with the moderating effect of international experience (export diversity and export intensity) and findings reveal that there is no significant moderating effect present.

Research limitations/implications

Findings of this study suggest that global mindset is a crucial driver of the SME internationalization process as it exhibited a significant impact on the export performance outcomes. However, the focus of this paper was solely on the strategic (cognitive) dimension of global mindset. Future studies are yet to reveal the relevance of the integrated concept of global mindset.

Originality/value

The value‐added of this study is in the idea that market‐specific experience cannot be easily transferred to other foreign markets by utilizing global mindset. The moderating effect of international experience dimensions on relationship between global mindset and export performance was found to be insignificant. Eventually, findings suggest that global mindset is not related to the SME's international experience.

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Article
Publication date: 1 September 1998

Renata Lèbre La Rovere

Brazil’s telecommunications sector has been going through a process of privatization that will change conditions for information technologies (IT) diffusion among…

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1420

Abstract

Brazil’s telecommunications sector has been going through a process of privatization that will change conditions for information technologies (IT) diffusion among Brazilian firms. The impacts of privatization will be especially important to Brazilian firms that are still in the early stages of IT diffusion, such as small‐ and medium‐sized enterprises (SMEs). The aim of this paper is to discuss the impacts of privatization of telecommunications on IT diffusion among Brazilian SMEs. The paper will first analyze the factors that stimulate SMEs to adopt IT, such as the positive impacts on competitiveness. The paper will then describe how the changes that are taking place in the telecommunications sector can influence IT diffusion. In the third section, the paper will consider the case of Brazil, discussing the specificities of IT diffusion in SMEs from developing countries. As a conclusion the paper will discuss how policy measures can be taken so that Brazilian SMEs can benefit from the changes in the telecommunications sector.

Details

Information Technology & People, vol. 11 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0959-3845

Keywords

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Article
Publication date: 1 March 2006

Declan Jones and William Keogh

To study some of the difficulties involved in defining the nature of social enterprises and the environments in which they operate in order to provide a framework to show…

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2737

Abstract

Purpose

To study some of the difficulties involved in defining the nature of social enterprises and the environments in which they operate in order to provide a framework to show how and where social enterprises fit in the overall social economy.

Design/methodology/approach

The complexity of organizations involved in the spectrum of the social economy is discussed in terms of the literature to show how many social enterprises in the UK and worldwide can be categorized as small and medium sized enterprises (SMEs). Discusses the ambiguity prevalent in the social economy concerning the terms and concepts of “not for profit”, “non‐profit”, social enterprise and social entrepreneur and illustrates the successes, failures and difficulties of the social enterprise sector.

Findings

The four key issues which the definitional debate needs to address, comprise: voluntary participation; independence from the state; the concept of profit (profit making, appropriateness of profit making from certain activities, profit maximization, profit distribution); and ownership and corporate governance. Illustrates the points made in the article with particular reference to three case studies involving: Edinburgh Lothian Council On Alcohol (ELCA) (company limited by guarantee with charitable status); First Scottish University Credit Union Ltd (FSUCUL) (credit union); and Forth Sector (social firm).

Originality/value

Sorts out some of the difficulties and complexities in the definition and classification of social enterprises.

Details

Social Enterprise Journal, vol. 2 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1750-8614

Keywords

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Article
Publication date: 1 December 2005

Gary Packham, David Brooksbank, Christopher Miller and Brychan Thomas

This paper proposes that owner‐managers of growth firms are more likely to have developed or acquired managerial practices that facilitate such expansion. The paper…

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1199

Abstract

Purpose

This paper proposes that owner‐managers of growth firms are more likely to have developed or acquired managerial practices that facilitate such expansion. The paper, therefore, examines how growth oriented firms in Wales have adopted management practices to build the necessary entrepreneurial capacity to sustain growth.

Design/methodology/approach

A group interview technique was utilised to examine the management development process in 18 growing firms across the manufacturing, construction sectors.

Findings

The research highlighted that whilst firms argued that the management practices they had implemented were to facilitate further growth, the relative importance of practices such as marketing, financial management and planning varied across sectors. Furthermore, it was apparent that growth firms identified in this study were more inclined to look at the adoption of management practices from a strategic perspective.

Research limitations/implications

The exploratory nature of this study means that it is difficult to generalise these findings outside the boundaries of the adopted research strategy. In addition, links between performance and managerial action are always very difficult to demonstrate conclusively as this process is often dependent on owner‐managers recounting and recognising cause and effect relationships. Nevertheless, the study does strengthen existing academic argument that key management practices outlined in this paper are regularly adopted by growing firms.

Practical implications

The findings will assist policy makers and owner/managers with regard to identifying and understanding why certain management practices engender small business growth.

Originality/value

The paper adds its support to the growing literature which examines the process of management development in small growth firms. Moreover, given Wales' current dearth of growth oriented firms, the paper implies that policy makers should support training and initiatives that develop entrepreneurial and managerial competencies that are industry specific.

Details

Journal of Small Business and Enterprise Development, vol. 12 no. 4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1462-6004

Keywords

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Article
Publication date: 27 November 2020

Dimitrios Kafetzopoulos

The purpose of this study is to gain insight into existing empirical studies on performance management of small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs). It categorizes the…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this study is to gain insight into existing empirical studies on performance management of small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs). It categorizes the main antecedents for SMEs’ performance, the dimensions of SMEs’ performance and all variables used as moderators in the conceptual relationships.

Design/methodology/approach

This study undertakes a systematic literature review of 58 articles published in 33 peer-reviewed academic journals from 2000 to 2020 followed by a synthesis of individual studies to analyze the trends and background of research into SMEs.

Findings

A new academic conceptual model was developed grounded in selected theoretical lenses to advance our understanding of the different categories of antecedents, moderators and SMEs’ performance dimensions.

Research limitations/implications

The author has provided a future research agenda in the context of SMEs. Future studies may investigate the role of different categories of determinants, the influence of key cultural values, the digital capability in SMEs and the Internet in the internationalization of SMEs.

Practical implications

This paper offers a framework for both practitioners and scholars in thinking about those factors that may be critical for success in SMEs.

Originality/value

This is a systematic review that suggests a new conceptual model of what existing empirical studies have found on SMEs. It can be used to influence thinking and research design in the area of SMEs’ performance and success.

Details

International Journal of Productivity and Performance Management, vol. ahead-of-print no. ahead-of-print
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1741-0401

Keywords

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Article
Publication date: 30 March 2007

Tony Chapman, Deborah Forbes and Judith Brown

To study the reasons why UK social enterprises are not yet fulfilling their potential due to the lack of support and trust on the part of key decision makers.

Abstract

Purpose

To study the reasons why UK social enterprises are not yet fulfilling their potential due to the lack of support and trust on the part of key decision makers.

Design/methodology/approach

The study was based in Tees Valley, the southernmost sub‐region in northeast England, which has suffered from a decline in its traditional industries over the past 30 years. Reports the results of in‐depth qualitative interviews with 18 local authority economic regeneration officers and leading local strategic partnership managers across the five borough councils as key stakeholders across Tees Valley to explore potential barriers to the development of the social enterprises sector in this sub‐region. Explains that each interview focused on: perceived differences in the culture of the social enterprise sector compared with private business and the public sector; representation of the sector in key decision making in the sub‐region; the potential for developing entrepreneurship and foresight in the sector; and opinions on the level of support required for capacity building.

Findings

The results indicated that key stakeholders in the public sector assume that there is a value continuum between the voluntary and community sector, through the social enterprise sector, to the small and medium enterprise (SME) sector, while the assumption is also that the closer an organization is to the voluntary and community sector, the more likely that it will be driven by its social values. Supports the view that social enterprises are both “value led” and “market driven”.

Originality/value

Draws on previously unpublished data from a research project that aimed to assess the size, shape and scope of the social enterprise sector for Tees Valley Partnership.

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Article
Publication date: 30 March 2007

Zia ul Islam

To present a practitioner’s view on the experiences of the HELP Foundation, Pakistan, in finding practicable ways of helping poor people to escape the poverty trap through…

Abstract

Purpose

To present a practitioner’s view on the experiences of the HELP Foundation, Pakistan, in finding practicable ways of helping poor people to escape the poverty trap through the setting up of sustainable institutions and social enterprises.

Design/methodology/approach

A review of the literature of fund availability and public policies is presented. Discusses the origin and work of the HELP Foundation, a not‐for‐profit organization (NPO) formed by a consortium of professionals, business people, industrialists and public servants, to develop a robust model for poverty‐alleviation through social enterprise. Examines the approaches used to finance the organization and the changes required at public and individual levels to establish sustainable institutions based on the new model. Reports the gathering of data through surveys and interviews with clients, staff and HELP Foundation benefactors to reveal the mixed results of micro‐finance and the difficulties faced when setting up social enterprises in a poor country.

Findings

The success of the HELP Foundation in deriving a novel model for a workable partnership between NPOs and slum‐level entrepreneurs is reported. Argues that social enterprises can be set up in urban slums through joint ventures between an NPO funder and small businesses that have the capacity to expand. Concludes that such joint ventures should be entered into only after trust has been established between the business person and the NPO. While the involvement of respected members of the locality, transparent processes and close monitoring are all necessary for the social enterprise’s success.

Originality/value

Reveals how the social enterprise concept can be made to work even in conditions of extreme poverty.

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Article
Publication date: 30 March 2007

Maureen Royce

To devise a human resource management (HRM) approach capable of application to the management of employees in social enterprises.

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1846

Abstract

Purpose

To devise a human resource management (HRM) approach capable of application to the management of employees in social enterprises.

Design/methodology/approach

The difficulty of applying traditional HRM techniques to social enterprises, where the workforce tends to be volunteers, is discussed. Reviews HRM concepts and their relationship/applicability to social enterprise (labour market relationships within social enterprise, resourcing and skills to support social enterprise, leadership and operational strategy within social enterprise). Presents two case studies, involving an inner city credit union in northwest England; and an inner city after‐school club. Reports on a pilot questionnaire survey focusing on the strands identified by the earlier research.

Findings

The results indicated a heavy reliance on volunteer labour with almost all organizations working with volunteers. Notes, however, that when asked whether volunteers were crucial to the running of the organization, only 59 per cent felt they were, with the remaining 41 per cent being uncertain or felt that volunteers were not crucial and only a small fraction (12 per cent) having more volunteers than paid workers. Reveals that the infrastructure to support coherent people‐management systems in social enterprise do not appear to be robust and piecemeal support and advice through a range of well‐meaning board members, fragile networks and higher education institutes cannot provide a strong framework for growth and sustainability in managing human resources in the social enterprise sector. Concludes that labour market relationships, resourcing and skills, and leadership and operational strategy have nevertheless been recurring themes in research in this field which suggests that there may be a very real opportunity for HRM tools and expertise to support social enterprise organizations in achieving their business and social goals.

Originality/value

Sheds light on the HRM aspects of social enterprises.

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Article
Publication date: 30 March 2007

Pam Seanor and Julia Meaton

To study the ways in which the people involve in social enterprises make sense out of what they are trying to do.

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3393

Abstract

Purpose

To study the ways in which the people involve in social enterprises make sense out of what they are trying to do.

Design/methodology/approach

The study focused on the issues and concerns of participants in a social enterprise network in Bradford, UK, where the network includes both social enterprises and agencies offering them support. Explains that the study aimed to examine the relationship between the development of social enterprise and organizational identity, processes and problems to determine what shared meanings and sense of shared identity are used by participants to make sense of social enterprise, how these are related to actions and projects within the social enterprise sector, and whether there is network integrity in responding and adapting to changes. Reports on a case study involving exploratory semi‐structured interviews, between November 2005 and February 2006, with 11 key actors involved in social enterprise networks in Bradford, all of which were involved in either delivering services to the community or from agencies tasked with supporting these groups.

Findings

Five key themes emerged from the interviews: identifying as a social entrepreneur; organizational identity; common language; growth; and networking. Concludes that the factors involved in the way that actors in social enterprises make sense of their activities include: identity, where most organizations did not identify a heroic leader nor would they choose to become social entrepreneurs; lack of a common metaphor; staying small; and fragmentation.

Originality/value

Provides a useful starting point from which to explore the problems faced by social enterprise organizations.

Details

Social Enterprise Journal, vol. 3 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1750-8614

Keywords

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