Attention has been drawn recently to the differences which exist between family and non‐family firms, but Ward indicates that there are different types of family firms…
Attention has been drawn recently to the differences which exist between family and non‐family firms, but Ward indicates that there are different types of family firms. More specifically, as Dunn puts it, “in some families it is evident that the business serves the family, as opposed to the family serves the business”. For some families in business, economic rationality dominates decision making, yet for others a “family first” ethos is to the fore, while a third group recognises the need to respond to economic and family considerations. In this paper firms which pay attention to both family and business are not investigated. However, Ward’s model of the characteristics of family firms is discussed and data based on a Scottish and Irish sample of 234 firms which put family first when business and family objectives clash, and 830 firms which focus on business objectives, are presented. Results suggest that the former exhibit several of the characteristics defined by Ward. This suggests that a considerable number of family firms may be lifestyle – as opposed to growth‐oriented businesses. These results have major implications for policy makers. If a substantial number of family firms differ from rational economic ventures by their methods of operation, then policy makers should be flexible with regard to the methods of intervention required to support this important section of the SME community. Policy issues in connection with family firms in Britain are considered in the light of our findings.
Family firms account for around 75 per cent of all business enterprises in the UK, but there is a lack of research on these businesses. The family firms literature…
Family firms account for around 75 per cent of all business enterprises in the UK, but there is a lack of research on these businesses. The family firms literature recognises that there are differences between family and non‐family businesses; differences that can be explained by conflicts between a juxtaposition of family values and business values. Consequently, family firms tend to have different approaches to ownership and control, the composition of boards, employment practices, strategy formulation and succession management. This paper reports on the demographic characteristics, ownership configurations, boardroom arrangements, managerial and succession practices of a random selection of 1,065 family firms located in Scotland and Northern Ireland. Results reveal that the firms are well‐established, privately owned, small businesses in which the lead family retains almost all shares and dominates the board of directors. These firms give some preferential treatment to family members in employment and managerial matters but business objectives are not ignored. In keeping with previous research, succession matters are not regularly discussed and much more needs to be done to allow for a smooth transition from one family generation to another. The authors conclude by arguing that there is an urgent need for policy makers to address the problems and needs of small family firms and to develop frameworks and practices for assisting these businesses.
The present research is an attempt to reveal the status quo of the managerial and entrepreneurial situation “genus femininum” disclosed in Greek interims report. Focus is…
The present research is an attempt to reveal the status quo of the managerial and entrepreneurial situation “genus femininum” disclosed in Greek interims report. Focus is put on those aspects and contrasting variables, which help to explain the actual status of female participation. The results of the survey confirm that improvements have been made in the areas of the female managerial involvement, but as in other countries there is a gap, which has to be bridged in the future.
The study this chapter reports focuses on how network theory contributes to the understanding of the internationalization process of SMEs and measures the effect of network capability on performance in international trade and has three research objectives.
The first objective of the study relates to providing new insights into the international market development activities through the application of a network perspective. The chapter reviews the international business literature to ascertain the development of thought, the research gaps, and the shortcomings. This review shows that the network perspective is a useful and popular theoretical domain that researchers can use to understand international activities, particularly of small, high technology, resource-constrained firms.
The second research objective is to gain a deeper understanding of network capability. This chapter presents a model for the impact of network capability on international performance by building on the emerging literature on the dynamic capabilities view of the firm. The model conceptualizes network capability in terms of network characteristics, network operation, and network resources. Network characteristics comprise strong and weak ties (operationalized as foreign-market entry modes), relational capability, and the level of trust between partners. Network operation focuses on network initiation, network coordination, and network learning capabilities. Network resources comprise network human-capital resources, synergy-sensitive resources (resource combinations within the network), and information sharing within the network.
The third research objective is to determine the impact of networking capability on the international performance of SMEs. The study analyzes 11 hypotheses through structural equations modeling using LISREL. The hypotheses relate to strong and weak ties, the relative strength of strong ties over weak ties, and each of the eight remaining constructs of networking capability in the study. The research conducts a cross-sectional study by using a sample of SMEs drawn from the telecommunications industry in Ireland.
The study supports the hypothesis that strong ties are more influential on international performance than weak ties. Similarly, network coordination and human-capital resources have a positive and significant association with international performance. Strong ties, weak ties, trust, network initiation, synergy-sensitive resources, relational capability, network learning, and information sharing do not have a significant association with international performance. The results of this study are strong (R2=0.63 for performance as the outcome) and provide a number of interesting insights into the relations between collaboration or networking capability and performance.
This study provides managers and policy makers with an improved understanding of the contingent effects of networks to highlight situations where networks might have limited, zero, or even negative effects on business outcomes. The study cautions against the tendency to interpret networks as universally beneficial to business development and performance outcomes.
The importance of customer service to the small firm together with how small firms can maximize their inherent strengths in this respect are considered. Current customer…
The importance of customer service to the small firm together with how small firms can maximize their inherent strengths in this respect are considered. Current customer service theories, which have developed with larger organizations in mind, are examined to assess how they may be adapted to have relevance for the smaller business. A conceptual model of customer service for small firms is outlined and applied to findings from an empirical study of 28 small firms.
The Center for Women’s Business Research estimates women are now the majority owners in 6.7 million privately held businesses in the United States and equal owners in…
The Center for Women’s Business Research estimates women are now the majority owners in 6.7 million privately held businesses in the United States and equal owners in another 4.0 million firms. When part owners in multiple businesses are included the female ownership total climbs to an estimated 15.6 million businesses. Women majority owners account for nearly half (48 per cent) of the privately‐held firms in the United States. Their businesses generate $2.46 trillion in sales. They employ 19.1 million people and spend an estimated $492 billion on salaries and $54 billion on employee benefits. The number of women‐owned firms increases at twice the rate of all new firms (14 per cent versus 7 per cent) and the number of employees nearly as fast (30 per cent versus 18 per cent). Women owners are rapidly moving into all industries, with the fastest growth percentages in the fields of construction (30 per cent), transportation, communications and public utilities (28 per cent) and agricultural services (24 per cent). Worldwide, with women entrepreneurs in under developed countries leading the way, women‐owned firms now comprise between one‐fourth and one‐third of all businesses. Given the numbers, it would be almost impossible to overestimate the impact of women owned businesses in today’s global economy.
It is said that travel broadens the mind, deepens the understanding and refreshes the spirit. Judging by the amount of long distance travel undertaken nowadays by more people than ever before, it may also be said to widen the beam! However, this brief article is mainly concerned with the scope and benefits of the Library Association's programme of internships.
The paper offers a positive example of how networking influences the success of small firms and examines an industry sector where it occurs naturally as part of the…
The paper offers a positive example of how networking influences the success of small firms and examines an industry sector where it occurs naturally as part of the industry culture. This study has focused upon the advertising agency sector, as it is known to network. The paper examines the opinions of advertising agency owner‐managers, elicited during this research, where the practice and preference for networking was apparent. The issues highlighted by this examination fall into the following broad categories: the perceived identity which the owner‐managers ascribed to their networks; the time which the networks have taken to nurture and develop; the trust engendered by the participants both for the networks as an entity and for the participants; the association of reputation and pride in the network; and the need to reflect in order to make use of network information.
IT is said that travel broadens the mind, deepens the understanding and refreshes the spirit. Judging by the amount of long distance travel undertaken nowadays by more people than ever before, it may also be said to widen the beam! However, this brief article is mainly concerned with the scope and benefits of the Library Association's programme of internships.
This paper reports relevant evidence regarding the importance of decision makers’ background and experiential factors in promoting export entrepreneurship among less…
This paper reports relevant evidence regarding the importance of decision makers’ background and experiential factors in promoting export entrepreneurship among less performing developing country firms. Subsequent discussion reveals the consistency of the findings with the balance of previous empirical literature, and underlines the need for international success‐seeking LPDC firms to prioritise the acquisition of requisitely qualified managerial staff. The central thesis of the paper is that with the right quality of decision makers, smaller LPDC firms could be properly led to procure and develop other advantage‐creating competencies that might enable them overcome external internationalisation barriers. The implications of the foregoing for enhancing LPDC firms’ access to global markets, as envisioned under the Millennium Development Declaration, are discussed.