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Article
Publication date: 16 May 2016

Sonia Taneja, Mildred Golden Pryor and Mario Hayek

The purpose of this paper is to address the challenges faced by small businesses and to explain the importance of using strategic innovation to achieve long-term…

3685

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to address the challenges faced by small businesses and to explain the importance of using strategic innovation to achieve long-term sustainability and viability.

Design/methodology/approach

This study of small business innovation includes reviewing the types and determinants of innovation as well as strategies to overcome innovation barriers. In addition, the authors developed a model that portrays elements needed for strategic innovation that supports the long-term viability of small businesses.

Findings

Small businesses serve as the economic foundation for many nations because they stimulate innovation, provide jobs, foster competitiveness and support overall economic growth. Small businesses can rapidly adapt to change, adopt new strategies and provide flexibility that supports strategic innovation. As a result, strategic innovation is a key driver of sustainable competitive advantage for small businesses.

Practical implications

Small business leaders need to integrate strategic innovation with their strategic planning to remain competitive. The strategic innovation model presented in this paper can assist them in understanding elements needed for successful strategic innovation and long-term viability.

Social implications

Globally, small businesses exert a strong influence on economic growth and create opportunities, employment and technological development. This paper will assist small business leaders as they strive to use strategic innovation to strengthen their competitive capabilities.

Originality/value

The unique strategic innovation model that the authors developed can help small businesses to achieve long-term sustainability and viability in the competitive marketplace.

Details

Journal of Business Strategy, vol. 37 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0275-6668

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 1 February 1997

Sandy Hewitt

Discusses the way in which the business excellence model is being presented to small companies. Compares success of the model as a basis for self‐assessment in large…

1783

Abstract

Discusses the way in which the business excellence model is being presented to small companies. Compares success of the model as a basis for self‐assessment in large organizations against lack of interest from the small business sector. Suggests reasons such as poor marketing, inappropriate self‐assessment tools and the fact that small businesses do not always accept the model’s underlying principles. Makes reference to research being carried out defining the needs of small businesses, and some of the questions which are as yet unanswered. Concludes that the bodies concerned with promoting business excellence have not yet put much effort into the small business sector, but that some progress is being made.

Details

The TQM Magazine, vol. 9 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0954-478X

Keywords

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

Article
Publication date: 1 April 2014

Alan Coetzer, Janice Redmond and Vern Bastian

The purpose of this paper is to make the case that owner-managers of small businesses should consider using strength-based coaching as a key element of their performance…

1273

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to make the case that owner-managers of small businesses should consider using strength-based coaching as a key element of their performance management and learning and development endeavours because small businesses are potentially well-suited to this type of developmental intervention.

Design/methodology/approach

In making the case, we draw on literature primarily in four areas: performance management, positive psychology, strength-based management and small business management. The case for adopting strength-based coaching is also underpinned by the practical insights of an experienced small business manager.

Findings

The informal internal organisation found in most small businesses makes the small business context potentially well-suited to strength-based coaching. In particular, the informal characteristic of small businesses promotes close working relationships between owner-managers and employees and broadly defines work roles. Such a work context is conducive to strength-based coaching that involves owner-managers capitalising on the unique abilities of each employee by redefining work roles to fit employees’ strengths.

Practical implications

Using strength-based coaching to align employees’ strengths with the work of the small business should have positive effects on the key variables of individual and collective performance and ultimately business results. These variables of performance are employee ability, motivation and opportunity to perform.

Originality/value

After database searching, it seems that there is no previous work that has examined the potential efficacy of strength-based coaching in a small business context. The paper has value for small business managers who are seeking practical guidance on how to improve their current approaches to both managing employee performance and fostering the learning and development of the staff.

Details

Development and Learning in Organizations: An International Journal, vol. 28 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1477-7282

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 1 September 1995

Bob Gammie

Banks in the UK have received much adverse publicity over the lastfour years. Primarily, they have been accused of failing to passinterest‐rate reductions on to their small

697

Abstract

Banks in the UK have received much adverse publicity over the last four years. Primarily, they have been accused of failing to pass interest‐rate reductions on to their small business customers. This has resulted in the introduction of charters to specify more clearly the conditions of their relationship with their small business customers. Focuses on the impact of bank charters on this relationship and establishes that banks are now doing more to accommodate their small business customers. Small businesses have confidence in their account managers, but are not receptive to advice from this source. Recommends that they should be more amenable to advice and be more proactive in seeking consultation with senior bank representatives. Displeasure over charges can be alleviated through discussion and explanation.

Details

Management Decision, vol. 33 no. 7
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0025-1747

Keywords

Book part
Publication date: 10 November 2017

Bharat Mehra, Bradley Wade Bishop and Robert P. Partee

This chapter presents a gap analysis of the perspectives of small businesses and rural librarians in Tennessee in order to develop an implementation blueprint of a public…

Abstract

This chapter presents a gap analysis of the perspectives of small businesses and rural librarians in Tennessee in order to develop an implementation blueprint of a public library small business toolkit, a resource that the state’s rural public libraries can create for small businesses in the future.

The chapter reports on select comparison data sets collected via two exploratory online surveys with small businesses and rural public librarians, respectively, in an externally funded planning grant awarded by the Institute of Museum and Library Services’ National Leadership Grants for Libraries (Research category) to the School of Information Sciences at the University of Tennessee.

Findings from the gap analysis of the perspectives of small businesses and rural librarians provide similarities and differences between the two stakeholder groups in terms of

  • existing assistance needs of small businesses,

  • information-related challenges small businesses experience,

  • desired public library use, and

  • information-related components of a public library small business toolkit.

existing assistance needs of small businesses,

information-related challenges small businesses experience,

desired public library use, and

information-related components of a public library small business toolkit.

The study is a unique example of action research based on varied levels of participation in rural research and action, learning through collaboration, community inquiry into everyday experiences and potential impact, use of mixed methods, and the situated nature of applications and concrete outcomes. It serves as a pilot case experience and prototype assessment test bed to expand strategies for the entire Appalachian region and other rural environments in the future.

Details

Rural and Small Public Libraries: Challenges and Opportunities
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-78743-112-6

Keywords

Book part
Publication date: 15 March 2022

Gratien J. J. David Pillai

In this chapter, we will be exploring the role of leadership within small businesses. Leadership is an essential element in the management of any organisation and is even…

Abstract

Chapter Contribution

In this chapter, we will be exploring the role of leadership within small businesses. Leadership is an essential element in the management of any organisation and is even more crucial when it comes to small businesses. In particular, both the structure and the specific stage of development of small businesses determines the need for an evolving style of leadership. Unlike their counterparts at larger organisations, small business leaders usually have a higher level of hands-on involvement across multiple areas of responsibility, including strategic decision-making and financial management, as well as team leadership and motivation.

Some key leadership skills, such as having a clear vision, communicating successfully across all business levels, leading by example and keeping the team engaged, are shared by all enterprises, regardless of size and nature. It is critical for small business leaders to understand that each stage of an organisation’s lifecycle brings with it different opportunities and challenges that should be dealt with by adopting different leadership techniques. A ‘one-size-fits-all’ approach will not work, and could even become detrimental in the long term.

During an organisation’s early days, a leader’s main role is to inspire the individuals they work with by sharing their vision and purpose without the need for formal management processes. In this chapter, we will be exploring the above issues in relation to the role of leadership within small businesses in greater depth.

Details

Small Business Management and Control of the Uncertain External Environment
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-83909-624-2

Book part
Publication date: 15 March 2022

Zaira Pedron

The fourth industrial revolution and its disruptive technological advances are leading to continuous significant changes in the labour markets, which affect employees and…

Abstract

Chapter Contribution

The fourth industrial revolution and its disruptive technological advances are leading to continuous significant changes in the labour markets, which affect employees and employers of all sizes.

Currently, organisations are experiencing considerable skill shortages and talent mismatches: the skills that organisations are looking for do not align with those available in the labour market. This means that matching available candidates on the market with job vacancies is unlikely. In addition, the increasing wage pressure in occupations linked with the most in-demand skills and in high-skills industries has become a reality.

The immaterial assets of a business, such as the competences and skills of its workforce and leaders, are the most significant elements in providing a competitive advantage is a fact no one in the present era would argue against.

While big corporations dispose more resources and capabilities to deal with these challenges, small businesses – considered the foundation of many healthy communities – have limited assets to face such global and complex dynamics.

This chapter acknowledges the significance of small businesses in the global landscape and their key role as ‘job generators’ in enabling an inclusive economic growth in developed as well as in emerging countries. And in this context gives focus to the crucial issue how of small businesses can overcome the skill and the talent gap, and which strategic shifts they can put in place in order to withstand these environmental constraints.

To this end, this chapter provides a broad investigation of international reports discussing the role played by external factors – such as governments and their policy frameworks – and the concept of knowledge sharing.

Moreover, it examines the influence of internal factors. Specifically explored is the key role of the human resources function in attracting skilled graduates, upskilling its workforce, establishing a total reward and talent development strategy and engaging in job design.

This chapter is of particular relevance to owner managers, general and HR managers of small businesses, but also public officials and private institutions. It identifies and offers practical solutions for small businesses that aim to transform themselves to successfully cope with skills shortages and the war for talent in the age of digitalisation.

Details

Small Business Management and Control of the Uncertain External Environment
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-83909-624-2

Book part
Publication date: 15 March 2022

Shaun Bowman and Peter Wyer

Small businesses are ubiquitous across the globe and they form a large part of the enterprise population in most economies. Understanding of the sector remains sketchy…

Abstract

Chapter Contribution

Small businesses are ubiquitous across the globe and they form a large part of the enterprise population in most economies. Understanding of the sector remains sketchy, despite there being concerted efforts since the 1970s to conduct research to give insight into the behaviour of small businesses.

All businesses have to cope with their external environments, but the resource poverty of small businesses means that they may suffer disproportionately, and they certainly do not have access to the resources, financing and knowhow that large firms have to inform them about the most effective way to manage their resources, minimise threats and optimise opportunities in the environment. This chapter provides a holistic framework to enable deeper understanding of subsequent chapters.

Details

Small Business Management and Control of the Uncertain External Environment
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-83909-624-2

Abstract

Details

Reflections and Extensions on Key Papers of the First Twenty-Five Years of Advances
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-78756-435-0

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