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Informing small business development: The impact of marketing led strategic development in a small firm

Helen Mathews, (2006) Informing small business development: The impact of marketing led strategic development in a small firm. Masters thesis, Durham University.



Small Business development has been an important policy since the Bolton Committee report in 1971. However more than 30 years later there is a " ... bewildering plethora of government services for small businesses ... " (Stanworth and Gray 2001 ). A key factor in the take up of support by small businesses has been shown to be trust (Ram 1999). It is the personalism and relationships which small business owner I managers clearly value. This research investigates the types of interventions most likely to succeed through investigating small business development through an action research longitudinal case study, which tracked the key actors and developments from a change orientated perspective. The research organisation was undergoing a significant period of change and instability and the development and implementation of a marketing strategy was proposed to combat this. The project was run through the Teaching Company Scheme (now Knowledge Transfer Partnerships) in conjunction with the University of Durham. The research methodology was designed to answer the following questions. 1. How does strategic change actually occur in the process of Small Business development? 2. When is market-led strategic change the most appropriate process in practice? 3. Does this require concurrent organisation development before such strategic change becomes fully realisable? 4. How do owner / managers chose the most appropriate intervention methodologies from the increasing range now available and how do they impact upon strategic development? The researches provided an interesting insight into two years within a Small Business and draw the following conclusions: 1. Deep and long interventions have the highest potential to effectively develop a Small Business.2. Small Businesses can benefit from external expertise in the development process 3. A market-led approach is important for small business development 4. Successful marketing requires the development of associated internal competencies 5. Successful marketing requires supporting organisation development interventions 6. Business development and change interventions should influence the owner / manager personally. 7. Formal and information networks are critical to small business success. The research reinforces the view that the levels of trust and personal relationships with the owner I manager is critical to ensure the development intervention meets the world-view of the individual owner I manager which is critical to the success of the intervention. The research also challenges the perspective that owner / managers are risk takers, open to change.

Item Type:Thesis (Masters)
Award:Master of Arts
Thesis Date:2006
Copyright:Copyright of this thesis is held by the author
Deposited On:09 Sep 2011 09:52

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