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A comparative study of the effectiveness of small business organizations - Towards an economic interactionist theory of the small firm.

Stanworth, Michael Jon Kenneth. (1971) A comparative study of the effectiveness of small business organizations - Towards an economic interactionist theory of the small firm. Doctoral thesis, University of Surrey (United Kingdom)..

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The present research adopted as its focal point of study the higher participants in small owner-managed manufacturing firms in the Kingston area of Surrey. A case-study approach was used in the research. The main-study sample consisted of eight firms drawn from the printing and electronics industries, i.e. four firms from each industry. In addition, an entrepreneur involved in the manufacture of wire products who was in the process of selling his firm to a public company before joining the latter as Managing Director, was investigated in order to assist in a deeper understanding of the situation of the small entrepreneur. The principal findings of the study centred around an observed dynamic process of entrepreneurial goal succession. Individually determined entrepreneurial goals, many of them having an essentially non-economic nature, were shown to change over time. Further, the goals valued at any one time were seen to conform more or less closely with one of three hypothesised ideal type entrepreneurial roles, each based upon a separate latent social identity. The three ideal type entrepreneurial roles were termed. "Artisan", "Classical Entrepreneur" and "Manager". Various facets of entrepreneurial experience were found to be associated, with entrepreneurial role type. Role specificity, job satisfaction, leadership style, role time intensitivity, environmental perception and business ideology were found to be dependent variables. In accordance with the organisational goal model of organisational effectiveness, the structurally and culturally prescribed goals of the firms studied were found to be expressed essentially in terms of the concept of profit. This goal was seen, in turn, to have an identifiable relationship with each of the three entrepreneurial roles. This relationship resulted in a decline in entrepreneurial independence and. discretion as the entrepreneur moved from occupation of the "Artisan" role to occupation of the "Classical Entrepreneur" role and, finally, to occupation of the "Manager" role. The underlying motivation for entry into entrepreneurship, and for subsequent movement between entrepreneurial role types, was seen as being based upon experiences of social marginality. Each of the three ideal type roles was seen as possessing potential for a solution to marginality in a different area of the total entrepreneurial environment. Finally, a scheme for an understanding of the firm's relations with its environment was conceptualised in terms of six facets of environmental control and an attempt was made to quantify them. The thesis questionnaires and case studies are presented in a separate volume accompanying the thesis.

Item Type: Thesis (Doctoral)
Divisions : Theses
Authors :
Stanworth, Michael Jon Kenneth.
Date : 1971
Contributors :
Additional Information : Thesis (Ph.D.)--University of Surrey (United Kingdom), 1971.
Depositing User : EPrints Services
Date Deposited : 22 Jun 2018 14:26
Last Modified : 06 Nov 2018 16:53

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