How business schools programmes can more effectively stimulate action in SMEs

CARTWRIGHT, Glyn (2021). How business schools programmes can more effectively stimulate action in SMEs. Doctoral, Sheffield Hallam University.

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The objective of the research is to explore SME business training programmes to identify the "trigger point/s" that stimulate action in SME leaders, to take action within their business’. SME development programmes, run by Erasmus, UKCES and European Region Funding and the participant SME leaders on these programmes are the focus of this research. The emergent insights are explored relating to existing programmes currently being provided by Business Schools for SMEs development, through the stories of SME leaders. More specifically, themes relating to four component features of development programmes, those of content, context, facilitator, and network are used as the focus for this research. The combined impact of these four components in the SME development programmes and the comparative impact each of these individual components has in stimulating action by SME leaders are reflected on, as is how these finding can improve the impact of such programmes in stimulating the participants to take action. This research followed a qualitative and interpretive approach. Research into humanist literature was informed by the four component features. Secondary data from independent analysis and pre-research pilot interviews and questionnaires were used in the focus of this research, together with insights from participant interviewees. Emergent themes were compared with the existing literature and the independent secondary data. All four components were perceived by the research participants as important and influential, in varying degrees, in stimulating action within the SME leader. III Other emergent themes emphasise the importance of additional key components, those of improving self-confidence, storytelling, and relevance to the design of SME training programmes. The insights emerging of the comparative value of the four components of content, context, facilitator, and network, together with the other emergent themes in stimulating SME leaders to take action is the contribution to theory. The findings inform practitioners’ thinking in their design and delivery of SME development programmes.

Item Type: Thesis (Doctoral)
Thesis advisor - Breese, Richard [0000-0003-1283-0354]
Thesis advisor - Cole, Caroline
Additional Information: Director of studies: Dr. Richard Breese Supervisor: Dr. Caroline Cole
Research Institute, Centre or Group - Does NOT include content added after October 2018: Sheffield Hallam Doctoral Theses
Identification Number:
Depositing User: Colin Knott
Date Deposited: 01 Apr 2022 11:17
Last Modified: 11 Oct 2023 14:42

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