Researching the Small Enterprise (SAGE Series in Management by James Curran PDF

By James Curran

Even supposing there are many books dedicated to small company and administration study, few supply a lot cognizance to the small company. This ebook focuses systematically on learning the small company, from easy problems with definition, to picking themes and learn designs, to fieldwork difficulties, research facts and at last, writing and featuring effects. The dialogue is decided within the wider context of matters and difficulties in company learn. Quantitative and particularly qualitative ways are explored and illustrated by way of drawing intensive on quite a lot of study at the small firm. the result's an intensive source e-book for researchers in any respect degrees to attract upon in making plans and accomplishing potent learn.

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Sample text

With literature searches using computer-based bibliographies, a main decision is selecting the key search terms likely to produce the most useful suggestions for topics. Just using `small business', for instance, is likely to produce several thousand references. Many will be of poor quality and attempting to inspect all of them would be very time-consuming. The search can be narrowed by adding a key search term such as `®nance' or `employment' but the important point to keep in mind is that, whatever the terms selected, the list is never likely to be comprehensive.

One study used `establishments' rather than `enterprises' as the unit of analysis. 22 It would be unrealistic to demand uniformity of approach to de®ning the small enterprise for research purposes. The only semi-of®cial de®nitions at all widely used ± the EU de®nitions of `micro', `small', `medium' and `large' ± are simple numerical de®nitions which, as the earlier discussion showed, are barely adequate. Nevertheless, if that is all that it is possible to employ, then they might be used rather than alternatives if only to promote comparability between studies.

This avoids the problems which frequently arise when researchers simply use a phrase such as `the small business owner' as if everybody knows what it means. One result of vague concept formation, for instance, is that comparisons between studies are questionable because different concepts of `the small business owner' were used. The problem can be even 38 RESEARCHING THE SMALL ENTERPRISE more serious if the differences are not noticed because concepts were not stated clearly. Despite the apparent simplicity of the phrase, `the small business owner', it is not that easy to de®ne in a way which all would agree upon.

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