An examination of strategy development and strategic management processes within growth-seeking small businesses

Donohoe, Stephen (2015) An examination of strategy development and strategic management processes within growth-seeking small businesses. PhD thesis, Middlesex University.

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Abstract

This doctoral thesis responds to the need for greater understanding of what constitutes
effective strategic management practice in successfully developing small firms. And an
associate need to enhance the strategic management capability of small business owner
managers and ability of support providers to deliver sound, pragmatic strategy development
assistance.
The study in its action research mode of investigation recognises and attempts to address
the numerous shortcomings and pitfalls associated with small business management.
Integral to this approach is a longitudinal business development project-orientation to
facilitate the fulfilling of parallel academic and small business development practice
objectives.
The research approach is based upon the premise that there is a glove-tight relationship
between advances in knowledge and the research methodology which facilitate those
knowledge advances. An overarching aim of this study is thus the development of a creative
and innovative research approach to enable production not only of advances in small
business strategic management knowledge and practical small business development, but
also a base research methodology capable of ongoing refinement and use by others in the
future.
The origins of the methodology lay in the non-acceptance of traditional philosophical
positions in epistemology and ontology, with a philosophical standpoint of constructive alternativism underpinning the research and the use of a drive theory which builds out of
that standpoint.
As part response to that philosophical positioning, the concept of epistemological
bootstrapping is used to develop a ‘partial research framework’ to foothold and inform the
qualitative action research process. The key insights highlighted by the ‘bootstrap’ facilitate
design and development of the innovative methodology, integral to which is a close ‘rich’
working partnership interface with the participant small business owner managers.
A novel attempt at linked multi-level and processual (contextualist) analysis was attempted
within an action research approach which is underpinned and driven by personal construct
theory. Both researcher and the researched are thus treated as ‘man the scientist’ who is
progressively seeking to refine and enhance his own personal constructions of
phenomenon, issues and circumstances facing him throughout his life. Such
conceptualisation facilitates the build up of dual working partner investigation using live,
longitudinal practical business development projects to produce tangible outputs for both
parties - academic small business management knowledge for the researcher and world of
academia and practical strategic development and associate knowledge and enhanced
abilities for the owner manager.

Item Type: Thesis (PhD)
Keywords (uncontrolled): SMALL BUSINESS; OWNER MANAGER; CONSTRUCTIVE ALTERNATIVISM; PERSONAL CONSTRUCT THEORY; STRATEGIC MANAGEMENT
Research Areas: A. > Business School
B. > Theses
Item ID: 18400
Depositing User: Users 3197 not found.
Date Deposited: 06 Nov 2015 17:11
Last Modified: 05 Sep 2018 18:25
URI: http://eprints.mdx.ac.uk/id/eprint/18400

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