A chaos related investigation into small manufacturing business financial decision-making dynamics
Despite the fact that small manufacturing businesses are still the core of manufacturing in the UK very little is known about their financial dynamics. This thesis investigates these activities from a chaos and chaos theory related standpoint. Since chaos treats dynamic situations, and businesses are intrinsically dynamic, a reasonable expectation is that the one is relevant to the other. However as the research progressed, into detailed appraisals, it became evident that initial, optimistic expectations regarding their relevance were ill-founded. Therefore a conclusion is reached that chaos and chaos theory, despite a voluminous literature, have little relevance to financial decision-making in small manufacturing businesses. The greater part of chaos literature relates to various branches of mathematics, the physical and life sciences. Economics occupies third place. Paucity of references to small manufacturing businesses justifies attempts, such as this, to bridge the gap between them and chaos by explanatory and, interpretative research. Chaos is the main artery, one of two main divisions. It is sub-divided into chaos, the condition, chaos and related theories, and chaology, the techniques. The other main division comprises first an extended study of small manufacturing businesses, which have many, sometimes difficult-to-quantify, financial variables, and secondly hands-on experience as an owner/manager. Evaluating the two, by comparing and contrasting, was intended to be central to the thesis. Instead it became apparent that no there is no pre-existing agreement on key factors. Formulating working definitions ameliorates the problem and allows the evaluation of chaos, in the context of varied financial success in small manufacturing businesses, as well as other theories, to proceed. The financial information needs of their decision-makers, typically owner/managers focus the evaluation. Contributions to knowledge are two. First is finding chaos to be only marginally relevant. Secondly, at the end of the research when considering chaological techniques, a chain of thought is triggered which leads to a novel, technology-basesd mall manufacturing business financial information technique. Small business computerised accounting, and factory loading systems, image processing, (in which hands-on experience, mentioned in the study was gained), pattern recognition, shape analysis and artificial intelligence are combined in the technique.