Organisational culture, management and strategy in the small and medium sized enterprise : the case of the fish processing industry in north east Scotland
This thesis explores the nature of organisational culture, management and strategy in the small and medium sized enterprise (SME). Empirically, the study of organisational culture reflects a diversity of definition, methodology and findings, with a large body of research which is either quantitative, or carried out in large organisations, and relatively few studies which specifically explore organisational culture in the SME. This study aims to further the current understanding of the internal operating environment of the SME, namely the relationships between organisational culture, management, strategy and manager behaviour in the independent firm. The methodology adopted consists of ethnographic research conducted in four SMEs using participant observation, informant and respondent interviewing, and analysis of a small amount of documentary material. In an attempt to draw boundaries around the SMEs studied, all four SMEs are located in the same period code area, operate in the same industry and each is independently owned. However, the operating strategy in unique to each SME studied and the four firms consist of two domestic operators and two explorers. The thesis makes three major contributions to research in this area. Firstly, the cultural analysis identifies shared values between the firms of survival and continuity, independence and control, and financial prudence. Secondly, the managerial paradigm in each SME articulates, the nature of management in the specific firm and in so doing demonstrates the critical role of the owner manager in shaping and maintaining the culture of the SME which he manages. Thirdly, the cultural analysis of strategy in each firm portrays a detailed analysis of the impact of basic assumptions in determining the values and surface artefacts of the SME.