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Title: Micro wholesaling businesses involved in the sector of confectionary products : strategies of survival and growth
Author: Raptopoulos, P. S.
Awarding Body: Nottingham Trent University
Current Institution: Nottingham Trent University
Date of Award: 2011
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It can be argued that the problematic situation where micro Greek wholesaling businesses find themselves has been a result of the strong presence of supermarkets and superstores in the last years. The researcher attempts to picture the current market reality that constitutes the background of the Thesis by posing the main research question: "How can micro Greek wholesaling businesses involved in the confectionary products' sector identify and implement suitable survival and growth strategies in order to cope with increasing competition in a market characterized by a large expansion of supermarkets and chain stores?". The factors that triggered research are related to the researcher's avocation with the sector of confectionary products; having worked in a micro family wholesaling enterprise in the past (and still involved in it occasionally when demand for confectionary products is increased), the survival and growth prospects of this firm constitutes an issue of high importance for the researcher and his family. The researcher believes that the study of similar wholesaling firms-case studies would highlight potential survival and growth strategies, useful for the family business; in this way, he holds the view that he contributes to the solution of an intense family problem. Apart from the personal interest for the survival and growth of micro wholesaling firms, it can be argued that the confectionary products' sector is a dynamic field that provides the opportunities to a researcher to evolve to a consultant or a specialist practitioner. The researcher would like to have opportunity to work as a consultant in the field of micro, small and medium-sized businesses (SMEs) in the future. On the other hand, the survival of these enterprises can be described as one of the most intense problems of the contemporary market, especially the Greek market environment. These businesses constitute the driving force of economies globally; as a result, the quest of survival and growth strategies is interesting by definition. In this context, the researcher believes that the adequate response to the aforementioned research question can be identified through the use of the Resource Based View (RBV). In short, he presents the key areas of the literature review (i.e., main contributors of RBV, recent RBV studies, potential fields of attaining sustainable competitive advantage, etc.) in order to create the appropriate background for the formulation of the RBV framework, appropriate for the evaluation of micro wholesaling enterprises involved in the confectionary products’ sector. After the formulation of such a framework (including seven significant parts analysed in the literature review section), the researcher presents the research methodology for implementing the RBV conceptual framework. The researcher believes that the case study methodology can be combined with the RBV framework so that various characteristics (resources and capabilities) and entrepreneurs' choices (strategies) of micro wholesaling businesses can be highlighted. In this direction, the researcher developed a conceptual framework based on the RBV approach to analyze six micro wholesaling enterprises (case studies) involved in the confectionary products' sector. Two of them have failed to confront increasing competition and ceased their operations, mainly due to ineffective management practices and lack of adequate resources and capabilities. Four of them have followed certain strategies and efficiently deployed existing resources and capabilities to secure their survival and increase their growth prospects. The key findings about the six case studies stemming from the implementation of the RBV conceptual framework (Level One and Level Two Analysis) combined with Yin's replication logic have highlighted useful observations about similar wholesaling firms. In this way, research has shown that such businesses can increase their chances of survival and growth only if their managers carefully exploit their limited resources and capabilities and steadily follow a certain strategy based on SMEs' characteristics (i.e., flexibility, innovative ability, provision of prompt service, etc.). Of course, an indispensable characteristic of the wholesaler is related to his daily awareness of market trends and alterations so that the potential market opportunities can be easily identified. It also has to be stressed that the adoption of a specific philosophy (i.e., entrepreneurial customer relationship approach) can boost survival and growth prospects of micro wholesaling businesses.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (D.B.A.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available