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Title: An examination of strategy development and strategic management processes within growth-seeking small businesses
Author: Donohoe, Stephen
ISNI:       0000 0004 5369 9855
Awarding Body: Middlesex University
Current Institution: Middlesex University
Date of Award: 2015
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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.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available