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Title: Entrepreneurial marketing in small Welsh technology firms : an empirical study
Author: Jones, Rosalind
Awarding Body: Prifysgol Bangor University
Current Institution: Bangor University
Date of Award: 2009
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This study investigates the marketing of software products and services in micro and small firms. The nature of the software product means that it is an 'intangible' product. Firms in this study offer both a product and a service software solution which often incorporates project management, consultation and after sales support. The nature of the research problem therefore requires a review of a number of disciplines including Entrepreneurial Marketing (EM) and SME marketing. These concepts are especially pertinent to small firms operating in highly competitive and innovative markets as they attempt to build market share by delivering a high quality service with innovative solutions. The research approach employs an integrative multiple mix of qualitative methodologies. This method includes an extended case study of a micro sized software technology firm and a survey of the UK educational software sector in which it operates. The study also includes exploration of owner-manager networks and the customer's view of the IT purchase decision. An empirically and theoretically developed 'EMICO' framework which lies at the heart of this thesis and is used for investigation of EM activities and behaviours in small software technology firms. This model is tested and consolidated using a purposive sample of six micro and small software technology firms based in North Wales. The findings reveal that these firms are highly customer and innovation oriented in nature. Key issues for small firms in this sector include: the importance of project planning, the use of IT knowledge infrastructures, building long term customer relationships, managing customer expectations and, use of networks. Owner-managers made use of a range of networks whilst firms used word of mouth (WOM) recommendation, tending to be risk averse and low in competitor awareness but using web based technology networks to glean information about new innovations and changes in the marketplace. This thesis makes a significant contribution to the EM literature in first developing and then refining the 'EMICO' framework, a new qualitative research framework with which to investigate entrepreneurial marketing activities and behaviours in SMEs. Up until now there has been very little research focussed on the software technology sector with specific reference to SMEs, and so this thesis also extends knowledge and contributes to the literature in the area. The thesis makes significant contribution to the EM literature in developing and refining the 'EMICO' framework, a new qualitative research framework with which to investigate entrepreneurial marketing activities and behaviours in SMEs. The thesis also further extends kowledge in respect of the SME marketing literature where there is a paucity of research in respect of SME marketing in the software technology sector.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available