Use this URL to cite or link to this record in EThOS:
Title: The strategic development of one man and his business : a reflexive approach
Author: Harrison, Nigel J.
Awarding Body: Sheffield Hallam University
Current Institution: Sheffield Hallam University
Date of Award: 2012
Availability of Full Text:
Access from EThOS:
Access from Institution:
This study is about the author as a business owner manager and events surrounding my buy-in of a small business and its subsequent development. The nature of the research evolved from a proposed causal approach concerning the growth of small businesses in general, to become an enquiry into the evolution of my own company and the development I experienced as the researcher and owner over the course of the enquiry. It is a reflexive study, presented in the form of a self-narrative covering a span of around fifteen years. Literature within the dominant paradigm is examined for its usefulness in describing the expected characteristics of small businesses and their owner managers but the lack of explanation behind these descriptions prompted the move to a more appropriate and effective research design. Inspired by complexity theory the study moves beyond the notion of systems thinking, to adopt a view of the company as a social construction of complex responsive processes. The importance of emotions and the pressure of family issues in influencing decision making in a nascent entrepreneur form the starting point from which the story of the buy-in and subsequent management of my small businesses develops. The story is constructed around four themes of Entrepreneurship, Culture and Leadership, Strategy and Growth. Interspersed within the narrative are appropriate contributions from the literature, which serve as a framework within which to analyse my experiences as they occurred. By observing one small business and its owner and contrasting these experiences directly with the literature, the findings confirm the complex and contextual nature of the subject. The dominant theories are useful in retrospectively describing the characteristics of a business and its owner manager but not in explaining the driving forces behind these characteristics. The original contribution to knowledge of this research results from the deep insight into these forces using a reflexive methodology and the application of complex responsive process concepts, which forms a new approach to the study of small business development. Individual entrepreneurs may use these methods and findings to reflect on their own experiences and approach to managing their businesses.
Supervisor: Kirkham, Janet Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (D.B.A.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available