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The condition of smallness: how what it means to be small deters firms from getting bigger.

Anderson, Alistair R.; Ullah, Farid

Authors

Alistair R. Anderson

Farid Ullah

Abstract

We consider why most small firms remain small. Employing an inductive analysis of responses from a survey of 2,521 small business owners about employment regulation, we examine the nature and effects of smallness. We found that owners choice making combines with perceptions about their resources to produce a condition of smallness. The condition of smallness is conceptualised as the circularity perceptions, attitudes and consequent practices that reflect lack of knowledge, time and capability. We argue that this condition of smallness inhibits growth to create a wicked problem that explains why most small firms don't grow.

Journal Article Type Article
Publication Date Mar 11, 2014
Journal Management decision
Print ISSN 0025-1747
Electronic ISSN 1758-6070
Publisher Emerald
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Volume 52
Issue 2
Pages 326-349
Institution Citation ANDERSON, A.R. and ULLAH, F. 2014. The condition of smallness: how what it means to be small deters firms from getting bigger. Management decision [online], 52(2), pages 326-349. Available from: https://doi.org/10.1108/MD-10-2012-0734
DOI https://doi.org/10.1108/MD-10-2012-0734
Keywords Entrepreneurship; Growth; Small firms; A condition of smallness

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