Considers an area of growing importance in marketing research. Small to medium‐sized enterprises (SMEs) are continuing to play an increasing role in the development of western economies. Puts forward the argument that existing approaches to conducting marketing research in SMEs are rooted in the big firm mindset and, therefore, in positivist thinking, tending to focus mainly on survey methods. Examines the various orientations that predominate in and shape the SME context. Develops a research position with a syncretised qualitative research methodology outlined and applied to a research project carried out by one of the authors into 57 small firms in the UK. All of the orientations of the SMEs appeared rooted, to a large extent, in one or more highly influential individuals who fashion the culture and direction of these firms. Argues for an approach to research in SMEs that recognises the various influencing orientations including the impact on marketing research and the role of the entrepreneurial individual.
Marketing Intelligence & Planning – Emerald Publishing
Published: Nov 1, 2001
Keywords: Small‐ to medium‐sized enterprises; Entrepreneurialism; Qualitative techniques
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