Policy documents stress the importance of learning and knowledge to the competitiveness of the economy. The documents draw attention to the positive impact on economic performance although the link between management training and small firm performance remains empirically contested. Many outside agencies, and particularly those which are publicly funded, face significant difficulties in bringing new learning to smaller organisations. In particular, generalised notions, recipes and tool-kits of techniques for how small business managers should be developed can easily be dismissed as irrelevant by the small business managers themselves. This would suggest a methodological gap which highlights the failure of many interventionist frameworks. Argues that this gap can be bridged by taking a social constructionist view to supporting small business managers and the development of their organisations. Provides an introduction to the key ideas of social constructionism and their relevance to understanding the support process underpinning the development of managers in smaller businesses. Concludes with a discussion of the implications of social constructionism for those involved in researching, evaluating and developing services to support management development in small business organisations.
Journal of Small Business and Enterprise Development – Emerald Publishing
Published: Jun 1, 2002
Keywords: Learning; Small firms; Management development
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