The Advisor-SMF Client Relationship: Impact, Satisfaction and Commitment

The Advisor-SMF Client Relationship: Impact, Satisfaction and Commitment This paper investigates the relationship between the type of business advisors used by SMEs and the level of impact and satisfaction a SME receives. The role of other influences, such as the intensity and cost of the service, and the level of commitment to an advisor by the client are also investigated. A structural equation path model is estimated from survey information for SMEs in Britain. The analysis shows that customer impact, satisfaction and re-use intentions are related to the character of the firm (particularly its size), the intensity and cost of services, but is only marginally influenced by the geographical distance between advisor and client. Affective commitment, measured by the level of the ‘trust’ of the advisor by the client, is shown not to be significant, except for public sector and business association suppliers. The importance of trust to these suppliers, despite the low satisfaction levels they achieve, is argued to be incompatible with attempts to charge fees, as has been sought for the government network of Business Link. Both business associations and public sector support bodies therefore have severe limitations in combining their broader roles with a commercially- based fee-based income strategy. http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Small Business Economics Springer Journals

The Advisor-SMF Client Relationship: Impact, Satisfaction and Commitment

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Publisher
Kluwer Academic Publishers
Copyright
Copyright © 2005 by Springer
Subject
Business and Management; Management; Microeconomics; Entrepreneurship; Industrial Organization
ISSN
0921-898X
eISSN
1573-0913
D.O.I.
10.1007/s11187-003-6459-3
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

This paper investigates the relationship between the type of business advisors used by SMEs and the level of impact and satisfaction a SME receives. The role of other influences, such as the intensity and cost of the service, and the level of commitment to an advisor by the client are also investigated. A structural equation path model is estimated from survey information for SMEs in Britain. The analysis shows that customer impact, satisfaction and re-use intentions are related to the character of the firm (particularly its size), the intensity and cost of services, but is only marginally influenced by the geographical distance between advisor and client. Affective commitment, measured by the level of the ‘trust’ of the advisor by the client, is shown not to be significant, except for public sector and business association suppliers. The importance of trust to these suppliers, despite the low satisfaction levels they achieve, is argued to be incompatible with attempts to charge fees, as has been sought for the government network of Business Link. Both business associations and public sector support bodies therefore have severe limitations in combining their broader roles with a commercially- based fee-based income strategy.

Journal

Small Business EconomicsSpringer Journals

Published: Oct 17, 2003

References

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