University of Hertfordshire


  • N. Culkin
  • D. Smith
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Original languageEnglish
PublisherUniversity of Hertfordshire
Publication statusPublished - 2000

Publication series

NameBusiness School Working Papers
PublisherUniversity of Hertfordshire
VolumeUHBS 2000-3
NameMarketing Paper
PublisherUniversity of Hertfordshire


In this paper the authors argue that the way in which the UK Government, through its various departments and quangos approaches interventions designed to approve the effectiveness of the small business sector, is based on a flawed understanding of how small businesses actually operate. We argue that this na ve, over-simplistic understanding of the motivation of those in the small business sector means that many Government interventions that are made, are blunt instruments destined to fail, given the limited understanding shown of the complexity of the small business market. We present evidence from two recent studies amongst small firms; a series of large-scale qualitative studies undertaken for a blue chip company and a mixed study on the Business Link network. Explaining exactly how small businesses operate. The emphasis is based on - using qualitative research - getting to grips with the emotion, ambiguity and complexity that characterises this market.

ID: 82986