Small Business Failures : A study of the top-managers contribution to the failure

by Ma, Eason; Janson, Daniel; Le Nhu, Quynh

Abstract (Summary)
The economical importance and value of small businesses is today recognized by scholars as well as government institutes. The small business does not only contribute with a great amount of entrepreneurial activity and innovations but also as a significant tool in creating jobs. The statistics are however displaying a negative trend in the development of small businesses with over 350.000 – 400.000 business closures every year in UK. In Sweden 35,000 new enterprises entered the market in 2001 but only 62% were still active in 2004.There are two major factors from which all other explanations are derived from when discussing why a company fails which is the external and internal factor. From the failure model created by Sharma and Mahajan and supported by other researchers, it is known that the problem initiating the failure may have been caused by uncontrollable factors. However the most significant factor behind a failure is derived from insufficient and ineffective management in the strategic process.In order to understand how and most importantly why the top-managers decisions and actions contributes to a business failure the study focused on exploring the strategic process in numerous of failure cases of small businesses. This understanding is further strengthened by considering the limitations and resistances in the strategic process. There is also a link between the crisis management and strategic management which further provides with valuable insights of the process. Four different small businesses were therefore investigated in the report through an inductive and semi structured approach to explore the contexts of the failures in-depth. From the analysis of the empirical data collected from the top-managers and other employees, owners or managers evidence were collected to study the top-managers contribution to the failure.The most significant contributing factor found in the business failures were the inefficient internal and external assessments. This was further found to be directly linked to the inadequate knowledge and experience possessed by the top-manager and his staff. Nepotism was also a factor that was found to be a very contributing source to the inadequate assessments. The managers staffed by the top-manager possessed a close relationship with the top-manager and may have been hired due to this reason and not based on the required knowledge which was proven to have a significant impact on all the studied cases.
Bibliographical Information:


School:Högskolan i Jönköping

School Location:Sweden

Source Type:Master's Thesis

Keywords:business failure strategic process crisis small management top manager


Date of Publication:02/26/2008

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