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SME Growth: The Relationship with Business Advice and External Collaboration

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  • Robson, Paul J A
  • Bennett, Robert J
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    Abstract

    The paper presents multivariate analysis of the relationship of SME growth with the acquisition of external business advice, whilst controlling for the influence of SME characteristics of age, manufacturing/services, high technology, innovator, level of skill of the workforce, exporter and number of competitors. The relationship of external business advice with SME performance is statistically significant for only a small number of sources and fields. Obtaining external advice in fields such as business strategy and staff recruitment is associated with positive firm performance. The main positive relationships of advice and performance are dominated by private sector sources such as lawyers, suppliers, customers and business friends/relatives. Collaborative arrangements with suppliers nationally/internationally have a strong positive relationship with employment and turnover growth; collaboration with local suppliers has a strong positive relationship with growth in profitability. There is little evidence of statistically significant relationships between government-backed providers of business advice such as Business Link and firm performance. Copyright 2000 by Kluwer Academic Publishers

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    Bibliographic Info

    Article provided by Springer in its journal Small Business Economics.

    Volume (Year): 15 (2000)
    Issue (Month): 3 ()
    Pages: 193-208

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    Handle: RePEc:kap:sbusec:v:15:y:2000:i:3:p:193-208

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    Web page: http://www.springerlink.com/link.asp?id=100338

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    Cited by:
    1. Colin Mason & Ross Brown, 2013. "Creating good public policy to support high-growth firms," Small Business Economics, Springer, vol. 40(2), pages 211-225, February.
    2. Jan de Kok & Haibo Zhou & Chantal Hartog, 2012. "The risk of growing fast," Scales Research Reports H201119, EIM Business and Policy Research.
    3. Lorraine Uhlaner & André Stel & Valérie Duplat & Haibo Zhou, 2013. "Disentangling the effects of organizational capabilities, innovation and firm size on SME sales growth," Small Business Economics, Springer, vol. 41(3), pages 581-607, October.
    4. Greene, Francis, 2012. "Should the focus of publicly provided small business assistance be on start-ups or growth businesses?," Occasional Papers 12/2, Ministry of Economic Development, New Zealand.
    5. Bilitis Schoonjans & Philippe Cauwenberge & Heidi Bauwhede, 2013. "Formal business networking and SME growth," Small Business Economics, Springer, vol. 41(1), pages 169-181, June.
    6. Gerrit de Wit & Haibo Zhou, 2009. "Determinants and dimensions of firm growth," Scales Research Reports H200903, EIM Business and Policy Research.
    7. André van Stel & Lorraine Uhlaner & Haibo Zhou & Valerie Duplat, 2012. "Disentangling the effects of organizational capabilities, innovation and firm size on SME sales growth," Scales Research Reports H201211, EIM Business and Policy Research.
    8. Robert Bennett & Paul Robson, 2003. "Changing Use of External Business Advice and Government Supports by SMEs in the 1990s," Regional Studies, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 37(8), pages 795-811.
    9. Celeste Varum & Vera Rocha, 2013. "Employment and SMEs during crises," Small Business Economics, Springer, vol. 40(1), pages 9-25, January.
    10. Capelleras, Joan-Lluis & Mole, Kevin F., 2012. "How ‘buzz’ reduces uncertainty for new firm founders," MPRA Paper 38170, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    11. Jan de Kok & Haibo Zhou & Chantal Hartog & Peter van der Zwan, 2012. "The Risk of growing fast: does fast growth have a negative impact on the survival rates of firms?," Scales Research Reports H201209, EIM Business and Policy Research.
    12. Watson, John, 2007. "Modeling the relationship between networking and firm performance," Journal of Business Venturing, Elsevier, vol. 22(6), pages 852-874, November.
    13. Macpherson, Allan & Holt, Robin, 2007. "Knowledge, learning and small firm growth: A systematic review of the evidence," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 36(2), pages 172-192, March.
    14. Alex Coad & Werner Hölzl, 2010. "Firm growth: empirical analysis," Papers on Economics and Evolution 2010-02, Max Planck Institute of Economics, Evolutionary Economics Group.
    15. Kai Hänninen & Matti Muhos & Harri Haapasalo, 2013. "Business Justifications for Rapid Productisation in Small- and Medium-Sized Companies," Diversity, Technology, and Innovation for Operational Competitiveness: Proceedings of the 2013 International Conference on Technology Innovation and Industrial Management, ToKnowPress.
    16. Hessels, Jolanda & Parker, Simon C., 2013. "Constraints, internationalization and growth: A cross-country analysis of European SMEs," Journal of World Business, Elsevier, vol. 48(1), pages 137-148.
    17. Daskalopoulou, Irene & Petrou, Anastasia, 2010. "Entrepreneurial growth expectations and information flows in networks," MPRA Paper 22663, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    18. Irene Daskalopoulou & Anastasia Petrou, 2006. "Small Business Performance in Urban Tourism," ERSA conference papers ersa06p399, European Regional Science Association.

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