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The Behaviour and Performance of Young Micro Firms: Evidence from New Businesses in Scotland


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  • Julia A Smith
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    This paper is an empirical study, making appeal to firsthand evidence gathered by face-to-face interviews with the owner-managers of 150 small firms in Scotland. It investigates the performance of the micro firm in the early years of its life-cycle, by reference to four key behavioural characteristics: (i) strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats (SWOT) analysis; (ii) the gathering of trade intelligence on the firm's rivals; (iii) the use of information technology (IT) in the business; and (iv) financial form and the owner-manager's preferences as regards the form of their equity stake holding. Seven propositions, based on the evidence accumulated, are formulated and tested. These are illustrated by boxlots and cross-tabulations, and supported with chi-square statistics for testing measures of association. Taken together, the data provide an illuminating picture of the strategic behaviour of the young micro firm, and the subsequent effect that actions can have on firm performance. In particular, it is found that the use of IT in clusters of devices has a significant positive association with performance.

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    Bibliographic Info

    Paper provided by Centre for Research into Industry, Enterprise, Finance and the Firm in its series CRIEFF Discussion Papers with number 9711.

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    Date of creation: Oct 1997
    Date of revision:
    Handle: RePEc:san:crieff:9711

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    Postal: School of Economics and Finance, University of St. Andrews, Fife KY16 9AL
    Phone: 01334 462420
    Fax: 01334 462438
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    Related research

    Keywords: micro firms; performance measurement; SWOT analysis; information technology;

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    Cited by:
    1. Gavin C Reid, 1997. "The Development and Survival of New Small Businesses: Empirical Evidence for Scotland 1994-97," CRIEFF Discussion Papers 9712, Centre for Research into Industry, Enterprise, Finance and the Firm.


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