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Adapting to peripherality: a study of small rural manufacturing firms in northern England

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  • DAVID SMALLBONE
  • DAVID NORTH
  • CHRISTOS KALANTARIDIS

Abstract

Using empirical data drawn from two studies of manufacturing SMEs in ‘remote’ rural areas in northern England, the paper examines some of the ways in which firms have adapted to the characteristics of their local external environment over a 16-year period. The evidence presented suggests that in both the 1980s and 1990s successful adaptation to local conditions in peripheral rural regions included: proactive product and market development to overcome the limited size and scope of local markets; a labour-intensive development path to exploit the potential advantages of remote rural labour markets; and a relatively low level of subcontracting-out of production activities. The study also shows that whilst the recession of the early 1990s had an impact on the annual profitability and sales growth performance of rural manufacturing SMEs, its impact on their survivability was less than might be expected.

Suggested Citation

  • David Smallbone & David North & Christos Kalantaridis, 1999. "Adapting to peripherality: a study of small rural manufacturing firms in northern England," Entrepreneurship & Regional Development, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 11(2), pages 109-127, April.
  • Handle: RePEc:taf:entreg:v:11:y:1999:i:2:p:109-127
    DOI: 10.1080/089856299283227
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    1. repec:eee:touman:v:33:y:2012:i:3:p:683-691 is not listed on IDEAS
    2. N. Meccheri & G. Pelloni, 2004. "On the Role of Human Capital and Instruments of Assistance for Rural Entrepreneurship and Development: Evidence from A Case Study Mountainous Italy," Working Papers 504, Dipartimento Scienze Economiche, Universita' di Bologna.
    3. Nicola Meccheri & Gianluigi Pelloni, 2003. "On the role of human capital and instruments of assistance for rural entrepeneurship and development: evidence from a case study in mountainous Italy," Quaderni di Dipartimento 0, Department of Statistics, University of Bologna.
    4. Andrew Copus & Dimitris Skuras & Kyriaki Tsegenidi, 2006. "Innovation and Peripherality: A Comparative Study in Six EU Member Countries," ERSA conference papers ersa06p295, European Regional Science Association.
    5. Adcock, Christopher & Hua, Xiuping & Mazouz, Khelifa & Yin, Shuxing, 2014. "Does the stock market reward innovation? European stock index reaction to negative news during the global financial crisis," Journal of International Money and Finance, Elsevier, vol. 49(PB), pages 470-491.

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