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The Use and Impact of Business Advice by SMEs in Britain: An Empirical Assessment Using Logit and Ordered Logit Models

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  • Robert Bennett
  • Paul Robson

Abstract

This paper assesses the effect of differences in types of client on the use and impact of business advice by SMEs in Britain using new survey evidence from the Cambridge ESRC Centre for Business Research Survey of 1997. The survey, covering over 2500 respondents, is the largest and most definitive assessment available in Britain. Moreover, the survey allows an assessment of the full range of the providers of external advice, the private sector, business associations and various public sector bodies, as well as the fields of advice. Using multivariate logit models we find that size of firm, rate of growth and innovation appear to be the main variables influencing the likelihood of firms seeking external advice, both from different sources and from different fields. Other variables which are investigated include, age, profitability, skill levels, manufacturer/services, and exporter/non-exporter. Ordered logit models of the impact of the advice demonstrate that there are significant differences between clients' perceived impact of advice and the sources of advice they use, chiefly as a result of firm size, and to a lesser extent for growth, innovation and export levels.

Suggested Citation

  • Robert Bennett & Paul Robson, 1999. "The Use and Impact of Business Advice by SMEs in Britain: An Empirical Assessment Using Logit and Ordered Logit Models," Working Papers wp143, Centre for Business Research, University of Cambridge.
  • Handle: RePEc:cbr:cbrwps:wp143
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. J N Marshall & N Alderman & C Wong & A Thwaites, 1993. "The Impact of Government-Assisted Management Training and Development on Small and Medium-Sized Enterprises in Britain," Environment and Planning C, , vol. 11(3), pages 331-348, September.
    2. David A. Kirby & JONES-EVANS DYLAN, 1997. "Small Technology-based Professional Consultancy Services in the United Kingdom," The Service Industries Journal, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 17(1), pages 155-172, January.
    3. Bryson, John R & Keeble, David & Wood, Peter, 1997. "The Creation and Growth of Small Business Service Firms in Post-industrial Britain," Small Business Economics, Springer, vol. 9(4), pages 345-360, August.
    4. Robert Bennett & Paul Robson, 1999. "The Market for External Business Advice Services in Britain," Working Papers wp123, Centre for Business Research, University of Cambridge.
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    Citations

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    Cited by:

    1. Vivas-Augier, Carlos & Barge-Gil, Andrés, 2012. "Impact on firms of the use of knowledge providers: a systematic review of the literature," MPRA Paper 41042, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    2. Luminița Nicolescu & Mariana Nicolae & Irina Ion, 2014. "Factors influencing the consultancy services used in Romanian family businesses," Management & Marketing, Economic Publishing House, vol. 9(2), Summer.
    3. Barge-Gil, Andrés & Vivas-Augier, Carlos, 2019. "Does Cooperation with Universities and KIBS Matter? Firm-level Evidence from Spain," MPRA Paper 96949, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    4. Colin Wren, 2002. "Evaluating the effect of soft business support upon small firm performance," Oxford Economic Papers, Oxford University Press, vol. 54(2), pages 334-365, April.
    5. Kevin Mole & Robert Baldock & David North, 2013. "Who Takes Advice? Firm Size Threshold, Competence, Concerns and Informality in a Contingency Approach," Research Papers 0009, Enterprise Research Centre.
    6. Parker, Simon C., 2008. "The economics of formal business networks," Journal of Business Venturing, Elsevier, vol. 23(6), pages 627-640, November.
    7. Idris, Bochra & Saridakis, George, 2018. "Local formal interpersonal networks and SMEs internationalisation: Empirical evidence from the UK," International Business Review, Elsevier, vol. 27(3), pages 610-624.
    8. Maurizio Cisi & Francesco Devicienti & Alessandro Manello & Davide Vannoni, 2016. "The Impact of Formal Networking on the Performance of SMEs," Working papers 039, Department of Economics and Statistics (Dipartimento di Scienze Economico-Sociali e Matematico-Statistiche), University of Torino.
    9. 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.
    10. Venetoklis, Takis, 2001. "Business Subsidies and Bureaucratic Behaviour," Research Reports 79, VATT Institute for Economic Research.
    11. Robert Bennett & Paul Robson, 2000. "The Small Business Service: Business Support, Use, Fees And Satisfaction: Econometric Estimates," Working Papers wp181, Centre for Business Research, University of Cambridge.
    12. Venetoklis, Takis, 2001. "Business Subsidies and Bureaucratic Behaviour - A Revised Approach," Research Reports 83, VATT Institute for Economic Research.

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