Success and Performance: A UK SMES Perspective


The SME sector is very diverse it covers a range of types of businesses and they cover a wide range of industrial sectors. It is hard to characterise them and some of the simplistic terms do not reflect the nature of SMEs. Terms such as ‘life-style’ businesses or ‘innovatory’ business only vaguely encompass the nature of some of the businesses. In entrepreneurship research a lot of effort has been expended on trying to determine ‘successful’ SMEs or even successful entrepreneurs. In some research these ideas are philosophically questionable. A business may be regarded as successful due to happenstance rather than skill or resource base. Often it might be that they are successful because they have had the right opportunity or avoided some particular challenges. Also the definition of success might be problematic. Terms such as not defaulting or not being insolvent, express success as the lack of failure. Obviously researchers can express success in different ways, in terms of growth in number of employees, turnover, and profitability etc. Yet many businesses may not see these as their success measures. They may be more interested in sustainability of enhancement of conditions or some alternative metric. The current research aims to take a deeper investigation of the concept of ‘success’ within SMEs. The aim is to move away from the tradition metrics which attempt to measure the success from outside the company to exploring the objectives SME have defined for themselves.

Author Information
Boran Li, Edinburgh University, UK
Jake Ansell, Edinburgh University, UK
Tina Harrison, Edinburgh University, UK

Paper Information
Conference: EBMC2015
Stream: Business Administration and Business Economics

This paper is part of the EBMC2015 Conference Proceedings (View)
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Posted by James Alexander Gordon