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Journal cover: International Journal of Entrepreneurial Behaviour & Research

International Journal of Entrepreneurial Behaviour & Research

ISSN: 1355-2554

Online from: 1995

Subject Area: Enterprise and Innovation

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Organisational learning: research issues and application in SME sector firms


Document Information:
Title:Organisational learning: research issues and application in SME sector firms
Author(s):Ian Chaston, (The Centre for Global Organisational Learning and Development (GOLD) The Business School, University of Plymouth, Plymouth, UK), Beryl Badger, (The Centre for Global Organisational Learning and Development (GOLD) The Business School, University of Plymouth, Plymouth, UK), Eugene Sadler-Smith, (The Centre for Global Organisational Learning and Development (GOLD) The Business School, University of Plymouth, Plymouth, UK)
Citation:Ian Chaston, Beryl Badger, Eugene Sadler-Smith, (1999) "Organisational learning: research issues and application in SME sector firms", International Journal of Entrepreneurial Behaviour & Research, Vol. 5 Iss: 4, pp.191 - 203
Keywords:Organizational learning, Small to medium-sized enterprises
Article type:Research paper
DOI:10.1108/13552559910293146 (Permanent URL)
Publisher:MCB UP Ltd
Abstract:Over the last two decades the UK Government has massively expanded support for SME sector firms. Two important elements of this expansion have been the funding of intervention by commercial consultants and the provision of training schemes covering start-ups, owner-manager development and employee skills acquisition. Argues that a fresh approach is required which ensures embedding of the concept that firms should be more self-responsible and continually strive to find ways of enhancing their performance. This view then permits one to posit the idea that the introduction of organisational learning into the SME sector is a highly attractive proposition. However, the majority of espoused theory is based on application of the concept in large firms moreover, there is very limited empirical research that supports the fundamental assumption that organisational learning contributes towards enhancing performance. Research to determine whether identifiable relationships exist between the performance of the firm, the learning mode of the organisation and organisational competence does not provide clear statistically significant relationships and further work is clearly needed. A grounded theory approach was adopted for developing an organisational learning programme for small firms. Preliminary results indicate the approach offers significant advantages over the classic, external intervention driven support models currently in common use among TECs and business links.



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