December 2010 Web Version Introduction
SmaEnterpriseResearchReports2003-09WEB VERSION: INTRODUCTION
The Lloyds Bank/TSB sponsored serieso small business management reportscommenced in 1992, and concluded in2009. In total, 53 reports were publishedover a period o 17 years.Our target audience comprised the owner-managers o independent small businesses,typically employing a workorce o ewer than50, and based in mainland UK.The series originated rom a longitudinalstudy o small business management,undertaken by the Polytechnic o CentralLondon (now the University o Westminster),and culminating in:
The Management of Success in ‘Growth Corridor’ Small Firms
,(Stanworth, Purdy & Kirby, Small BusinessResearch Trust, 1992).
The themes were wide-ranging – includingsuch as Entrepreneurship, Work & Stress,Employment Strategies, and Small Firms &The Environment – and a ull listing is shownoverlea.
In addition to asking straight-orwardquestions and supplying the respondentswith a range o answers to each, thecorresponding questionnaire was included asan appendix to each report so that readerswould know exactly what questions had beenput to respondents.We also sought qualitative inormation – inthe orm o verbatim comments about thekey theme – to help elaborate on whateverrelated challenges respondents elt they wereacing at the time.It should be noted that the fndings areprimarily intended to be indicative ratherthan defnitive – partly due to the sample size– which is, on average, 111 or the reportspublished between 2003-09.
The reports were published conventionally,in hard copy orm, available via subscription– initially by the Small Business ResearchTrust, and since 2003, by the SmallEnterprise Research Team (SERTeam),a research charity based at the OpenUniversity.Regretably, SERTeam ceased operating in2009, and so the authors elt that the morerecent reports would fnd wider interesti they were made reely available via theInternet – especially with the UK economypresently set or a protracted journey out orecession, and with the government in turnreocusing on smaller businesses to aid therecovery.It is worth noting that the series commencedas the economy headed out o the early1990s recession.
SUPPORTINg INFORMATION (WWW)
In later years – as the Internet and the World-Wide-Web developed, and as an increasinglygreater number o sources o inormationbecame more readily available – we alsoincluded suggestions or online sources orelated inormation.N.B. Where successully validated, the weblinks (URLs) are now enabled, allowingreaders to click-on the suggested WWW link.But in the case o many
invaid web inks
, analternative has been enabled, although notwhere the organisation appears deunct andan obvious replacement has not been traced.
John Stanworth, Emeritus Professor,University of Westminster
David Purdy, Visitin Feow,Kinston University