The Economics and Management of Small Business: An International Perspective

The Economics and Management of Small Business: An International Perspective

The Economics and Management of Small Business: An International Perspective

The Economics and Management of Small Business: An International Perspective

Synopsis

This text provides an international perspective on this important topic, and includes many pedagogical features such as questions for discussion, international case studies and empirical research.

Excerpt

This book is about the economics of small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs); not only their micro-aspects but also their larger macroeconomic role, which has achieved little attention until quite recently. The word 'management' is included in the title because the author believes that it is impossible to understand small firms without appreciating the nature of the managerial imperatives, the constraints and motivations under which their business owners operate. It is not a guide to managing a small firm, nor is it about how entrepreneurship can be nurtured, though it should be of some value to those interested in these things. In particular, it should help more people to understand that the management of small firms is quite different in many respects from that of large firms.

Small business economics is, or should be, central to all business education and is an important element in undergraduate and postgraduate work in a wide range of social studies courses, from economics to sociology and even technology. The book provides an introduction to the economic literature and concepts in small business economics and policy, as far as possible in plain language.

The book is unusual in its field in that it is global in scope. This is because the author has learned that, although often different in degree, small business issues are of the same kind everywhere, from Texas to Tokyo to Timbuktu. It is not directly about the process of globalisation as such, but it does draw illustrations from many of the 40 countries in which the author has worked in his later career as an economic consultant. It is hoped that the findings in the book will be useful to policymakers concerned with small business in national governments and international institutions in both advanced and developing countries.

Small business is now a large field of study, and this book does not cover all aspects of it: for example, there is little about female or minority enterprise, co-operatives, networking, regional issues, supply chains, franchising and much else.

There are several themes running through the book, in addition to the distinctive nature of small business management and the global similarities in the key issues, which have already been mentioned. One is that despite . . .

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