A strategizing-as-practice perspective of the 'advice process' of small business owners.
Ejiogu, Amanze Rajesh
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EJIOGU, A.R. 2016. A strategizing-as-practice perspective of the 'advice process' of small business owners. Robert Gordon University, PhD thesis.
This study examines the processes of advice seeking by small business owners and employs a Strategy-as-Practice perspective. The analysis of the data from 33 small business owners identified eleven factors that influenced the processes. These included: cost; proximity; technical skills and knowledge; business ties; similarity of goals; business savvy; appropriateness of advice; knowledge of the other; knowledge of the business and its context; personal relationships and trust. The extent of influence of the factors was shaped by the category of the advice provider as indicated by the type of relationship and the type and extent of trust in that relationship. This study makes two major contributions to knowledge. First, it highlights the fact that advice seeking is a practice within the broader practice of strategizing and shows the different roles advice plays in small business owner strategizing. Second, it develops a descriptive framework of the advice seeking practice of small business owners which shows that the small business owner’s practice of advice seeking is a set of open-ended activities which are cognitively ordered and spatially-temporally dispersed. High levels of trust and personal relationships are shown to create an advisory space in which the business owner is willing to be open and vulnerable to the advisor and so enables the advisor to gain knowledge of the business owner and his business which help shape the advice given.