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|Title: ||Strategic orientation and organizational performance of small firms in Malta: a grounded theory approach.|
|Authors: ||Rizzo, Alexander|
|Supervisors: ||Fulford, Heather|
Anderson, Alistair R.
|Keywords: ||Grounded theory|
|Issue Date: ||Apr-2011|
|Publisher: ||Robert Gordon University|
|Abstract: ||Although the contribution of the small enterprise to a nation’s economy, job creation and
innovation is well known, comparatively little is understood on how small firms behave
strategically and how the more common patterns of strategic behaviour relate to different
levels of organizational performance. The following thesis aims at mapping out the
strategic behaviour of small firms in the small island state of Malta, and in relating the
evident patterns of strategic behaviour to the performances of these firms.
The thesis follows on the logic of understanding strategy as a dynamic phenomenon, one
that can be viewed as pathways between identifiable life cycle states. It also views
strategy as behaviour, part deliberate and part emergent, thus allowing for the inclusion of
both external influences and internal decision making. To be able to achieve this dynamic
viewpoint of strategy a particular research methodology had to be deployed, observing
both the context and the consequences to a firm’s strategic actions, as well as the very
actions and interactions themselves. A Grounded Theory method of enquiry was adopted
for this purpose as it is ideal for observing patterns, the very theme of this thesis.
The research in question has focused on small firms with up to 49 full time employees, in
line with the E.U.’s definition of both micro and small firms, and in a broad range of
industries in Malta. Results confirmed the predominance of five trajectories, or pathways,
of small business strategic behaviour, each passing through a sequence of distinct life
cycle states. For each pathway a unique performance situation was observed, resulting
from the dynamic coalignment of the owner-manager’s entrepreneurial philosophy, the
competitive behaviour adopted by the firm, and the competitive environment to the firm.
Understanding which strategic pathway a small firm belongs to allows for a
comprehensive insight into the firm’s competitive behaviour, and a prediction of the
consequences to that behaviour. The audience to the research consists of government
entities involved in policy construction, small firm owners and managers, and the
academic community involved in research and policy design.|
|Appears in Collections:||Theses (Management)|
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