Modelling entrepreneurial capital convertability dynamics in SMEs

Ambe, Emmanuel A. (2014) Modelling entrepreneurial capital convertability dynamics in SMEs. Doctoral thesis, Birmingham City University.


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Entrepreneurial capital has recently emerged as an important facet of entrepreneurship and new venture creation. Much of the evidence to validate such claims emerged from research that focussed upon large businesses and multinational corporations. Despite this newly acquired status and the rise of small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) to the top of the socio-economic and political agendas of policy makers in both industrially developed and developing nations, there exists a marked paucity of empirically rigorous research on entrepreneurial capital and convertibility dynamics in SMEs, with a focus on the practical measurement and management of owner-manager experience and knowledge. Fairchild (2002) notes that the practical management objectives of measuring owner-managers’ knowledge are to find out how well an SME can convert human capital like individual learning/team capabilities to structural capital like organizational knowledge or aspects like documented processes and knowledge bases and thereby moved from tacit to explicit knowledge, and reduced the risk of knowledge lost with the constant changes in such businesses. To bridge this knowledge gap, this research study investigates the dynamics of entrepreneurial capital convertibility in UK SMEs.

For the purpose of this thesis, an innovative mixed-method approach was developed, to include 17 face-to-face interviews capturing both quantitative and qualitative data with owner-managers and eight case studies of SMEs located in the West Midlands region of the United Kingdom. The quantitative data generated was analysed using SPSS. This was harmonized with qualitative data obtained from focussed case studies. Developing results presents a rich and in-depth insight into entrepreneurial capital convertibility in SMEs, specifically from the owner-manager’s perspective. The role and centrality of owner-managers in the process of entrepreneurial capital convertibility in SMEs was illustrated and confirmed.

The results suggest that a mixed approach provides an informative and powerful method to explore entrepreneurial capital convertibility dynamics in SMEs, reflecting owner-managers’ capital in terms of knowledge management development, strategic thinking, design thinking, leadership styles and entrepreneurial types. Thus, an owner-manager’s personality is mostly shaped by their environment (ba) and past and/or shared experiences which, in turn, influences the way SMEs are disposed to entrepreneurial capital convertibility.

An original model of entrepreneurial capital convertibility dynamics is outlined, that reflects perceptions of SME owner-managers’ mental ‘mind maps’. Suggestions are made to extend and validate the entrepreneurial capital convertibility model in future research in a national and international context. Through a process of testing and validating the model, knowledge audits may aid SMEs in adopting knowledge management practices leading to strategic thinking. A process of continuous reflection, experimentation and organising to withstand environmental turbulence is also recommended. Furthermore, if SME owner-managers adopt knowledge management practices and their implications in terms of flexibility and adaptation, they will be better positioned to interact, learn and co-produce with strategic stakeholders, re-design internal and external business processes and survive in a dynamic environment.

Item Type: Thesis (Doctoral)
Subjects: CAH17 - business and management > CAH17-01 - business and management > CAH17-01-02 - business studies
CAH17 - business and management > CAH17-01 - business and management > CAH17-01-04 - management studies
CAH17 - business and management > CAH17-01 - business and management > CAH17-01-07 - finance
Divisions: Faculty of Business, Law and Social Sciences > College of Law, Social and Criminal Justice
Doctoral Research College > Doctoral Theses Collection
Depositing User: Richard Birley
Date Deposited: 18 Jul 2017 09:00
Last Modified: 12 Jan 2022 14:13

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