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An investigation of resources and competencies in rural retailers
Linnaeus University, School of Business and Economics, Department of Marketing.
Linnaeus University, School of Business and Economics, Department of Marketing.
Linnaeus University, School of Business and Economics, Department of Marketing.
2013 (English)Independent thesis Basic level (degree of Bachelor), 10 credits / 15 HE creditsStudent thesis
Abstract [en]

The last decades has demonstrated a decline in rural trade and an extensive closure of rural stores. As rural stores not only provide rural inhabitants with important service functions and groceries but also constitutes as the basis for a vivid countryside, it is of importance to preserve and develop these.

According to the resource based view, the deployment of internal resources and capabilities can lead to competitive advantage and therefore it is of interest to investigate the resources and competencies possessed by rural retailers. Hence, the purpose of the report: From a resource based view, investigate internal resources and competencies for rural retailers, with focus on marketing and entrepreneurship.

Based on a review of existing literature, a conceptual model was conducted for this study. The conceptual model suggests that Marketing in SMEs, Services in SMEs, Human- and social capital in SMEs as well as Corporate entrepreneurship in SMEs are all influential for how rural retailers utilise their resources and competencies. For this thesis a multiple-case study was carried out in form of semi-structured interviews with four rural retailers located in the county of Kronoberg.

The findings of this research reveal that marketing techniques combined with entrepreneurial thinking had a greater effect on diffusion, than when marketing techniques were practised in isolation. Moreover, services in relation to social capital were also enhanced when combined, rather than standing alone. For instance, services with social functions received greater response among customers in rural communities. Furthermore, relationship built through commitment, trust and reciprocity may lead to in-shopping behaviour among customers. Thus, the concepts of Services in SMEs and Human-and social capital in SMEs appeared to have the greatest influence on the resources and competencies leading to uniqueness and improved customer relationships. Finally, social capital can also be seen as a key resource in corporate entrepreneurship. Corporate entrepreneurship driven by visionary leaders who communicate their visions to their employees appeared to develop more plans for the future.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2013. , 114 p.
Keyword [en]
resources, competencies, corporate entrepreneurship in SMEs, marketing in SMEs, services in SMEs, human capital in SMEs, social capital in SMEs.
National Category
Economics and Business
URN: urn:nbn:se:lnu:diva-26968OAI: diva2:631756
External cooperation
Länsstyrelsen i Kronobergs län
Subject / course
Business Administration - Marketing
Educational program
Marketing Programme, 180 credits
2013-05-28, 08:00 (English)
Available from: 2013-06-24 Created: 2013-06-23 Last updated: 2013-06-24Bibliographically approved

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