Independent thesis Advanced level (degree of Master (One Year)), 10 credits / 15 HE credits
This is an attempt to approach growth dynamics within small business by the identification and systemization of business developmental implications. We here try to conceptualize the term and concept business development by means of its constituents and its contextualized impact with regards to SME prospering. We prefer to see the study as descriptive as well as analytical. The concept of business development at a growth perspective is here approached by the barriers to growth small businesses faces and experiences. This is done by contextualizing the fundaments whereupon the growth process is based where we aim to systemize the determinants that constitutes small firms business developmental priorities. We prefer to problematize the subject and topic via the often occurring mistaken stereotyping that signifies small- contra larger firm activity, where the categorization regarding growth matters in many cases becomes skewed. Here minding that especially within the manufacturing industries (B2B), the companies are often large. As for the small manufacturing companies within B2B, we find their problems connected to growth and development not so strongly represented in the research.
The purpose is accordingly to explore, and seek understanding for, barriers to growth in B2B SMEs at a business developmental perspective.
With regards to methodology, the study is hermeneutic. We in this research ascribe ourselves to the qualitative standpoint and consider the thesis exploratory by means of, besides the theoretical approaches, the application of two case-studies followed by three "expert-interviews" (a total of five respondents). The interviews can be considered as semi-structured.
When approaching the business developmental process for the B2B SME, we can state a general lacking supply-chain agenda where supply-chain management must be closely tied to organizational adjustment. The efficiency criteria must be fulfilled by adapting a product and a market mode. We here emphasize the relevance of a more proactive strategic standpoint on behalf of the often present reactive view. We further, in different ways stress the necessity of a thorough financial statement as the SME suffers from information asymmetry. Such financial and administrative implications must grow with the firm. Market needs must contextually be allowed to lead the development where synergy effects ought to be realized. We refer to this as a remained outside-in-perspective and state that flexibility regarding production governance must be sought for. At the efficiency criteria, it turns out that it is recommended for the SME, in particular B2B, to focus upon its core idea and activity and outsource the rest. Transformation of market knowledge hereby appears towards the organization. Closeness to the customer here evolved as a key issue.