Effects of Globalization on Small and Medium Scale Businesses in UK 'Methodology' chapter

Excerpt from 'Methodology' chapter :

globalization on entrepreneurship in UK small and medium scale businesses

Effects of Globalization on Small and Medium Scale Businesses in the UK

The research methodology employed in this study has been one of a qualitative nature. Qualitative research is objective and descriptive in nature and is appropriate for examining the effects of a phenomenon.

Qualitative research is noted in the work of Marshall and Rossman (2010) to be of the nature that is "enacted in naturalistic settings" and of the nature that "draws on multiple methods that respect the humanity of the participants in the study…focuses on context…is emergent and evolving…and is fundamentally interpretive" in nature. Qualitative researchers are stated to "rely on complex reasoning that moves dialectically between deduction and induction." (Marshall and Rossman, 2010) The researcher in qualitative research studies "uses an inductive mode, letting the data speak." (Ospina, 2004) The work of Neergaard and Ulhoi (2007) states that a qualitative study can be defined as a study "that focuses on understanding the naturalistic setting, or everyday life, of a certain phenomenon or person. They are studies that include the context in which the studied phenomenon is embedded." (p.383) Neergaard and Ulhoi relate that the primary difference that exists between various qualitative approaches "is the degree to which the researcher accepts subjectivity. Many researchers who have an objectivist approach to social science operate within the functionalist paradigm of inquiry, while those who accept subjectivity operate within the interpretive paradigm of inquiry as representative of the interpretive paradigm define qualitative research as follows: Qualitative research is multimethod in focus, involving an interpretive, naturalistic approach to its subject matter. This means that qualitative researchers study things in their natural settings, attempting to make sense of, or interpret phenomena in terms of the meaning people bring to them." (Neergaard and Ulhoi, 2007) Criteria for qualitative research as compared to traditional scientific research criteria is shown in the following table.

Traditional Scientific Research Lincoln and Guba's (1985) criteria for Qualitative Research

Internal validity -- A study is logically sound Credibility- referring to the issue that the and free from confounding variables. inquirer ensures that the respondents' views fit with the inquirer's reconstruction and representation.

External validity -- it is possible to Transferability -- referring to the issue that the generalize from the study to a the inquirer should provide the reader with larger population. sufficient case information so he/she could make generalizations, in terms of case-to-case transfer.

Reliability -- the results of an Dependability -- referring to the issue that the assessment are dependable and inquirer should ensure that the research process and consistently measured is logical, traceable and documented.

and indicate the consistency of scores over time, between scores, or across different tasks or items measuring the same thing.

Objectivity -- accurate representation Confirmability -- referring to the issue that data

Of reality. And the interpretations are not figments of the inquirer's imagination.

Source: Neergaard and Ulhoi (2007)

The work of Hjort et al. (2003) holds that the field of entrepreneurship "needs new perspectives, new methods, and a new terminology if we want to understand entrepreneurs and entrepreneurship." (Neergaard and Ulhoi, 2007) Davidson (2005) states in the work entitled "Researching Entrepreneurship" that it is important to establish what is meant by entrepreneurship and that a few examples of definitions and meanings applied to entrepreneurship are the following:

(1) New entry; (Lumpkin and Dess, 1996 in:5, 2008)

(2) Creation of a new enterprise (Low and MacMillan, 1988 in: Davidson, 2008)

(3) A purposeful activity to initiate, maintain and aggrandize a profit-oriented business (Cole, 1949 in: Davidson, 2005)

(4) The purposeful activity to initiate, maintain, and aggrandize a profit-oriented business (Cole, 1949 in: Davidson, 2005)

(5) Taking advantage of opportunity by novel combinations of resources in ways which have impact on the market (Wiklund, 1998 in: Davidson, 2005)

(6) The process by which individuals -- either on their own or inside organizations-pursue opportunities without regard to the resources they currently control. (Stevenson and Jarillo, 1990 in: Davidson, 2005)

(7) The process of creating something different with value by devoting the necessary time and effort, assuming the accompanying financial, psychological, and social risks and receiving the resulting rewards of monetary and personal satisfaction (Hisrisch and Peters, 1989 in:5, 2008)

The following roles were suggested by Kirzner (1983):

A specific kind of labor service;

Assuming the risk;



Coordinator, organizer or gap-filler

Providing leadership

Exercising genuine will;

Acting as a pure speculator;

Acting as employer;

Acting as superintendent or manager;

Acting as a source of information;

Being alert to opportunities as yet overlooked in the market. (Davidson, 2005)

Eight themes were identified by Gartner (1998) when individuals of the entrepreneurship concept were asked about it inherent meaning:

The entrepreneur;


Organization creation

Creating value

Profit or non-profit



The owner-manager (Davidson, 2005)

Questions that are stated to arise in the context of assigning a definition to entrepreneurship include questions relating to whether entrepreneurship is something that is applicable only to the commercial sector or whether entrepreneurship "…is an economic phenomenon." (Davidson, 2008) Also needing to be questioned is if entrepreneurship is actually restricted "to small or new or owner-managed firms or can it be executed by or within organizations of any age, size and governance structure…" (Davidson, 2005) Is taking of risk an absolute requirement to constitute entrepreneurship and does entrepreneurship necessarily involve "the discovery or creation of opportunities; the exploitation of opportunities or both?" (Davidson, 2005) Davidson states that entrepreneurship is "anything that concerns independently owned (and often small) firms and their owner-managers." Entreprenuership has as a major underlying theme is "that the development and renewal of any society, economy or organization requires micro-level actors who have the initiative and persistence to make change happen." (Davidson, 2005) Enterpreneurship is also "the introduction of new economic activity that leads to change in the marketplace." (Davidson, 2005)

2. Research Strategy

The research strategy in this present study is one that first reviews the literature in this area of study and then moves forward to collect data from manager/entrepreneurs of small and medium scale businesses in the UK.

3. Methods of collection of data

Data in this study has been collected through questionnaires administered by the researcher to manager/entrepreneurs of small and medium scale businesses in the UK.

3.1 Primary method of data collection

The primary method of data collection in this study is through use of the instrument of a questionnaire. The questionnaire in this study is an unstructured questionnaire and is comprised of questions that allow free responses. The information sought in this study is that relating to 'behavioral' questions or "factual information on what the respondent does… [and] the frequency with which certain actions are carried out." (Ospina, 2004, p.1) Behavioral questions are of the nature that record facts rather than merely opinions.

3.2 Questionnaire as the choice of primary data collection choice

Questionnaires are appropriate for use when resources and money are limited as the questionnaire is an inexpensive method of research. Questionnaires also ensure the confidentiality of participants in the research and this confidentiality tends to ensure that the individuals are candid when providing their answers. The questionnaire in this study is of the nature that asks questions that require an answer of either 'yes' or 'no'. It is necessary that the questions be clearly stated so as to avoid ambiguity and for the questions to phrased carefully to avoid any misunderstanding concerning the questions posed to the study participants. McNamara (1999) reports that interviews are specifically useful for making acquisition of the story behind the experiences of a participant and allow the researcher to "pursue in-depth information around the topic."

The work of Down (2010) entitled "Enterprise, Entrepreneurship nd Small Business" reports that most entrepreneurship scholars either use questionnaire surveys or readily available secondary data." Down states that the qualitative method of research on entrepreneurship is the "interpretive tradition" and that this method of research produces "insightful and contextualized knowledge about enterprise and tends to include a greater range of behavior." (2010) According to Howard Becker:

"Qualitative research -- we might better say research that is designed in the doing, that therefore, is not systematic in any impersonal way, that leaves room for, indeed insists on, individual judgment, that takes account of historical, situated detail, and context and all that -- research of that kind is faulted for being exactly all of those things and therefore not able to produce scientific, objective, reliable knowledge that will support prediction and control. Research which tries to be systematic and impersonal, arithmetic and precise, and thereby scientific, is faulted for leaving out too much that needs to be included, for failing to take account of crucial aspects of human behavior and social life, for being unable to advance our understanding, for promising much more in the way of prediction and control than it ever delivers. (1993:219 in: Down, 2010)

3.3 Sample size and choice of location

The sampling method in this study is purposive sampling and has involved choosing entrepreneurs…

Sources Used in Document:


McNamara, Carter, PhD. (1999) General Guidelines for Conducting Interviews. Minnesota, 1999 in: Valenzuela, D. And Shrivastava, P. (nd) Interview as a Method for Qualitative Research. Retrieved from: http://www.public.asu.edu/~kroel/www500/Interview%20Fri.pdf

Marshall, C. And Rossman, G.B. (2010) Designing Qualitative Research. SAGE 2010. Retrieved from: http://books.google.com/books?id=RbqXGjKHALoC&dq=qualitative+research&source=gbs_navlinks_s

Ospina, S. (2004) Qualitative Research. Encyclopedia of Leadership / Eds (Goethals, G. an, Sorenson, G. And MacGregor, J. 2004 SAGE Publications. Retrieved from: http://wagner.nyu.edu/leadership/publications/files/Qualitative_Research.pdfQualitative

Research Methods: A Data Collector's Field Guide. Qualitative Research Methods Overview. Retrieved from: http://www.fhi.org/nr/rdonlyres/etl7vogszehu5s4stpzb3tyqlpp7rojv4waq37elpbyei3tgmc4ty6dunbccfzxtaj2rvbaubzmz4f/overview1.pdf

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