دانش، آموزش و رشد شرکت های کوچک: یک مرور نظام مند از شواهد
|کد مقاله||سال انتشار||تعداد صفحات مقاله انگلیسی||ترجمه فارسی|
|16960||2007||21 صفحه PDF||سفارش دهید|
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Publisher : Elsevier - Science Direct (الزویر - ساینس دایرکت)
Journal : Research Policy, Volume 36, Issue 2, March 2007, Pages 172–192
A systematic review of empirical research on knowledge and growth in small firms is reported. The findings cover how human and social capital, organizational systems, and knowledge networks combine to facilitate or restrict growth. Findings highlight the situated, complex and idiosyncratic nature of small firm growth and the tensions between this experience and a prevailing view of knowledge in the existing research as a codifiable and transferable asset. A need for supplementary small firm heuristics (to age, size and sector) and epistemologies (to knowledge as an asset) and research approaches are identified to better investigate this diversity.
It is widely recognised that small firms make a significant contribution to economies and so understandable that there is a persistent empirical research theme that addresses issues of small firm growth. Within this body of research, there is a preoccupation with the creation, capture and transfer of knowledge that may help to stimulate and support growth. This link is considered to be a legacy of Penrose's (1959) seminal text The Theory of the Growth of the Firm ( Pitelis, 2002), in which she proposes that growth is dependent on the application of entrepreneurial and managerial knowledge configured as resources. Entrepreneurial resources are essential for opportunity recognition and innovation, while managerial resources are necessary to provide systems and processes to enable opportunity exploitation. So for Penrose, expansion is intimately associated with the processes through which knowledge is acquired and applied. Thus, the possession of knowledge defines the shape and trajectory of a firm's growth ( Greiner, 1972 and Greiner, 1998, Churchill and Lewis (1983), Scott and Bruce (1987)), and a lack of managerial knowledge resources, or competences, may undermine a small firm's ability to grow ( Goffee and Scase, 1995). Given this avowed link between knowledge and small firm growth, we investigate the empirical evidence by which it is sustained. To do this in a thorough and pragmatic manner we adopt a systematic review method. Such a method provides transparent protocols by which researchers search for and assess the field of studies relevant to a specific research question. The intent is to generate collective insights through a meta-synthesis of findings thereby increasing methodological rigour and developing a reliable knowledge base from which to take policy lessons and orient future research (Tranfield et al., 2003). We begin with an overview of the review protocols used and the reasoning behind them. We then introduce the field of research investigating knowledge use and small firm growth by identifying the following themes that emerged during the review process: human capital; procedures; social capital; structures; institutional environment; the stimulus for learning and growth. Inevitably these themes are not discrete and we make clear the overlap and connections, whilst noting the lack of holistic studies. It is also evident that the majority of the research is significantly influenced by the legacy of Penrose. As such knowledge in these studies is treated as an asset that can be easily acquired, transferred, stored and re-used. It is noted that the small firm literature has been slow to respond to the alternate perspectives on organizational knowledge advocated, for example, by critical management studies and social constructionism. We conclude by identifying implications for future research and policy.
نتیجه گیری انگلیسی
Our study indicates that competing themes and directions in entrepreneurship research are emerging. With this in mind, it might be instructive to conduct a systematic review in order to trace the evolution of thought that these trends represent. Such a review would provide an important contribution to our understanding of opportunities for theoretical synthesis and development. We should also note that, given that the impetus behind using systematic reviews is the provision of sound evidence bases upon which future research can be directed, it is somewhat ironic that our findings suggest such a base to reveal a myriad of often asymmetric relationships between entrepreneurs, customers, advisors, technologies that cannot be confined by a single set of classifications or recommendations. There are, it seems, few typical cases. It would be instructive, then, to gain a better understanding of the tensions and situated nature of knowledge acquisition and learning activity in small firms. That human and social capital, structures and systems and networks influence learning and growth seems to be unequivocal, but these remain somewhat abstracted concepts if they are unaccompanied by analysis of the learning experiences through which sense is made of them. In this regard, those epistemological approaches that are sensitive to these relational qualities, such as activity theory and practice theory, might provide useful frameworks for research. These would need to be supported by methodologies that get close to practice, such as ethnography or processual research. Such an analysis may provide a more holistic understating of the nature of small firm growth and provide practitioners, educators, support agencies and policy makers with a more meaningful categorization of small firms. Current categorizations are relatively simplistic and draw on size, turnover and sector (Curran and Blackburn, 2001). Firm sector and size are important, and have been demonstrated in this review to influence the availability and application of knowledge, in the learning and growth process. However, it may be that these factors can be linked to a more sophisticated heuristic in order to target policy initiatives. In this regard, a contextually sensitive understanding of human and social capital, of knowledge systems and of networks that influence small firm growth may be useful. This could provide policy makers and practitioners with a more nuanced and creative approach to managing growth, one that addresses the idiosyncratic and situated nature of the ‘growing’ activities and which provides a challenge to best practice and/or blanket approaches to support small firm development.