Reynolds, Paul Lewis (2012) Marketing for Small Business: The Development of a Practical and Conceptual Contribution towards a new Paradigm 1986 to 2011. Doctoral thesis, University of Huddersfield.

This thesis is about the role, nature and importance of marketing within small firms. The definition for small firms’ used here is organisations’ with up to 50 employees. This is the definition used by The Department for Business, Innovation and Skills (2012). There are over four million of such commercial organisations in the UK and they account for over half of the UK’s GDP and over half of the UK’s employment (The Department for Business Innovation and Skills November 2011 /12). Most firms’ in the UK are small and yet the marketing for small firms’ seems to be a neglected area in the standard text books and in the mainstream business school curriculum. Why is this and what can be done to make the subject of marketing more relevant and more appropriate to the smaller enterprise? This doctorial submission is based on published work. There are 24 individual pieces of work making up the submission. All of the works submitted are related to the subject of marketing for small business. Throughout the works’ submitted the author addresses a fundamental question which has occupied his mind for many years. This question is highly pertinent to the developing subject of marketing within small firms’ (Gilmore and Coviello, 1999). The question is ‘is conventional marketing theory and practice from the ‘classical school’ applicable to all types of organisations no matter what their size’? The fundamental question this work addresses is do smaller firms need a different sort of marketing, more suited to their particular needs (Nyman, Berck, and Worsdorfer, 2006; Reynolds and Day, 2011; Hills and Hultman, 2011; Shaw, 2002; Gilmore, 2011; McAuley, 2011; Hills and LaForge, 1992)? The author can find no real evidence of any need for a totally new paradigm although some areas of the standard business school ‘model’ of marketing management might need some important adaptation to make it more suitable for the majority of smaller firms’. The key approach would seem to be standardisation as far as possible then necessary adaptation. The collection of papers and related materials making up this thesis submission conclude that in many cases the central core hub of marketing that has become known as the ‘classicist philosophy of strategic marketing management’ is appropriate in many areas (Drucker, 1954). It can often be employed to the smaller enterprise with beneficial commercial effects (see Reynolds, 2007; Brennan, Baines, and Garneau, 2003). The author has attempted to demonstrate that a body of work has developed and evolved over time in a purposeful manner and with a common theme. The material submitted here, placed into three separate but related categories, has been structured to have an overall thematic shape. The ‘grand theme’ interwoven into this account is marketing for small business. The author does not claim to have investigated every vestige of the subject but does feel that over the years he has made a contribution to the knowledge in this area. Each of the three sub - themes used in this work are related and can be integrated into a ‘grand narrative’ or ‘story line’. This ‘grand narrative’ is encapsulated in the title of this thesis which is; ‘Marketing for small business: The development of a practical and conceptual contribution towards a new paradigm 1986 to 2011’.

Paul_L_Reynolds_-_Final_Thesis_April_2013.pdf - Accepted Version
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