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The small enterprise in the training market

By Daniel Bishop


This paper was published as Education and Training, 2008, 50 (8/9), pp. 661-673. It is available from Doi: 10.1108/00400910810917046Metadata only entryPurpose – The purpose of this paper is to present empirical evidence outlining the ways in which small businesses orientate themselves towards the training market. The primary aim is to illuminate the factors influencing small firms' (non-) participation in formal, externally-provided training. \ud \ud Design/methodology/approach – Data were collected via semi-structured interviews with senior managers, observation and documentary analysis in 25 small firms in South Wales. Follow-up interviews with employees were conducted in nine of these firms. \ud \ud Findings – The findings suggest that the small firm's behaviour in relation to the training market is embedded in a complex web of social relations and subjective orientations. \ud \ud Research limitations/implications – The research focuses upon one specific regional area. In addition, retail organisations were not represented in the sample. \ud \ud Practical implications – The findings have implications for policy and also for providers of training in terms of the way in which formal training is presented and marketed to small businesses. In particular, the importance of accessing “insider networks” is emphasised. \ud \ud Originality/value – In highlighting the importance of social and subjective factors in constructing the small firm's behaviour in the training market, the paper goes beyond the narrower, more conventional focus on financial costs and returns

Publisher: Emerald
Year: 2008
DOI identifier: 10.1108/00400910810917046
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