Cost of the Cumulative Effects of Compliance with EU Law for SMEs
We are currently working with the Centre for Strategy and Evaluation Services on this European Commission-funded study. Our role in the study is to provide a review of the research literature and methodological approaches prior to the rollout of the fieldwork stage. The study will investigate the cumulative effects generated by compliance with EU legislation and its national implementation on SMEs in 5 sectors in 9 countries.
ADSET is a collaboration with Anne-Marie Coles and Athena Piterou of University of Greenwich on a study of innovation and projects relating to the installation of renewable energy technologies in the South-East of London. The team is identifying renewable energy projects and technologies; and the network, institutional and managerial factors affecting their conduct and performance.
Employment regulation, business behaviour and perceptions
Funded by BIS, this project has been undertaken in collaboration with TNS-BMBR, to combine two distinct qualitative studies. One investigates employer perceptions of the impact of employment regulation on employment practices, including the recruitment, management and removal of employees. The second examines employer experiences of managing maternity and paternity rights, and employee rights to request flexible working, and considers their likely responses to the proposed introduction of Flexible Parental Leave and the proposed changes to the Right to Request Flexible Working.
Creation and development of jobs in care and support services
Employment in the health and social services sector in the EU had a 4.2 million net increase between 2000 and 2009, which accounts for more than a quarter of the total net employment growth. This study examines job creaton, recruitment and retention of workers delivering community care services for adults with disabilities and/or chronic health problems, describing the current situation and highlighting which measures have proven successful in developing both the numbers and quality of the care workforce. The study, commissioned by the European Foundation for the Improvement of Living and Working Conditions (EUROFOUND), involves 10 EU Member States, including the UK.
The Russian Federation: A country review
This project involves Professor David Smallbone working as part of a team of four undertaking an OECD review of entrepreneurship and SME development in the Russian Federation . Although the aims and methodology are similar to the study of Mexico, the nature of the Russian context presents particular challenges for the researchers . Once again David's responsibility is for SME trends and performance and an assessment of where Russia has reached with respect to the framework conditions for entrepreneurship and SME development. OECD plan to publish the report in late 2013.
Restructuring in SMEs
This project has been commissioned by the European Foundation for the Improvement of Living and Working Conditions (EUROFOUND). The aim of the study is to develop our understanding of the drivers, methods and consequences of restructuring in SMEs. The study will involve partners from 23 states across Europe. The project is led by Professor David Smallbone with Dr John Kitching and Eva Kasperova.
The development of a measure of the innovative characteristics of young people
In 2007, NESTA commissioned Professor Chell and her team (Rosemary Athayde and Andrew Greenman) to carry out work to identify the innovative characteristics of young people and develop a measure of these characteristics. The conceptual basis of this work drew from the research for her book – Elizabeth Chell (2008) ‘The Entrepreneurial Personality – a social construction’, Routledge/The Psychology Press. The method has in part drawn on Rosemary’s doctoral work. For further detail of this work, please see the NESTA website.
The project team continued to test the Tool further, and to establish norms by age of student (ages 14-19 years). Professor Chell has now worked with a software company, Lightbox, to produce a web-based version of the Tool. This can be found at: My Future NESTA. Students completing the web-bases questionnaire can receive a report of their innovation characteristics profile by clicking on 'report' at the end of the survey instrument. The profile is accompanied by guidance notes for personal development purposes. We are currently licensing the Tool to suitable providers. The resource is free to use.
The Role of SMPs in Providing Business Support to SMEs: An Information Paper for the International Federation of Accountants
This Information Paper sponsored by IFAC (Blackburn and Jarvis) will provide an analysis of the literature and knowledge base on the practices of small and medium sized accountancy practices (SMPs) in the provision of business support services to their small and medium sized enterprise (SMEs) clients. This will involve an investigation of the SME-SMP relationship. Specifically, the paper will: examine the content and motivations of the SMP – SME relationship with specific focus on the provision of advice to SMEs, over and above statutory compliance services; identify gaps in the knowledge base on the SME-SMP relationship. The paper may result in recommendations for further research including suggesting ways in which SMPs may develop their relationship with SMEs with examples from best cases.
The Role of Competence, Trust and Professional Ethics in the Supply of External Financial Advice by Accountants to SMEs
This research is commissioned by the ACCA and is undertaken by Robert Blackburn with Peter Carey and George A. Tanewski from Monash University (Melbourne Australia). The aim of the research is to provide a detailed understanding of the nature of services provided by accountants and financial advisers to SMEs; examine the intervening role institutional and professional competence, trust and ethics play in the demand for business services from accountants by SME clients; where possible draw out implications for the accountancy profession on the basis of the results; and feed into a larger scale survey of SME-accountant relations focusing on non-compliance business services. The research involves a literature review and a limited number of face-to-face interviews with owner-managers of SMEs, financial advisers and accountants in England and Australia.
The idea behind Kingston’s Audio-visual Entrepreneurship Resources and Network (KAVERN) project – funded through a donation from YTL corporation - is to build up a bank of evidence of the activities of entrepreneurs and to help audiences learn about the challenges with which entrepreneurs, and would-be entrepreneurs, have to contend – and how these differ according to their background and the sector in which they operate. The first stage of the Kavern project documenting the secrets of entrepreneurs’ success involves interviews with entrepreneurs about their motivations, aspirations and achievements KAVERN will make these and other such interviews available to Kingston students, lecturers, researchers, and careers/enterprise support staff. They will also provide data for research on the aforementioned themes. The second stage of the project aims to develop face-to-face and electronic networks to enable entrepreneurs’ personal, professional and business development. Professor Audley Genus leads this project.
New Deal for Innovation
This project is funded by a grant from ERDF via the EU Interreg Iva France – England programme (awarded to Professor Genus and colleagues at University of Greenwich and others in an Anglo-French consortium comprising seven partners). The total budget is over 3 million Euros.
The project addresses what kinds of innovative activities SMEs are engaged in, what processes of innovation are involved, and what kinds of support tools and approaches are needed to enable innovation in SMEs. More specifically, the NDI project seeks to:
- Develop diagnostic tools to evaluate the needs and potential of SMEs, and a toolkit with which to support SME innovation.
- Help small businesses develop the “absorptive capacity” to benefit from collaboration while at the same time building on the benefits of existing small business expertise.
- Evaluate the potential of mentoring schemes and SME-university collaboration in achieving knowledge transfer to small businesses.
- Consider how businesses can build beneficial contacts with potential partners (other SMEs or larger firms, business support organisations and research/training institutes).
- Identify what roles that university and other organisations should have in the delivery of support for SME innovation; in particular, to distinguish between the roles of general business support organisations and sector specific agencies.