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The Role of the Consultant in Enterprise Development

The Role of the Consultant in Enterprise Development
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Author(s): Ian K. Bathgate (University of East London, UK)
Copyright: 2013
Pages: 26
Source title: Enterprise Development in SMEs and Entrepreneurial Firms: Dynamic Processes
Source Author(s)/Editor(s): Nelson Oly Ndubisi (Griffith University, Australia) and Sonny Nwankwo (University of East London, UK)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-4666-2952-3.ch005


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Business failure crisis is not a new phenomenon. The competitive dynamism to which businesses are susceptible exposes free economic agents to the vagaries of the marketplace, encompassing problems of growth, sustainability, and paradoxically, failure. However, the problems are more exacerbated in small-to-medium sized enterprises (SMEs) than large businesses, which is why they have continued to experience disproportionately high failure rates. Set against this background, this chapter focuses on the role of early consultancy intervention in securing sustainable development of SMEs. It does this by analysing SME growth strategies with respect to the interface with consultants. Using the ‘embedded case study’ approach and leaning significantly on the author’s consultancy undertakings with SMEs in the UK, the chapter provides refreshing perspectives on the nature of consultancy, strategic options open to SMEs, entrepreneurial competences and characteristics, the need for consultants, and an assessment of role effectiveness in the SME sector.

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