Attitudes to growth and experience of growth among Scottish SMEs

Robbie Mochrie, Laura Galloway, Eleanor Donnelly

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

    21 Citations (Scopus)


    Purpose - The purpose of this paper is to identify factors associated with business success, measured through employment growth, in a sample of rural Scottish businesses. Design/methodology/approach - The use of telephone interviews was used to construct a dataset based on the outcome of 399 interviews. These covered the motivations for starting the business, and current ambitions for the business, as well as background information on the history of the business, personal characteristics of the owner and reasons for choosing a rural location for the business. Data are analysed using both descriptive and inferential statistical techniques. Findings - It was found that the most important determinants of employment growth were the development of national and international markets and recent acquisition of control of the business. A pattern of ownership in which many businesses passed from one owner to another was also found. We did not find that owners who had moved to the area were able to generate more rapid growth. Research limitations/implications - The pattern of acquisition of ownership was not expected, and warranted further investigation. Practical implications - There may also be value in further research into effective mechanisms for providing public support for businesses that have a change of ownership, similar to that provided at start-up. Originality/value - The paper provides further evidence of the importance of external orientation for rural businesses. It also confirms that recent acquisition is associated with rapid employment growth. © Emerald Group Publishing Limited.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)7-20
    Number of pages14
    JournalInternational Journal of Entrepreneurial Behaviour and Research
    Issue number1
    Publication statusPublished - 2006


    • Business growth
    • Entrepreneurialism
    • Rural areas
    • Scotland
    • Small firms
    • Small to medium-sized enterprises


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