Small firm success and the art of orienteering: the value of plans, planning, and strategic awareness in the competitive small firm

Hannon, Paul D. and Atherton, Andrew (1998) Small firm success and the art of orienteering: the value of plans, planning, and strategic awareness in the competitive small firm. Journal of Small Business and Enterprise Development , 5 (2). pp. 102-119. ISSN 1462-6004

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Abstract

There is an ongoing debate within the academic literature about the value of the business plan in the development of the small firm. On closer inspection of the research, there appear to be clear benefits in the use of business planning as a process within the smaller business. This is in contrast to the production of a business plan as an output focused predominantly on convincing and acquiring resources from other organisations and individuals.

As a process, business planning can be both formal and informal. It is also focused on understanding and responding to the context within which the business operates. Strategic awareness capability, as both bundle of activities and a core competence, helps to make sense of this context, and serves as a means of managing interactions between the firm and its environment. It also allows for a more sensitive reading of the limitations and strengths of the planning process in markets that are, for the small business, generally unpredictable and complex.

When combined, strategic awareness capability and planning effectiveness can be used to develop a typology of business types that provides insight into the process by which business development can be supported. In addition, strategic awareness capability can be considered a core competence of the small business and conceptualised in terms of different levels of experience, and expertise. As a result, small firms with varying levels of experience face different challenges and needs when using and developing strategic awareness and capability.

Item Type:Article
Additional Information:There is an ongoing debate within the academic literature about the value of the business plan in the development of the small firm. On closer inspection of the research, there appear to be clear benefits in the use of business planning as a process within the smaller business. This is in contrast to the production of a business plan as an output focused predominantly on convincing and acquiring resources from other organisations and individuals. As a process, business planning can be both formal and informal. It is also focused on understanding and responding to the context within which the business operates. Strategic awareness capability, as both bundle of activities and a core competence, helps to make sense of this context, and serves as a means of managing interactions between the firm and its environment. It also allows for a more sensitive reading of the limitations and strengths of the planning process in markets that are, for the small business, generally unpredictable and complex. When combined, strategic awareness capability and planning effectiveness can be used to develop a typology of business types that provides insight into the process by which business development can be supported. In addition, strategic awareness capability can be considered a core competence of the small business and conceptualised in terms of different levels of experience, and expertise. As a result, small firms with varying levels of experience face different challenges and needs when using and developing strategic awareness and capability.
Keywords:business plan, small firms, strategic evaluation, corporate planning
Subjects:N Business and Administrative studies > N100 Business studies
Divisions:College of Social Science > Lincoln Business School
ID Code:4150
Deposited By: Rosaline Smith
Deposited On:11 Mar 2011 11:25
Last Modified:26 Feb 2013 22:02

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