• Micro enterprises, self-efficacy and knowledge acquisition: evidence from Greece and Spain.

      Alonzo, Abel Duarte; Kok, Seng; Sakellarios, Nikolaos; O'Brien, Seamus; Liverpool John Moores University; University of Derby (Emerald, 2018-06-29)
      Purpose The purpose of this exploratory study is to investigate the significance of self-efficacy and knowledge acquisition among micro businesses operating in challenging economic environments. The study uses social cognitive theory (SCT) and the knowledge-based theory of the firm (KBTF), and it proposes a refinement of these theoretical frameworks in the context of the study. Design/methodology/approach A case method was chosen, and face-to-face interviews with 14 owners of firms in island and rural regions of Greece and Spain were conducted. Findings Content analysis identified the importance of self-efficacy, primarily illustrated by entrepreneurs’ determination and self-motivation, propensity to take risks and ability to anticipate consequences of their actions. Acquisition and accumulation of explicit knowledge, particularly through generational or mentoring processes, and subsequent wealth of tacit knowledge, also emerged as very significant in preparing and guiding entrepreneurs. Various links between the adopted theories and findings emerged, particularly regarding forethought, vicarious learning (SCT) and specialisation in knowledge acquisition (KBTF). Originality/value The proposed theoretical refinement based on the SCT and KBTF paradigms allows for a more rigorous, in-depth reflection on the links between cognitive elements present in the participating micro entrepreneurs and knowledge-based attributes on their ability to increase organisational resilience. The study also contributes toward the micro business literature and addresses a knowledge gap, particularly, in that contemporary research has not explored entrepreneurial motivations among small firm entrepreneurs. Finally, the practical implications emerging from the findings provide a platform for various stakeholders (associations, government agencies) to appreciate and support entrepreneurs’ needs, notably, of acquiring, increasing and sharing knowledge.
    • Strengths, innovation, and opportunities in a burgeoning industry: An exploratory study.

      Alonso, Abel Duarte; Sakellarios, Nikolaos; Alexander, Nevil; O'Brien, Seamus; Liverpool John Moores University; Edith Cowan University; University of Derby; Liverpool John Moores University Liverpool United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland; University of Derby Derby United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland; Edith Cowan University Faculty of Business and Law Joondalup Australia; et al. (Emerald, 2018-02-21)
      Purpose The purpose of this study is to examine key areas related to the craft brewing industry from the perspective of operators of micro and small craft breweries, and propose a framework based on the resourced-based theory of the firm and the theory of innovation. The areas investigated include participants’ perceived strengths of their craft brewery, involvement in innovative practices, opportunities for the craft brewing firm, and potential differences related to these areas based on demographic characteristics of participants and their breweries. Design/methodology/approach Given its growing significance and economic contribution, the United States’ craft brewery industry was chosen for this study. An online questionnaire was designed to gather data from craft brewery operators across the nation. Findings Product and service quality, knowledge, reputation and expertise were revealed as key strengths, while creating new recipes and using social media tools were the most considered ways of innovating. Furthermore, opportunities were perceived through craft beer tourism, increased consumption, and quality improvements. Statistically significant differences emerged, particularly based on production levels, staff numbers, and involvement/no involvement in exports. Various associations between the findings and the adopted theoretical frameworks were revealed. Originality/value In terms of originality, the proposed refinement based on the adopted theoretical frameworks and findings facilitates understanding of the significance of resources and innovation, particularly for firms operating in a growing industry. Regarding value, the findings have important implications for the industry, for instance, in the marketing of craft brewing, as well as in the development of new craft brewing products.