How small business advisory program delivery methods (collective learning, tailored, and practice-based approaches) affect learning and innovation

Sukanlaya Sawang, Rachel Parker, Damian Hine

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Abstract

Past studies relate small business advisory program effectiveness to advisory characteristics such as advisory intensity and scope. We contribute to existing literature by seeking to identify the impact of different advisory program methods of delivery on learning and subsequent firm innovation behavior. Our research is based on a survey of 257 Australian firms completing small business advisory programs in the three years preceding the research. We explore the range of small business advisory program delivery methods in which our surveyed firms participated and, with reference to the literature on organizational learning and innovation, we analyze predictors of firms' learning ability and innovativeness based on the identified delivery methods. First, we found that business advisory programs that involved high levels of collective learning and tailored approaches enhanced firms' perceptions of their learning of critical skills or capabilities. We also found that small business advisory programs that were delivered by using practice-based approaches enhanced firms' subsequent organizational innovation. We verified this finding by testing whether firms that have participated in small business advisory services subsequently demonstrate improved behavior in terms of organizational innovativeness, when compared with matched firms that have not participated in an advisory program. Publisher Statement: This is the peer reviewed version of the following article: Sawang, S, Parker, R & Hine, D 2016, 'How small business advisory program delivery methods (collective learning, tailored, and practice-based approaches) affect learning and innovation' Journal of Small Business Management, vol 54, no. 1, pp. 244-261, which has been published in final form at https://dx.doi.org/10.1111/jsbm.12142. This article may be used for non-commercial purposes in accordance with Wiley Terms and Conditions for Self-Archiving.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)244-261
Number of pages18
JournalJournal of Small Business Management
Volume54
Issue number1
Early online date28 Oct 2014
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Jan 2016

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Bibliographical note

This is the peer reviewed version of the following article: Sawang, S, Parker, R & Hine, D 2016, 'How small business advisory program delivery methods (collective learning, tailored, and practice-based approaches) affect learning and innovation' Journal of Small Business Management, vol 54, no. 1, pp. 244-261, which has been published in final form at https://dx.doi.org/10.1111/jsbm.12142. This article may be used for non-commercial purposes in accordance with Wiley Terms and Conditions for Self-Archiving.

Keywords

  • Small Business
  • Innovation
  • Affect Learning
  • Collective Learning
  • Advisory Program Delivery Methods

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