A Qualitative Perspective of Enterprise Success Factors for SMEs: A case study in the UK Chemical Distribution Industry

Evripidis Lampadarios


The UK chemical distribution industry is a significant and well-established, yet fragmented and subject to strong consolidation, part of the chemical industry and a major contributor to the UK economy and employment. However, it remains largely unexplored, with limited research in the factors contributing to SMEs success. This paper, which is part of a larger-scale study, addresses a well-established gap in the UK chemical distribution industry and provides a qualitative perspective of the enterprise (relating to the firm) factors critical to the success of small and medium-sized distributors. The original study follows a positivistic philosophy, is deductive in its approach, uses a concurrent embedded mixed methodology and utilises a survey strategy involving the use of self-administered questionnaires to collect both quantitative and qualitative data. No sampling techniques are utilised but instead a census is conducted as it has been possible to collect and analyse data from every possible group member. This research is based on the opinions of owners and very senior managers (Managing Directors, Directors, CEOs and CFO’s), an approach extensively used by other researchers. A total of 180 SMEs fulfilling the criteria of this study are identified with 118 owners/managers participating, generating a very satisfactory response rate of 65.5%. The paper informs key stakeholders and policy makers with a view to improve strategy formulation and decision-making process in supporting chemical distribution SMEs.

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DOI: https://doi.org/10.5296/csbm.v4i1.10359


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