Toward critical intervention in small and medium-sized enterprises: a case study

Warren, Lorraine (2004) Toward critical intervention in small and medium-sized enterprises: a case study. Systems Practice and Action Research, 16, (3), 197-211. (doi:10.1023/A:1023859805741).


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The mainstream systems literature has so far paid little systematic attention to the small business arena, despite this being potentially a very significant sector for the systems community, given its importance in the UK economy. Small, growing enterprises experience particular managerial problems. This paper provides an example of the practical benefits of a systems approach in a small company experiencing growth. It examines the process of an intervention which took place over a 2-year period in a small manufacturing company as part of the UK government's Teaching Company Scheme. An attempt to extend critical systems thinking into the small company environment is discussed, identifying the challenges and opportunities presented by the setting to researchers. The paper draws on Habermas' theory of communicative action to explore the extent to which the intervention was inclusive and critically reflective. Strategies adopted to support inclusive practice are explored and general lessons are drawn out.

Item Type: Article
Digital Object Identifier (DOI): doi:10.1023/A:1023859805741
ISSNs: 1094-429X (print)
Related URLs:
Keywords: critical intervention, uk government's teaching company scheme, small and medium-sized enterprises, critical systems thinking
Subjects: H Social Sciences > HD Industries. Land use. Labor > HD28 Management. Industrial Management
Q Science > QA Mathematics > QA75 Electronic computers. Computer science
Divisions : University Structure - Pre August 2011 > School of Management
ePrint ID: 36973
Accepted Date and Publication Date:
29 November 2004Published
Date Deposited: 24 May 2006
Last Modified: 31 Mar 2016 12:06

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