Differential gains from Business Link support and advice: a treatment effects approach

Kevin F. Mole, Mark Hart, Stephen Roper, David S. Saal

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

The provision of advisory support to small firms is almost ubiquitous in OECD countries, although it is organised in different ways and is justified on slightly different grounds. In England publicly supported advisory services are provided through the Business Link (BL) network. Here, we consider two questions: what sort of companies receive advisory support from BL; and, what types of firms benefit most from that support? Our analysis is based on a telephone survey of 2000 firms, around half of which had received intensive assistance from BL between April and October 2003. Probit analysis suggests that the probability of receiving assistance was greater among younger businesses, those with larger numbers of directors in the firm, and those with more gender diversity among the firm's leadership team. Our business-growth models suggest that BL intensive assistance was having a positive effect on employment growth in 2003. BL had a positive but insignificant impact on sales growth over the period. Employment growth effects tend to be larger where firms have a management and organisational structure, which is more conducive to absorbing and making use of external advice. The analysis suggests that BL might increase its impact through targeting these larger, more export-orientated, businesses. Employment growth effects differ little, however, depending on either the ethnic or the gender diversity of the leadership team.
LanguageEnglish
Pages315-334
Number of pages20
JournalEnvironment and Planning C
Volume26
Issue number2
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 27 Jan 2008

Fingerprint

firm
employment trend
assistance
leadership
effect on employment
gender
organizational structure
OECD
sales
telephone
advice
effect
director
targeting
management
analysis

Keywords

  • advisory support
  • small firms
  • OECD countries
  • England
  • Business Link

Cite this

Mole, Kevin F. ; Hart, Mark ; Roper, Stephen ; Saal, David S. / Differential gains from Business Link support and advice : a treatment effects approach. In: Environment and Planning C. 2008 ; Vol. 26, No. 2. pp. 315-334.
@article{8339caa16e34443887b0a630bf799dd6,
title = "Differential gains from Business Link support and advice: a treatment effects approach",
abstract = "The provision of advisory support to small firms is almost ubiquitous in OECD countries, although it is organised in different ways and is justified on slightly different grounds. In England publicly supported advisory services are provided through the Business Link (BL) network. Here, we consider two questions: what sort of companies receive advisory support from BL; and, what types of firms benefit most from that support? Our analysis is based on a telephone survey of 2000 firms, around half of which had received intensive assistance from BL between April and October 2003. Probit analysis suggests that the probability of receiving assistance was greater among younger businesses, those with larger numbers of directors in the firm, and those with more gender diversity among the firm's leadership team. Our business-growth models suggest that BL intensive assistance was having a positive effect on employment growth in 2003. BL had a positive but insignificant impact on sales growth over the period. Employment growth effects tend to be larger where firms have a management and organisational structure, which is more conducive to absorbing and making use of external advice. The analysis suggests that BL might increase its impact through targeting these larger, more export-orientated, businesses. Employment growth effects differ little, however, depending on either the ethnic or the gender diversity of the leadership team.",
keywords = "advisory support, small firms, OECD countries, England, Business Link",
author = "Mole, {Kevin F.} and Mark Hart and Stephen Roper and Saal, {David S.}",
year = "2008",
month = "1",
day = "27",
doi = "10.1068/c0711",
language = "English",
volume = "26",
pages = "315--334",
journal = "Environment and Planning C",
issn = "0263-774X",
publisher = "Pion Ltd.",
number = "2",

}

Differential gains from Business Link support and advice : a treatment effects approach. / Mole, Kevin F.; Hart, Mark; Roper, Stephen; Saal, David S.

In: Environment and Planning C, Vol. 26, No. 2, 27.01.2008, p. 315-334.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

TY - JOUR

T1 - Differential gains from Business Link support and advice

T2 - Environment and Planning C

AU - Mole, Kevin F.

AU - Hart, Mark

AU - Roper, Stephen

AU - Saal, David S.

PY - 2008/1/27

Y1 - 2008/1/27

N2 - The provision of advisory support to small firms is almost ubiquitous in OECD countries, although it is organised in different ways and is justified on slightly different grounds. In England publicly supported advisory services are provided through the Business Link (BL) network. Here, we consider two questions: what sort of companies receive advisory support from BL; and, what types of firms benefit most from that support? Our analysis is based on a telephone survey of 2000 firms, around half of which had received intensive assistance from BL between April and October 2003. Probit analysis suggests that the probability of receiving assistance was greater among younger businesses, those with larger numbers of directors in the firm, and those with more gender diversity among the firm's leadership team. Our business-growth models suggest that BL intensive assistance was having a positive effect on employment growth in 2003. BL had a positive but insignificant impact on sales growth over the period. Employment growth effects tend to be larger where firms have a management and organisational structure, which is more conducive to absorbing and making use of external advice. The analysis suggests that BL might increase its impact through targeting these larger, more export-orientated, businesses. Employment growth effects differ little, however, depending on either the ethnic or the gender diversity of the leadership team.

AB - The provision of advisory support to small firms is almost ubiquitous in OECD countries, although it is organised in different ways and is justified on slightly different grounds. In England publicly supported advisory services are provided through the Business Link (BL) network. Here, we consider two questions: what sort of companies receive advisory support from BL; and, what types of firms benefit most from that support? Our analysis is based on a telephone survey of 2000 firms, around half of which had received intensive assistance from BL between April and October 2003. Probit analysis suggests that the probability of receiving assistance was greater among younger businesses, those with larger numbers of directors in the firm, and those with more gender diversity among the firm's leadership team. Our business-growth models suggest that BL intensive assistance was having a positive effect on employment growth in 2003. BL had a positive but insignificant impact on sales growth over the period. Employment growth effects tend to be larger where firms have a management and organisational structure, which is more conducive to absorbing and making use of external advice. The analysis suggests that BL might increase its impact through targeting these larger, more export-orientated, businesses. Employment growth effects differ little, however, depending on either the ethnic or the gender diversity of the leadership team.

KW - advisory support

KW - small firms

KW - OECD countries

KW - England

KW - Business Link

UR - http://www.scopus.com/inward/record.url?scp=42949156818&partnerID=8YFLogxK

UR - http://www.envplan.com/abstract.cgi?id=c0711

U2 - 10.1068/c0711

DO - 10.1068/c0711

M3 - Article

VL - 26

SP - 315

EP - 334

JO - Environment and Planning C

JF - Environment and Planning C

SN - 0263-774X

IS - 2

ER -