A survey of some small firms in the rural areas of England: their structure and functions, with special reference to factors that affect their development

  • Mohamad T. Jali

Student thesis: Doctoral ThesisDoctor of Philosophy


This study was concerned with the structure, functions and development, especially the performance, of some rural small firms associated with the Council for Small Industries in Rural Areas (C?SIRA) of England. Forty firms were used as the main basis of analysis. For some aspects of the investigation, however, data from another 54 firms, obtained indirectly through nine CoSIRA Organisers, were also used.
For performance-analysis, the 40 firms were firstly ranked according to their growth and profitability rates which were calculated from their financial data. Then each of the variables hypothesised to be related to performance was tested to ascertain its relationship with performance, using the Spearman's Rank Correlation technique.
The analysis indicated that each of the four factors .. the principal, the firm itself, its management, and the environment - had a bearing upon the performance of the firm. Within the first factor, the owner-manager's background and
attitudes were found to be most important; in the second, the firm's size, age and scope of activities were also found to be correlated with performance; with respect to the third, it was revealed that firms which practised some forms of systems in planning, control and costing performed better than those which did not and, finally with respect to the fourth factor, it was found that some of the services provided by CoSIRA, especially credit finance, were facilitative
to the firm's performance.
Another significant facet of the firms highlighted by the study was their multifarious roles. These, meeting economic, psychological, sociological and political needs, were considered to be most useful to man and his society.
Finally, the study has added light to the structural characteristics of the sampled firms, including various aspects of their development, orientation and organisation, as well as their various structural strengths and weakness.
' .
Date of AwardSept 1973
Original languageEnglish
SupervisorAlbert E.B. Perrigo (Supervisor)


  • small firms
  • rural areas of England
  • structure
  • functions
  • special reference
  • factors
  • development

Cite this