Navigating the Turnaround Process
: A longitudinal action research case study examining the phases of the turnaround process of a UK SME and the characteristics of its key stakeholders

  • Mark Taylor

Student thesis: Doctoral ThesisDoctor of Business Administration


SMEs are a cornerstone in every economy, they are inherently exposed to more financial volatility than larger companies. Increasingly, SMEs are dealing with a globally connected economy, management deficiency, poor strategy execution, increased competition and failing business models.

A turnaround intervention may be the right response to a financial crisis threatening the continued existence of an SME, involving reassessment and resetting of the SME resources to meet its future market requirements. Research in this area has increased with the utilisation of diverse methodological approaches and research contexts to explore company turnarounds. Despite numerous studies to identify the phases experienced by companies during turnarounds, the findings have been inconclusive (Kumalo and Scheepers, 2021). However, the literature highlighted the growing importance of inclusive stakeholder management and recognition of emerging areas, all potentially strengthening the bargaining power of external stakeholders in the turnaround process (Decker, 2018). Turnaround literature has recognised the role and management of its key stakeholders in the turnaround process as a critical strategy at the corporate, commercial and functional levels. This study undertakes a review of the extant literature on the conceptual, theoretical and empirical work that brings about a number of issues for use in presenting a case for the new theoretical model that is suitable for extension of the current understanding of deployment of turnaround process and the ultimate journey results. The paper suggests an integrated theoretical framework for use in linking turnaround process, corporate performance while recognizing the significance of the role and influence of its key stakeholder’s organisational turnaround based learned experiences and stakeholder characteristics. The purpose of the study was to look at the nature of turnaround process construct and the influence of its key stakeholders, whilst navigating the dynamic process of an actual turnaround intervention and distil the features of the phenomenon in a UK SME.
Date of AwardSept 2023
Original languageEnglish
SupervisorGeoff Parkes (Supervisor), David Sarpong (Supervisor) & Efstathios Tapinos (Supervisor)


  • Organisational turnaround
  • Action research
  • Stakeholder Theory
  • Turnaround Leadership
  • Thematic analysis
  • SME
  • Longitudinal case study

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