Title: Understanding business success through the lens of SME founder-owners in Australia and Malaysia

Authors: Noor Hazlina Ahmad, Pi-Shen Seet

Addresses: Universiti Sains Malaysia, 11800 Minden, Penang, Malaysia. ' Business School, University of Adelaide, South Australia 5005, Australia

Abstract: Given the lack of consensus on how to measure success, this paper explores the meaning of business success as perceived by SME business owners in Australia and Malaysia. A qualitative methodology was adopted whereby semi structured interviews were conducted with ten entrepreneurs from each country. A content analysis of the interview data identified 20 criteria for defining success, broadly categorised into: 1) financial; 2) lifestyle; 3) social responsibility; 4) customer satisfaction criteria clusters. Interestingly, the answers provided by Australian entrepreneurs were largely similar to the Malaysians. However, slight differences relating to aspects of financial, lifestyle and social responsibility were identified. Overall, this study finds evidence for the utilisation of multidimensional measures of business success in Australia and Malaysia.

Keywords: business success; SME founder-owners; Australia; Malaysia; entrepreneurship; SMEs; small and medium-sized enterprises; financial success; lifestyle; social responsibility; customer satisfaction; success measures.

DOI: 10.1504/IJEV.2009.023821

International Journal of Entrepreneurial Venturing, 2009 Vol.1 No.1, pp.72 - 87

Published online: 13 Mar 2009 *

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