Title: Unleashing growth potential in 'stunted' SMEs: insights from simulator experiments

Authors: Carmine Bianchi, Graham W. Winch

Addresses: Department of Management, Faculty of Political Sciences, University of Palermo, Palermo, Italy. ' University of Plymouth Business School, Plymouth, UK

Abstract: The literature recognises the phenomenon of |dwarf| or |stunted| small and micro firms (in Italian nanismo aziendale) and that they might represent potential lost opportunities for owners and the local economy. This paper describes the development of a simple |insight| model to simulate the behaviour of such firms. The model replicates the basic no-growth, cyclical behaviour attributed to them and shows how changes in targets and attitudes towards asset management can change that behaviour to one of stable growth. In this simple form, the model does link behaviours to system structure and could support individual entrepreneurs in understanding the reasons for dwarfism in their firm and the potential for unleashing their growth potential. It could further form the basis for a more detailed model that could support the identification and evaluation of strategic alternatives in individual firms.

Keywords: stunted growth; SMEs; dwarf businesses; nanismo aziendale; growth; strategy; simulation; entrepreneurship; asset management; small firms; underperformance.

DOI: 10.1504/IJESB.2006.008664

International Journal of Entrepreneurship and Small Business, 2006 Vol.3 No.1, pp.92 - 105

Published online: 13 Jan 2006 *

Full-text access for editors Full-text access for subscribers Purchase this article Comment on this article