The Rise and Decline of Small Firms (Routledge Revivals): 1st Edition (Hardback) book cover

The Rise and Decline of Small Firms (Routledge Revivals)

1st Edition

By Jonathan Boswell


268 pages

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First published in 1973, this title examines the development patterns of small businesses. It considers why people found firms; the factors that contribute to entrepreneurial success; problems of management succession and inheritance; the strengths and weaknesses of family firms; the reasons why small firms are taken over; and the social, economic and managerial context of their growth, decline, and revival. Based on a survey of sixty-four firms, each employing fewer than five hundred people, in engineering, hosiery, and knitwear, and on the records of 370 similar organisations, a striking gap in performance and management attitudes emerges as between dynamic, mostly founder-run firms and stagnant, mostly inherited ones.

Where many books are either minutely specialised or highly abstract and over-generalised, Jonathan Boswell’s work is practical and diagnostic, probing the inner recesses of the small firm sector. With particular relevance to the difficulties faced by entrepreneurs in today’s economic environment, this title advances selective measures to deal with old firms and inheritance, and a wide range of policies to encourage new entrepreneurship.

Table of Contents

Preface; 1. Why Bother About Small Firms? 2. Performance, Goals and Problems 3. Why People Found Businesses 4. Strengths and Trials of Young Firms 5. Gathering Clouds 6. Take-overs 7. Lessons from History 8. Decline 9. Rigidities of Old Firms 10. Revivals 11. What Should Be Done?; Appendices: 1. Definitions 2. Field Study Methodology 3. Some Results of the Field Study 4. The Companies House Study 5. Other Studies; Bibliography; Index

About the Series

Routledge Revivals

Are there elusive titles that you need and have been trying to source for years but thought that you would never be able to find?

Well this may be the end of your quest – here is a fantastic opportunity for you to discover past brilliance and purchase previously out of print and unavailable titles by some of the world’s most eminent academic scholars.

Drawing from over 100 years of innovative, cutting-edge publishing, Routledge Revivals is an exciting programme whereby key titles from the distinguished and extensive backlist of the many acclaimed imprints associated with Routledge will be re-issued.

The programme draws upon the illustrious backlists of Kegan Paul, Trench & Trubner, Routledge & Kegan Paul, Methuen, Allen & Unwin and Routledge itself.

Routledge Revivals spans the whole of the Humanities and Social Sciences, and includes works by some of the world’s greatest thinkers including Emile Durkheim, Max Weber, Simone Weil, Martin Buber, Karl Jaspers and Max Beloff.

If you are interested in Revivals in the Behavioral Sciences, please visit

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Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
BUSINESS & ECONOMICS / Entrepreneurship
BUSINESS & ECONOMICS / Industries / Manufacturing Industries