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Taking over the reins: the needs of individuals who purchase small established enterprises

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Although many small firms are purchased as going concerns, these businesses are rarely researched as a separate subgroup. Little is therefore known about (a) the skills and competences required to run these businesses; (b) the support and learning sources used by small business purchasers (SBPs); and (c) whether there is a need for additional training and support. This paper examines these issues through qualitative interviews, held with a selected sample of SBPs. The findings show that, while the majority of owner-manager skills are developed through informal learning methods, there is also a need for support that focuses on effecting a smooth takeover, preserving the firm's goodwill, maintaining trade levels and building satisfactory relationships with inherited employees.


Document Type: Research Article

DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.5367/000000010790772485

Publication date: February 1, 2010

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  • Published quarterly, this journal provides a worldwide forum for the exploration and dissemination of ideas and experience relating to the development and application of entrepreneurship. IJEI is interdisciplinary, publishing the highest-quality work in business and management and in the social sciences. Authors and readers are drawn from government, industry and universities. It has particular appeal to researchers and teachers in higher education, especially in business schools, and university departments of management, sociology and psychology.

    Each issue includes double-blind peer-reviewed papers; a case study with teaching notes, an 'Internet Review' section which identifies and reviews Websites on a selected topic, and book reviews. For key topics go to www.ippublishing.com.
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