AbstractThis thesis aims to examine the commercialisation process practised by small and medium Enterprises (SMEs) in the UK. It investigates the process of commercialisation between the SME manufacturer and Food retailers. It also examines the factors that enable and hinder the process.
According to the existing studies, the role played by SMEs in the Food and Drink industry is extremely important to the UK’s Economy. However, given the scarcity of literature in the field, insight and understanding related to new product selling and commercialising in the food and drink industry, is underdeveloped and lacks empirical research. To explore the thesis research question, the researcher adopted an interpretivist perspective. By conducting semi-structured interviews with 20 SMEs owners and across the UK, 12 cases studies have been used. The data were analysed using cross cases theme analysis to establish key finding regarding the commercialisation process.
The findings from this research suggests that the commercialisation process practised by UK SMEs in the Food and Drink Industry is complex. The duration of the process varies, depending on the newness of the product and is a long-term event (generally with larger customers). What is clear from this study is that SMEs do not only rely on existing customers. They continuously prospect and look for new customers to start the process and follow with their customers, most importantly they have developed a degree of dependence to keep these customers to sell their product, and this is achieved through a five-step process in this study.
Additionally, three main group of factors emerged from the cases in the form of enablers and barriers which directly or indirectly affect the process of commercialising for SMEs. These included SME related factors such as (Importance of owner-manager, lack of sales knowledge and financial resources, the role of technology, geographic location constraints, type of problem to solve). Also, Industry related factors such as (Tolerance of unequal relationship) and other factors such as (Type or customer, Type of relationship, and time perspective) were identified.
The exploratory nature of this study has identified areas for future research. It also offers suggestions for policymakers to focus intervention to help Food SMEs in the UK to improve their performance.
|Date of Award
|11 Sept 2018
|Paul Trott (Supervisor)