Chapter 6: Creating a Typology for the Arts and Crafts Microenterprise
Ian Fillis INTRODUCTION This chapter examines the behaviour of the arts and crafts microenterprise in domestic and international markets, focusing on businesses in the United Kingdom and the Republic of Ireland. Sectoral analysis is carried out to determine historical precedents and to identify industry, firm and owner-manager-level factors impacting upon behaviour. Factors discussed include how craft firms contribute to the economy using their creative skills and business acumen, despite the lack of financial, human and other resources. A typology is developed explaining variations in company and owner-manager orientation. The craft sector has only recently received attention from governments and influential economic bodies, despite having a long history where collective impact has equalled or exceeded other sectors that gained recognition as legitimate contributors to business and society. In the United Kingdom, a number of surveys examined the economic impact of craft from 2000 to 2010. These were academic activities, as well as initiatives funded by government and arts bodies (Fillis, 2000; McAuley and Fillis, 2002, 2004, 2006; Davies and Lindley, 2003; Morris et al., 2006). SMALL FIRM CHARACTERISTICS One of the difficulties encountered in small firm studies is that there is no overall agreement regarding the definition of a small firm. Opinion varies across industries and countries. Around 95 per cent of all firms in the European Union are categorized as small, providing more than half of all jobs (Storey, 2006). Firms with more than 100 employees are exceptions rather than the rule in Europe. The Bolton report (1972) defined a...
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