Productivity Perspectives
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Productivity Perspectives

Edited by Philip McCann and Tim Vorley

Productivity Perspectives offers a timely and stimulating social science view on the productivity debate, drawing on the work of the ESRC funded Productivity Insights Network. The book examines the drivers and inhibitors of UK productivity growth in the light of international evidence, and the resulting dramatic slowdown and flatlining of productivity growth in the UK. The reasons for this so-called productivity puzzle are not well understood, and this book advances explanations and insights on these issues from different disciplinary and methodological perspectives. It will be of value to all those interested in, and engaging with, the challenge of slowing productivity growth.
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Chapter 6: Small business growth and productivity

Andrew Henley


The chapter focuses on the experience of small businesses, and reviews the literature on small and medium-sized enterprise (SME) growth and productivity, discussing a range of perspectives on SME growth. It highlights a range of measurement and other issues related to the availability of appropriate data for understanding SME performance, and notes the paucity of robust studies on SME productivity. The range of issues specific to SME productivity performance is discussed. A particular concern is the difficulty of combining information on the SME as a firm organization with the attributes of the entrepreneur(s) who lead and manage that organization. A further focus of the chapter is on the disparate range of evidence on the smallest micro-businesses, where the business founder might typically be self-employed. Specific policy interventions, for example, focusing on strengthening SME leadership, are discussed, and the importance of spatial and regional variation in drivers of SME performance is also highlighted.

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