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The Incubus Paradox: Attempts at Foundational Rethinking of the “SME Support Genre”
Växjö University, Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences, School of Management and Economics. (Entreprenörskapsprofilen)ORCID iD: 0000-0001-7449-3301
Växjö University, Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences, School of Management and Economics.ORCID iD: 0000-0002-9591-5654
2009 (English)In: European Planning Studies, ISSN 0965-4313, E-ISSN 1469-5944, Vol. 17, no 8, p. 1135-1152Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Despite the lacking scientific support regarding efficiency, public authorities launch and owner-managers' participate in public support programmes. Previous research has failed to address this enigma and dissolve the underlying paradox. Drawing on mythical inspiration, this article offers a framework grounded on the medieval demonic character of incubus/subbuci, by means of which this incubus paradox is analytically treated. Empirically, an indirect approach based on inserting a fictive case into a general focus-group method is adopted, thus avoiding leading questions. Two images of the small-business support syndrome emerge from the proposed mythical framework: The first one, which could be named just “incubus” ascribes malevolence to the helpers and a good deal of naivety on the part of the support programme participants. The second one, the paradox, suggests that there will be no measurable growth effect of support measures since none of the stakeholders identified in this discourse intend to actually foster development and growth in small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs). The field material indicates that these two images jointly provide a comprehensive understanding, that there is not an incubus and a victim but rather several incubuses operating within the confines of a support programme. Thus, instead of claiming that the support agents are malevolent, the conclusion is that they have their own agenda. Since our inquiry, in addition indicates that this is true also for the participating SME representatives, they can hardly be seen as victims in the traditional sense. They rather exploit an arena where it is possible to strengthen one's own identity as responsible business persons bringing financial support to their region.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Routledge , 2009. Vol. 17, no 8, p. 1135-1152
National Category
Business Administration
Research subject
Economy, Ledarskap, entreprenörskap och organisation
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:vxu:diva-6687DOI: 10.1080/09654310902980997OAI: oai:DiVA.org:vxu-6687DiVA, id: diva2:287030
Available from: 2010-01-16 Created: 2010-01-16 Last updated: 2017-12-12Bibliographically approved

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Bill, FredericJohannisson, BengtOlaison, Lena

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