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date: 22 January 2020

Abstract and Keywords

In-depth consideration of the distinctiveness of small businesses vis-à-vis large companies and their often idiosyncratic approaches to learning reveals real potential for the nurturing of growth-seeking small enterprises to learning organization form. Highlighting that small enterprises are not “little big businesses,” the authors make explicit how understanding of their far-reaching qualitative as well as quantitative features and characteristics is key to effecting their sustained development. Through synthesis of perspective on distinctiveness, best practice small business learning insight, and wider thinking within the entrepreneurial small business learning literature the chapter demonstrates how many small enterprises do possess an embryonic infrastructure of an effective “business learning organization.” The authors produce a tentative conceptualization of the small business as learning organization for use as guiding frame of reference to facilitate the fostering of growth-seeking owner managed micro and small enterprises toward such organizational form.

Keywords: small business, owner-managed, learning organization, distinctiveness of smallness, personal construct theory

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