Over the 6 years we have been collaborating we have carried out several major pieces of work looking at how small companies use IT and the internet to promote themselves and to collaborate.
The original “Abandoned Heroes” Study looked at how small companies actually use IT in their businesses.
As part of this work we discovered a strand of “gifted amateurs” who used the tools of what was then known as web 2.0 to promote themselves effectively. An indepth investigation of what they did led to our seminal “Punch above your Weight” study which worked out a blueprint as to how small companies could promote themselves effectively online. Follow ups to this work reviewed how early adopters used these tools to collaborate on projects and studied how companies that are embedded in a supply chain use social media tools.
Two other externally commissioned pieces of work extended our findings into two new areas. One for BNI looked at how small companies promoted themselves by linking face to face and online activity. The other project commissioned by Yell looked at what made customers choose one web site over another – what developed trust and was it really possible for a small company to out perform a larger one in the same sector online.
A further study looked at how academics and independent business professionals could use social media tools to promote themselves effectively.
This work has resulted in a string of peer reviewed papers and has been consolidated into a useful workbook and training workshop for small companies entitled “Social Media for Real Businesses”. More about the book here.
In addition to the social media work described, Alan Rae has also carried out a study for SEEDA into the training and management needs of the production horticultural sector. Over 30 growers and stakeholders were interviewed and the findings summarised as a best practice guide plus a number of case studies. These are freely available via the projects web site growingjobs.org They are also available as a paperback book with an additional section reviewing the evidence base and development of workforce management theory as Growing Jobs. More about the book here.
For more information or to discuss possible research projects please telephone 0845 094 0407