The skills level debate – the need to deliver higher order skills in the context of marketing in SMEs

Copley, Paul (2012) The skills level debate – the need to deliver higher order skills in the context of marketing in SMEs. In: 35th Institute for Small Business and Entrepreneurship Conference (ISBE 2012), 7-8 November 2012, Dublin.

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Objectives: To illustrate how discursive practice in SMEs helps shape skills development in the SME marketing context, More specifically this paper questions whether there is a requirement simply for the ‘nuts and bolts’ of learning by doing or for higher order learning to be able to deliver differing skills levels. The paper also aims to assess the importance of social aspect of learning, especially networking and to challenge and imagine aspects of marketing leadership and strategy and other critical skills-reliant concepts.

Prior Work: Much work has been done on skills training and development for SMEs over a last few decades and the same can be said about the skills debate in the UK in its broadest context but also within the SME context. The delivery of learning and the development of skills and competencies have been part of this.

Approach: The approach taken falls within the social constructivist paradigm. Discourse Analysis was employed to make sense of data generated from a small sample of SME and support agency participants. The study employed the semi-structured interview that, when transcribed, provided research texts that were then analysed through a Discourse Analysis lens.

Results: The discourses that emerged in the study suggest the importance of networking, development events and experiential learning of theory that is then put into practice. These are seen as key to skills training success. This paper underlines the importance of critical, social (collective) reflection that is an essential part of learning to learn and metacognition through experiential development and the use of tools such as critical incidents as effective learning episodes. This is especially the case when developing higher order skills.

Implications: The study identifies that learning in SMEs is not as straightforward as some might imagine and that there are implications for the design and delivery of education, training and development for SMEs but also for providers, especially in the area of higher order skills development.
Value: This paper is of value to managers, educators, trainers and developers through further understanding of the skills development and learning, especially in the SME marketing arena, to help them better understand the learning process.

Item Type: Conference or Workshop Item (Paper)
Additional Information: Nominated for best paper in the Entrepreneurial Learning in Organisations track.
Uncontrolled Keywords: Entrepreneurial and SME Marketing; Skills and competencies; Higher Order Skills; Discourse Analysis; Discursive Practice
Subjects: N500 Marketing
Department: Faculties > Business and Law > Newcastle Business School
Depositing User: Ellen Cole
Date Deposited: 27 Mar 2013 15:48
Last Modified: 19 Nov 2019 09:51

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