Through a discourse analysis lens less darkly: illuminating how SME principals and support agency practitioners see marketing in SMEs

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Copley, Paul (2010)

The purpose of this paper is to explain the social contructivist approach taken to uncovering clearer, deeper meaning through a recent qualitative, interpretive and subjective research study. This study examined the ways in which marketing is seen and conducted in SMEs by SME principals and support agency practitioners. The research was designed with a particular method of data analysis (Discourse Analysis) in mind which was applied to the SME marketing context. The findings of the study provided a contribution to the SME marketing debate where the research approach taken proved to be instrumental in providing a contribution to both theory and practice of marketing in SMEs and the education, training and development activities of support agencies. The subjective nature of this research yielded benefits that would not have been available through a positivist research approach. The approach taken has more practical application than some traditionalists might believe. This paper explains how further understanding of SME marketing resulted from the study and how further original insights can be gained by applying the tools utilised in studies in SME marketing and marketing in other contexts.
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