Small and medium‐sized enterprises, business link and the new knowledge workers

John R. Bryson*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

17 Citations (Scopus)


Since the late 1970s a reorganisation of the production process has occurred as a consequence of international competition, technological change and the forces of recession. One aspect of this change has been an increase in the knowledge content of both goods and services. Associated with this change is the incorporation of business service knowledge into the management and production processes of small and medium‐sized enterprises in the United Kingdom. Such knowledge is provided either direct from the private sector or indirectly via government policy initiatives. In 1992 the Business Link network was launched in England to provide a national chain of one‐slop advice shops for the local provision of business support services to small firms. This article identifies three flaws with this policy initiative. First, each Business Link company has a local monopoly which results in the differential availability and quality of supplied services. Secondly, measures to evaluate the operation of Business Link companies function to determine and control its activities. Thirdly, the mechanisms which some Business Link companies use to identify ‘growth’ companies are aids to ‘efficient’ administration rather than mechanisms to stimulate local economic development. A situation is developing in England in which winning and losing areas are developing based around the provision (nature, type, quality) of Business Link advice services.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)67-80
Number of pages14
JournalPolicy Studies
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Mar 1997

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Political Science and International Relations


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