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An Investigation into Christian SME Owner-Managers' Conceptualisations of Practice

Andrea Werner

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Institution: Brunel University
Advisor(s): Dr Laura J. Spence, Prof John Hendry
Degree: Ph.D. in Philosophy
Year: 2006
Volume: 173 pages
ISBN-10: 1599426757
ISBN-13: 9781599426754

Abstract

This study investigates how Christianity impacts on the way owner-managers of small to medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) conceptualise their worlds of business practice. The context for the research is the more general issue of how civil society and its institutions influence economic activity and how they might provide a counterbalance to the potentially negative impacts of ‘unrestrained’ self-interested economic behaviour.

The study is based on qualitative interviews with SME owner-managers in Germany and the U.K. who regard themselves as practising Christians. Using a socio-psychological approach, the data analysis yielded a range of linguistic and conceptual resources that are peculiar to Christian discourse and that have the potential to influence business activity in rather distinctive ways. This book outlines the effects that these Christian resources can have on these owner-managers and how they may be linked to specific business practices. Attention is drawn to the fact that Christian conceptual resources can be interpreted and exploited in different ways, which leads to differences in how Christian owner-managers apply their faith to their business.

Furthermore, the study maps out the - often interacting - influence of other discursive contexts and resources. The specific influence of the SME context will be discussed and some differences with regards to the two national contexts in which the research was conducted will be highlighted. The book also addresses how the socio-psychological approach that was chosen for this study may be used for investigations into the impact of other civil society contexts.

About The Author

Andrea Werner earned her PhD from Brunel University, West-London, UK. Her research interests include ethics in SMEs, religion and business ethics, the influence of national-cultural contexts on business practice and research methodology. She currently works as Researcher for the Institute of Business Ethics in London.