Économie et Statistique n° 407 The Changing Picture of Production Prices: an Analysis using Production Price SurveysInterview Conditions and Bias Caused by the Presence of a Third Party in Responses to the ERFI SurveyThe Diverse Range of Market Relationships in very Small Enterprises: a Typological Approach

Economie et Statistique
Paru le : 01/04/2008
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The Diverse Range of Market Relationships in very Small Enterprises: a Typological Approach

Alexandre Mallard

The capacity of very small enterprises (VSE) to boost the economic fabric is currently subject to a certain weight of expectation. Researchers, like the public authorities, emphasise the role which small institutions can play in an economy which is increasingly based on flexibility and demands continual adaptation to market fluctuations. VSE employ a relatively diverse range of forms of market relationship, in line with the form of the business itself. A statistical survey of 818 companies and self-employed individuals identifies eight categories. These are characterised by the registration of the business in geographical regions, the form of client relationship, start-up conditions, the maintenance of market links and the view taken of the role of competition. The first two categories thus share the characteristic of receiving their clients in an open space, while the next two rely on word of mouth and informal networks. The next two operate with a wider clientele (national or international) while the last two categories seem to be removed from the market, one because of a very restricted number of clients and the other because of a sort of lack of consideration of these issues. This typology is used to distinguish the uses which VSE make of the internet (from the point of view of communication, website development and the search for partners), and the forms of closeness which they may employ in economic activity.

Economie et Statistique
No 407
Paru le : 01/04/2008