Decision-making for business growth: small family businesses in Selangor, Malaysia.
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In Malaysia, approximately 90% of the businesses are categorized as small businesses. Although the majority of the small businesses are family owned, they make a significant contribution to the nation’s gross domestic product. Therefore, the prevalence of small family businesses has a potential economic and social impact that is realised in terms of reducing unemployment rates and growing the family income.The objective in this study was to explore and analyse decisions made about business growth in various types of Malay small family businesses in Selangor, Malaysia. The researcher investigated decisions made in both business and family realms. The importance of the study was in adding to the existing knowledge on decision-making about business growth in small family businesses; specifically, the Malay small family business. Furthermore, the results have been used to construct an original research outcomes model (ROM) that provides a unique contribution to the policy and practice of small family business development. Similarly, the ROM can be used to continue research into small family businesses.A qualitative methodology using a case study approach was a valuable strategy allowing the researcher to obtain in-depth information about decisions for business growth. The participation of seven small family business owners and selected family members by means of face-to-face interview techniques allowed for the collection of insightful data of family and business activities; the first-hand data enhanced the originality of the result. Interview data were transcribed and a thematic analysis technique applied to acquire research patterns; firstly, using within-case analysis and, secondly, cross-case analysis. Research results supported much of the extant literature that identified the owner of small family business as the key person in decision-making. The findings extended current knowledge by demonstrating how actual decisions are made implemented in small family businesses. Use of family discussion was identified as a main advantage as a precursor to authoritative decision-making by the owner.Finally, in identifying factors which underlie the decision-making in order to maximise business growth, the results of the study have provided benefits for small business researchers, policy makers, small business advisors, small family business owners and family members involved in the business.
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