Factors influencing the development of small-scale business enterprises

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The previous chapter has provided a review of related literature and empirical studies. This chapter provides a discussion of theoretical and conceptual frameworks. It proceeds by outlining the meaning of a theory and then defines the concept of a theoretical framework. This is followed by a brief discussion of theories that have informed and guided this study. A demonstration on how theories have been applied in this study has also been provided. The chapter concludes with a schematic conceptual model that helps to operationalize the key concepts of this study.
The word ‘theory’ has been defined from the researc h perspective as a set of concepts or constructs explaining the interrelations that are assumed to exist among them (Mugenda & Mugenda 2003:15-16). It refers to a proposition of ideas or rules that are based on general principles and are intended to explain something or facts, for example, in an area of a study or discipline (Ikoja-Odongo & Mostert 2006:146). It provides a point of focus for approaching an unknown area. According to Majumdar (2005:34), a theory points out the direction of research by indicating where meaningful relationships among variables are to be found and by offering a conceptual scheme for classifying, systematizing and interrelating empirical data. It is useful in uniting interrelated sets of ideas and is helpful in making generalisations. A theory predicts facts and helps to point out inadequacies thereof. It provides the basis for establishing the hypothesis or constructs to be tested in a study (Mugenda & Mugenda 2003:16). It provides a network of connections among abstract entities represented by constructs and is therefore helpful in explaining and predicting the probable relationships between independent and dependent variables (Corbetta 2003:64). According to Corbetta, a deductive approach is used to evaluate and modify existing theories by testing predictions on relationships between observed phenomena.
According to Ocholla and Roux (2011:62), a theory or theories stem from a theoretical framework. Punch (2009:96) argues that a theoretical framework is about relevant concepts, theories, contexts and analytical literature that contain ideas and information about a topic. It is a logical structure of meaning that can hold or support a theory of a research work, and is based on key constructs and relationships among concepts and methodology that guide the development and execution of a study (Balucanag-Bitonio 2014:3; Ocholla & Roux 2011:62,71). Theoretical framework presents the interrelated theories which explain why the problem under study exists. Thus, a theoretical framework is about theory or theories and issues in which a research is embedded and that serves as a basis for conducting research (Kumar 2011:38-39). It therefore provides a rationale for predictions on relationships among variables and helps to narrow down the range of variables required for designing a study (Majumdar 2005:34-38). Mehta (2013:2) likens a theoretical framework to the frame and foundation of a house, and according to Majumdar, it provides a frame of reference upon which the researcher builds the argument of the study and a base for observations and generalizations. A theoretical framework therefore plays an important role in guiding the entire process of a research work and is usually used in studies that are based on existing theories.
In a theoretical framework, concepts of applicable theories may be represented as models and are useful in stimulating research by providing direction and drive. Majumdar (2005:39-40) describes a research model as a miniature physical representation of reality which the researcher believes is likely to be true. It can be equated to the design of an architect for a house and hence it is a symbolic representation of constructs that helps the researcher to express schematic concepts and relationships that exist.


This study is based on two distinct disciplines: the discipline of information science and the discipline of entrepreneurship. In that regard, two categories of theories were identified as useful in exploring the underlying phenomena. They are: 1999 Wilson’s theory/model of information seeking behaviour and three major theories of entrepreneurship, namely: psychological theory of entrepreneurship, sociological theory of entrepreneurship and economic theory of entrepreneurship. The four theories were jointly found appropriate in informing this study and are described in section 3.2.1 and 3.2.2.

General theory/model of information seeking behaviour

Reviewed literature such as by Wilson (1999), Ikoja-Odongo and Mostert (2006), and Chiware (2008) indicated that there are several theories/models that explain human behaviour when seeking for information, how information needs arise and how people seek for information. Studies on information needs and seeking behaviours have utilized these models to explain various phenomena in the subject matter as outlined below.
Ikoja-Odongo and Mostert (2006) have synthesized several theories/models with the aim of demonstrating their relevance in exploring information needs. According to Ikoja-Odongo and Mostert, the Fourie’s model of 2004 is more concerned with the steps that an individual takes to satisfy information needs, while the model by Fairer-Wessels of 1990 expounds on the manifestation of physical, cognitive and affective behaviour of people in the means and the processes of searching for information. The model by Krikelas of 1983 underpins environmental context as critical in shaping one’s perception of the information needs where inadequacy in knowledge leads to the search for information through various information sources in order to deal with problems.
Other models that were reviewed by Ikoja-Odongo and Mostert were by Ellis of 1989 which argues that information seeking behaviours do not necessarily occur in sequence but the pattern followed by information seekers is influenced by information seeking activities. The two models by Kuhlthau of 1991 and 1993 are based on cognitive processes of the information seeker that takes six stages, namely: initiation, selection, exploration, formulation, collection, and search closure/presentation. The model by Ingwersen (1996) closely resembles that of Kuhlthau but integrates information needs with information retrieval systems. Ikoja-Odongo and Mostert regard the two models by Choo, Detlor and Turnbull (1999 and 2000) as flexible in describing the systematic changes in the process mode as one move along the stages. Wilson’s model of 1999 refers to information seeking behaviour as the activities one may engage when identifying the needs for information followed by the searching for such information and finally utilizing the information. There exist other recent models such as by Ellis-Barrett (2009) where information seeking is described as a process but the model is biased to existing organisations. However, all the aforementioned models have demonstrated that the information seeking process is dictated by needs in order to solve a problem.

1.1 Introduction
1.2 The conceptual setting
1.3 Contextual setting
1.4 Problem statement
1.5 Purpose of the study
1.6 Research objectives
1.7 Research questions
1.8 Scope and limitations of the study
1.9 Significance of the study
1.10 Originality of the study
1.11 Assumptions of the study
1.12 Research methodology
1.13 Literature review and theoretical foundations
1.14 Organisation of the thesis
1.15 Definition of terms
1.16 Summary of the chapter
2.1 Introduction
2.2 Factors influencing the development of small-scale business enterprises
2.3 Business information needs for small-scale business enterprises
2.4 Business information sources for small-scale business enterprises
2.5 Business information services for small-scale business enterprises
2.6 Accessibility of business information sources and services by small-scale business enterprises
2.7 Libraries’ support models for the development of SBEs
2.8 Summary of the chapter
3.1 Introduction
3.2 Theories/models
3.3 Application of the theories in the current study
3.4 Conceptual framework
3.5 Summary of the chapter
4.1 Introduction
4.2 Research paradigm
4.3 Research approach
4.4 Research design
4.5 Study area
4.6 Target population
4.7 Sampling methods and procedures
4.8 Data collection methods
4.9 Data collection procedures
4.10 Data analysis
4.11 Ethical considerations
5.1 Introduction
5.2 Factors influencing the development of SBEs in Meru County
5.3 Business information needs of small-scale business enterprises
5.4 Information sources available in public libraries for small-scale business enterprises
5.5 Status of public libraries in the provision of business information services to SBEs
5.6 Accessibility of business information sources and services at public libraries in Meru County by
small-scale business traders
5.7 Data presentations towards the development of the proposed model for public library’s support
on the development of SBEs
5.8 Summary of the chapter
6.1 Introduction
6.2 Profiles of respondents
6.3 Factors that influence the development of small-scale business enterprises
6.4 Business information needs of small-scale business enterprises
6.5 Business information sources for small-scale business enterprises
6.6 Provision of information services by public libraries to the SBEs .
6.7 Accessibility of information sources and services by small-scale business enterprises
6.8 Summary of the chapter
7.1 Introduction
7.2 Rationale for the proposed model
7.3 A narrative of the components of the proposed model
7.4 The topographical public library’s model for supporting the development of SBEs
7.5 Benefits, implications and limitations of the proposed model
7.6 Summary of the chapter
8.1 General summary
8.2 Summary of major findings of the study
8.3 Conclusions
8.4 Recommendations
8.5 Implications of this study on theories/models, practices and policies
8.6 Recommendations for further studies
8.7 Concluding remarks

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