4.11. Local Industrial Policy as a Promoter of SME Development

Public examination of a doctoral dissertation in the field of entrepreneurship
Doctoral candidate: M.Sc. Terttu Ruotsalainen
Time and venue 4.11.2011 at 12 noon, Auditorium, Tietoteknia, Kuopio Campus

Local industrial policy on the local and regional level is today such activity that promotes industrial operations. The objective of the study was gain a deep understanding of the content of industrial policy as well as the way in which situational factors associated with the municipal and regional development corporation affect the development of small and medium size enterprises (SMEs). A third aim was to indicate how local industrial policy operational models are changing. The research task was to clarify how regional industrial policy affects the development of these enterprises.

The main frame of reference for the study is contingency theory. In addition, within the contingency approach the research also employs strategic management theory and networking theory.

The study is qualitative and the logic of its conclusions is inductive. It is constructivist in its selections in regard to it scientific philosophy and is carried out by the case study method. Theme interviews were used for the collection of data. In the study officials from municipalities in Upper Savo (n=16), leaders of the Ylä-Kehitys Oy firm (n=2) and representatives of SMEs in Upper Savo (n=14) who were among the influential elite were interviewed. The material was analyzed by means of the content analysis method.

The researched indicated that local industrial policy affected the development of SMEs through the creation of general conditions. Industrial policy must be comprehensive and cross-functional. Enterprise development is affected by the strategy chosen by the municipal and regional development corporation, leadership, networking, industrial and corporate structure, and the know-how and functional environment of industrial policy actors. Future industrial policy must place more attention on, e.g., increased interaction, promotion of networking, workforce issues and factors related to the development of the living environment.

The prime conclusion of the study was that the local and regional development corporation must significantly increase their presence in SMEs.

The doctoral dissertation of M.Sc. Terttu Ruotsalainen, entitled “Local Industrial Policy as a Promoter of SME Development”, will be examined at the Faculty of Social Sciences and Business Studies. The opponent in the public examination will be Professor Markku Virtanen Aalto University, and the custos will be Professor Hannu Littunen of the University of Eastern Finland.

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Publishing year: 2011

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