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ERIC Number: EJ809730
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2008
Pages: 12
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 9
ISSN: ISSN-1476-7333
Action Learning as a Core Process for SME Business Support
Powell, James A.; Houghton, Jane
Action Learning: Research and Practice, v5 n2 p173-184 2008
This is an account the work of NetworkNorthWest, a [pound]1m project at the University of Salford that ran between 2004 and 2007 and was developed to address the issues relating to poor take up of traditional business support by small to medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) and low levels of engagement of the business community with Institutes of Higher Education. Originally funded by the North West Development Agency (NWDA), NetworkNorthWest was specifically developed to improve innovation, entrepreneurship, enterprise and wealth creation in the Northwest's SME business community through educational micronetworking--networking to learn from, and with, others in a similar position in other SMEs using action learning techniques that allow the participants to set the agenda for what they need to learn. At the same time the project was able to benchmark best practice in this form of business support regionally, nationally and internationally. Working with six delivery partner universities across the North West of England, the support was multi-disciplinary and multifaceted (including applied research, knowledge transfer, management and professional development and provision of sector specific training for employees) and there was potential to deliver support in the form of face-to-face contact or online resources. The project, seen as exemplary by the NWDA, has since delivered support for Manchester Chamber Business Enterprises to a further cohort of SMEs across Greater Manchester and the core process has been adopted as the basis for the second level of intervention for leadership development by the Northern Leadership Academy. It also significantly improved the profitability of the SMEs who took part through the impact of innovative processes and developments enabled by action learning. (Contains 1 figure, 1 table and 1 note.)
Routledge. Available from: Taylor & Francis, Ltd. 325 Chestnut Street Suite 800, Philadelphia, PA 19106. Tel: 800-354-1420; Fax: 215-625-2940; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: Adult Education; Higher Education; Postsecondary Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: United Kingdom (England)