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Resilience and coping behaviour among micro and small sized enterprises in times of economic crisis: A mixed-methods exploration of Greek and Cypriot firms

Sakellarios, N (2024) Resilience and coping behaviour among micro and small sized enterprises in times of economic crisis: A mixed-methods exploration of Greek and Cypriot firms. Doctoral thesis, Liverpool John Moores University.

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The focus of this study was to explore organisational resilience in the context of micro, small, and medium sized enterprises (SMEs). Following the 2008 Global Financial Crisis (GFC), the deteriorating business conditions worldwide posed serious challenges to many firms. SMEs were particularly affected by the volatile environment due to acknowledged operational limitations (e.g., scarce resources) restricting their capacity to effectively respond to the new business reality. The impact was extremely high for businesses in the Southern European periphery, including Greece and Cyprus. Despite the growing academic interest in the concept of resilience over the past years, it remains unclear how SMEs can develop resilience and cope with different type of shocks (e.g., 2008 GFC, COVID-19). Due to the significant role SMEs have for the Greek and Cypriot economies (e.g., employment), among other countries, and various ongoing challenges (e.g., access to finance) that leave them exposed to impending turbulences, it is urgent to further explore the antecedents of resilience and determine how SMEs can promote resilience capabilities to adapt to volatile operational conditions. Based on a mixed-methods approach (parallel mixed design), empirical data were collected via semi-structured interviews (n=135) and questionnaires (n=406) from micro and small businesses (MSEs) in Greece and Cyprus; the lack of responses from medium sized enterprises represents one of the limitations of the study. In line with a parallel mixed data analysis, a distinct thematic analysis of qualitative data resulted in several themes that reflect the post-2008 business environment in Greece and Cyprus, and the factors that influence the resilience capacity of MSEs. Additional descriptive and inferential statistical tests provided evidence regarding the performance of Greek and Cypriot MSEs after the 2008 GFC and identified the critical success factors associated with a firm’s coping capacity, among other results. Following the integration of qualitative and quantitative findings (narrative, joint display approaches), the resulting meta-inferences highlight several characteristics that influence the different resilience phases, namely anticipation (e.g., environmental scanning), coping (e.g., financial resourcefulness), and adaptation (e.g., innovative activities). The findings provide additional empirical support about the antecedents of resilience, specifically in the context of micro and small firms from Greece and Cyprus, and respond to acknowledged knowledge gaps, thereby contribute to the existing body of literature focusing on organisational resilience.

Item Type: Thesis (Doctoral)
Uncontrolled Keywords: resilience; micro and small sized enterprises
Subjects: H Social Sciences > HF Commerce > HF5001 Business
Divisions: Liverpool Business School
SWORD Depositor: A Symplectic
Date Deposited: 08 Jan 2024 13:33
Last Modified: 08 Jan 2024 13:34
DOI or ID number: 10.24377/LJMU.t.00022154
Supervisors: Fillis, I, Alonso, AD, O'Brien, S and Kok, SK
URI: https://researchonline.ljmu.ac.uk/id/eprint/22154
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