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International Small Business Journal

International Small Business Journal

Researching Entrepreneurship
2017 Impact Factor: 3.900
2017 Ranking: 32/209 in Management | 23/140 in Business
Source: Journal Citation Reports®, 2018 release, a Clarivate Analytics product

Robert Blackburn Kingston University, UK
Claire Leitch Lancaster University, UK
Consulting Editors
Dirk De Clercq Brock University, Canada
Rachel Doern Goldsmiths, University of London, UK
Francis Greene University of Edinburgh, UK
Robert T Hamilton University of Canterbury, New Zealand
Liang Han Henley Business School, UK
Dilani Jayawarna University of Liverpool, UK
Peter Jennings University of Warwick, UK
Steffen Korsgaard University of Southern Denmark, Denmark
Frank Lasch Montpellier Business School, France
Tatiana Manolova Bentley University, USA
Susan Marlow Nottingham University Business School, UK
Alexander Newman Deakin University, Australia
Niina Nummela University of Turku, Finland
Dean Patton Bournemouth University, UK
Erno T. Tornikoski Grenoble Ecole de Managment, France
Reviews Editor
Jarna Heinonen University of Turku, Finland
Social Media Editors
Angela Martinez Dy Loughborough University, UK
Lorna Treanor University of Nottingham, UK

eISSN: 17412870 | ISSN: 02662426 | Current volume: 36 | Current issue: 7 Frequency: 8 Times/Year

The International Small Business Journal (ISBJ) is a truly global, multi-disciplinary forum for the dissemination and discussion of research on the small business. The emphasis of the journal is on high quality, research based studies which contribute to theory, critical understanding and policy formulation on small firms.

Papers published in the ISBJ cover theoretical, methodological and empirical studies of small firms from a broad range of disciplines and perspectives. The emphasis is on research excellence in the field of enquiry, as the journal endeavours to provide a critical forum for world class contributions on the analysis of small firms.

This refereed journal is of relevance to academics, policy makers and analysts, in government and business, seeking to understand the sector, trade and business institutions, small business representative bodies and those in support agencies.

"I have been proud to be associated with The International Small Business Journal since it began 20 years ago. Over that time it has published high quality articles from a wide variety of disciplinary perspectives." David Storey, Warwick University, UK

This journal is a member of the Committee on Publication Ethics (COPE).

The International Small Business Journal (ISBJ) is a leading peer reviewed journal that publishes the highest quality original research papers on small business and entrepreneurship.

The ISBJ attracts submissions from international academics focusing upon theoretical, empirical, policy and practitioner issues within the fields of small business and entrepreneurship. Articles published in the ISBJ are of importance to academics, policy makers, practitioners and analysts in government and organizations, seeking to understand small businesses, entrepreneurial processes and outcomes.

The geographical scope of the Journal is worldwide. This is reflected in the membership of the Editorial Board, its readership, contributors, and subscribers. Given the dynamic and broad nature of the field of small business and entrepreneurship, the Journal is multi-disciplinary and multi-paradigmatic. Hence, papers draw upon a wide range of academic disciplines and contribute to a myriad of contemporary disciplinary debates whilst supporting theory development within the domains of small firm and entrepreneurship.

The ISBJ publishes high quality articles that employ qualitative, quantitative, and mixed method studies that provide fresh insights into new and established research questions. These may be positivist, qualitative studies or interpretivist approaches. Studies need to clearly illustrate that appropriate methods have been used to explore research question(s).

Given the broad scope of the small business and entrepreneurship fields, topics for submission are not prescribed. It is the Editorial policy to publish papers that cover both innovative and established fields of intellectual endeavour. Examples of areas of interest to ISBJ readers include: owner-managers and entrepreneurs; different 'types' of entrepreneurs and the mileux in which they operate (eg. self-employed; family firms; home-based firms; regional studies; SMEs); the entrepreneurial process, including new venture creation through to business exit; and the contributions to economy and society. Authors are encouraged to engage with the relevant contemporary literature in the field, such as psychological, sociological and economic approaches, both within and outside the entrepreneurship and small business literatures.

Editorial Advisory Board
Haya Al-Dajani Plymouth University, UK
Robert J. Bennett University of Cambridge, UK
Jose Casillas University of Seville, Spain
Elizabeth Chell University of Kingston, UK
Eric Clinton Dublin City University, Ireland
Thomas M. Cooney Dublin Institute of Technology, Ireland
Marc Cowling Brighton Business school, UK
Pavlos Dimitratos University of Glasgow, UK
Dimo Dimov University of Bath, UK
Allan Discua Cruz Lancaster University, UK
Simon Down Anglia Ruskin University, UK
Patricia Doyle Corner The University of British Columbia, Canada
Sarah Drakopoulou Dodd University of Strathclyde, UK
Tom Elfring Erasmus University of Rotterdam, Netherlands
Stephanie A Fernhaber Butler University, USA
Matthias Fink Vienna University of Economics and Business , Austria
Jonas Gabrielsson Halmstad University, Sweden
Sheree Gregory Western Sydney University, Australia
Vishal Gupta University of Alabama, Tuscaloosa, Alabama
Mark Hart Aston University, UK
Isabella Hatak University of St Gallen & University of Twente
Helen Haugh University of Cambridge, UK
Daniel Hjorth Copenhagen Business School, Denmark
Wenxuan Hou University of Edinburgh, UK
Luca Iandoli University of Naples Frederico II, Italy
Robin Jarvis ACCA and Brunel University, UK
Teemu Kautonen Aalto University School of Business, Finland
Ewald Kibler Aalto University, Finland
Kim Klyver University of Southern Denmark, Denmark
Anne Kovalainen Turku School of Economics, Finland
Christian Lechner Free University of Bolzano, Italy
Dominic S. K. Lim Western University, Canada
Lester Lloyd-Reason Anglia Ruskin University, UK
Oliver Mallett Newcastle University, UK
Colin M Mason Adam Smith Business School, University of Glasgow
Maura McAdam Dublin City University, Ireland
Alexander McKelvie Syracuse University, USA
Morgan Miles Charles Sturt University
Kristel Miller Ulster University, UK
Kevin Mole University of Warwick, UK
Todd Morgan University of Massachusetts Lowell, USA
Michael H Morris University of New Mexico, USA
Helle Neergaard Aarhus University, Denmark
Allison Pearson Mississippi State University, USA
Luke Pittaway Ohio University College of Business, USA
Monder Ram Aston University, UK
Einar Rasmussen University of Nordland, Norway
Maija Renko University of Illinois at Chicago, USA
Richard Roberts Aston University, UK
Louise Scholes University of Loughborough London, UK
Eleanor Shaw Strathclyde University, Scotland, UK
David Smallbone Kingston University, UK
David Storey Sussex University, UK
Janine Swail Auckland University Business School, New Zealand
Sara Thorgren Luleå University of Technology, Entrepreneurship & Innovation, Sweden
Vartuhi Tonoyan Stevens Institute of Technology, USA
Kate Uí Ghallachóir Dublin Institute of Technology, Ireland
David Urbano Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona, Spain
Thierry Volery The University of Western Australia, Australia
Robert Wapshott Sheffield University, UK
Friederike Welter IfM Bonn and Universitat Siegan, Germany
Karl Wennberg Stockholm School of Economics, Sweden
Paul Westhead Durham University, UK
Nick Wilson University of Leeds, UK
Founding Editor
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  • Manuscript Submission Guidelines: International Small Business Journal

    This Journal is a member of the Committee on Publication Ethics

    Please read the guidelines below then visit the Journal’s submission site to upload your manuscript. Please note that manuscripts not conforming to these guidelines may be returned.

    Only manuscripts of sufficient quality that meet the aims and scope of International Small Business Journal will be reviewed.

    There are no fees payable to submit or publish in this journal.

    As part of the submission process you will be required to warrant that you are submitting your original work, that you have the rights in the work, that you are submitting the work for first publication in the Journal and that it is not being considered for publication elsewhere and has not already been published elsewhere, and that you have obtained and can supply all necessary permissions for the reproduction of any copyright works not owned by you.

    1. What do we publish?
      1.1 Aims & Scope
      1.2 Article types
      1.3 Writing your paper
    2. Editorial policies
      2.1 Peer review policy
      2.2 Authorship
      2.3 Acknowledgements
      2.4 Funding
      2.5 Declaration of conflicting interests
    3. Publishing policies
      3.1 Publication ethics
      3.2 Contributor's publishing agreement
      3.3 Open access and author archiving
    4. Preparing your manuscript
      4.1 Formatting
      4.2 Artwork, figures and other graphics
      4.3 Supplementary material
      4.4 Reference style
      4.5 English language editing services
    5. Submitting your manuscript
      5.1 ORCID
      5.2 Information required for completing your submission
      5.3 Permissions
    6. On acceptance and publication
      6.1 SAGE Production
      6.2 Online First publication
      6.3 Access to your published article
      6.4 Promoting your article
    7. Further information


    1. What do we publish?

    1.1 Aims & Scope

    Before submitting your manuscript to International Small Business Journal, please ensure you have read the Aims & Scope.

    1.2 Article Types

    The ISBJ publishes original papers that raise our knowledge base and levels of theorising on small business, SMEs and entrepreneurship. The Journal considers the following sort of submissions:

    • Full Research Articles: normally between 6,000 to 8,000 words.
    • Research Notes: these are shorter and less common submissions. They may, for example, cover work that is mainly empirical or thought pieces; a response to an earlier publication in the Journal; or major work in progress that deserves a wide readership.
    • Book reviews: these are commissioned by the book reviews editor but suggestions are welcome

    The ISBJ welcomes papers that are multidisciplinary or interdisciplinary, as well as those from traditional disciplines, such as economics, psychology and sociology, that relate to rigorous studies of small firms, SMEs or entrepreneurship. Papers published in the Journal tend to cover the following areas, although these are not meant to be comprehensive and other novel or related themes are welcome:

    • Small business and entrepreneurship theory and theory development
    • Methodological issues and contributions to critical debates
    • The entrepreneurial process, opportunity recognition through to business transfer/ closure
    • The motivations and characteristics of business owners, socio-economic class, gender and ethnicity etc which influence entrepreneurial processes and outcomes
    • Analyses of different forms of small firms and SMEs, family firms, franchises, management buy-outs and self-employment, social enterprises etc.
    • Strategic issues in entrepreneurship and small business, analyses of marketing, finance, human resources and technology management
    • Entrepreneurship education and entrepreneurial learning
    • Labour market, employment, job satisfaction and employment relations in small firms
    • The impact of entrepreneurship and small business activity on human beings, the economy and society, job-generation and types, culture and social class etc.
    • Entrepreneurship and small business in different geographical environments, national and regional analyses, transition and mature economies
    • Internationalisation processes, challenges and effects
    • E-commerce, E-entrepreneurship and other technological influences upon entrepreneurial activity and business configuration
    • Institutional influences upon entrepreneurship and small business activity, analyses of public policy and interventions connected with small business and entrepreneurship

    ISBJ welcomes proposals for special editions (SIs). SIs mainly emerge from ‘calls for papers’ on a specific theme, or from a linked event such as an international conference. The SI Editor(s) will submit a proposal to the Editors of the ISBJ for consideration. Details on the requirements for proposals, and how to submit them, are given here:

    1.3 Writing your paper

    The SAGE Author Gateway has some general advice and on how to get published, plus links to further resources.

    1.3.1 Make your article discoverable

    When writing up your paper, think about how you can make it discoverable. The title, keywords and abstract are key to ensuring readers find your article through search engines such as Google. For information and guidance on how best to title your article, write your abstract and select your keywords, have a look at this page on the Gateway: How to Help Readers Find Your Article Online

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    2. Editorial policies

    2.1 Peer review policy

    All ISBJ manuscripts are screened initially by the Editor-in-Chief, Editor and a Consulting Editor. Only those papers that meet the scientific and editorial standards, and fit within the aims and scope of the ISBJ, will be sent for full blind peer review. Papers for full review will be sent to at least two expert referees. The ISBJ adheres to a rigorous double-blind reviewing policy, in which the identity of both the reviewers and author(s) are always concealed from both parties.

    As part of the submission process you may be asked to provide the names of peers who could be called upon to review your manuscript. Recommended reviewers should be experts in their fields and should be able to provide an objective assessment of the manuscript. Please be aware of any conflicts of interest when recommending reviewers. Examples of conflicts of interest include (but are not limited to) the below: 

    • The reviewer should have no prior knowledge of your submission
      • The reviewer should not have recently collaborated with any of the authors
      • Reviewer nominees from the same institution as any of the authors are not permitted

    Please note that the Editors are not obliged to invite any recommended/opposed reviewers to assess your manuscript.

    2.2 Authorship

    All parties who have made a substantive contribution to the article should be listed as authors. Principal authorship, authorship order, and other publication credits should be based on the relative scientific or professional contributions of the individuals involved, regardless of their status. A student is usually listed as principal author on any multiple-authored publication that substantially derives from the student’s dissertation or thesis.

    2.3 Acknowledgements

    All contributors who do not meet the criteria for authorship should be listed in an Acknowledgements section. Examples of those who might be acknowledged include a person who provided purely technical help, or a department chair who provided only general support.

    Any acknowledgements should appear first at the end of your article prior to your Declaration of Conflicting Interests (if applicable), any notes and your References.

    2.4 Funding

    International Small Business Journal requires all authors to acknowledge their funding in a consistent fashion under a separate heading.  Please visit the Funding Acknowledgements page on the SAGE Journal Author Gateway to confirm the format of the acknowledgment text in the event of funding, or state that: This research received no specific grant from any funding agency in the public, commercial, or not-for-profit sectors.

    2.5 Declaration of conflicting interests

    International Small Business Journal encourages authors to include a declaration of any conflicting interests and recommends you review the good practice guidelines on the SAGE Journal Author Gateway.

    3. Publishing Policies

    3.1 Publication ethics

    SAGE is committed to upholding the integrity of the academic record. We encourage authors to refer to the Committee on Publication Ethics’ International Standards for Authors and view the Publication Ethics page on the SAGE Author Gateway

    3.1.1 Plagiarism

    International Small Business Journal and SAGE take issues of copyright infringement, plagiarism or other breaches of best practice in publication very seriously. We seek to protect the rights of our authors and we always investigate claims of plagiarism or misuse of published articles. Equally, we seek to protect the reputation of the journal against malpractice. Submitted articles may be checked with duplication-checking software. Where an article, for example, is found to have plagiarised other work or included third-party copyright material without permission or with insufficient acknowledgement, or where the authorship of the article is contested, we reserve the right to take action including, but not limited to: publishing an erratum or corrigendum (correction); retracting the article; taking up the matter with the head of department or dean of the author's institution and/or relevant academic bodies or societies; or taking appropriate legal action.

    3.1.2 Prior publication

    If material has been previously published it is not generally acceptable for publication in a SAGE journal. However, there are certain circumstances where previously published material can be considered for publication. Please refer to the guidance on the SAGE Author Gateway or if in doubt, contact the Editor at the address given below.

    3.2 Contributor's publishing agreement

    Before publication, SAGE requires the author as the rights holder to sign a Journal Contributor’s Publishing Agreement. SAGE’s Journal Contributor’s Publishing Agreement is an exclusive licence agreement which means that the author retains copyright in the work but grants SAGE the sole and exclusive right and licence to publish for the full legal term of copyright. Exceptions may exist where an assignment of copyright is required or preferred by a proprietor other than SAGE. In this case copyright in the work will be assigned from the author to the society. For more information please visit the SAGE Author Gateway

    3.3 Open access and author archiving

    International Small Business Journal offers optional open access publishing via the SAGE Choice programme. For more information please visit the SAGE Choice website. For information on funding body compliance, and depositing your article in repositories, please visit SAGE Publishing Policies on our Journal Author Gateway.

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    4. Preparing your manuscript for submission

    4.1 Formatting

    The preferred format for your manuscript is Word. LaTeX files are also accepted. Word and (La)Tex templates are available on the Manuscript Submission Guidelines page of our Author Gateway.

    Articles should be in English and double spaced in a MS Word format and be 6,000 to 8,000 words, together with up to four keywords, although shorter contributions are not necessarily excluded. For example, short research notes including a response to an earlier paper, empirical contributions, or critical reviews, are also welcome. Submissions should include: a covering letter with author(s) full name, affiliation and contact details; up to four keywords; a confirmation that all authors have agreed to the submission and that the article is not currently being considered for publication by any other journal; and suggested names of up to four individuals, who may be suitable to serve as referees, but the Editors are under no obligation to use all or any of these individuals as reviewers. Upon receipt, manuscripts will receive a reference number to enable authors and editors to track the paper. If papers pass initial screening, full-referees are asked to submit their reports within four weeks although currently this may vary depending on the flow of copy.

    Format of MSS

    Each manuscript should contain:

    1. title page with full title and subtitle (if any). For the purposes of blind refereeing, full name of each author with current affiliation and full address/phone/fax/email details plus short biographical note should be supplied on a separate sheet.
    2. abstract of 100-150 words
    3. up to 4 key words
    4. main text and word count. Text to be clearly organized, with a clear hierarchy of headings and subheadings and quotations exceeding 40 words displayed, indented, in the text
    5. end notes, if necessary, should be signalled by superscript numbers in the main text and listed at the end of the text before the references
    6. All Tables and Figures to be placed at the end of the document, indicate within the text where these should be placed.
    7. No author details to be included on the main document.

    Books for review and manuscripts of reviews should be sent to:

    Jarna Heinonen
    Turku School of Economics
    TSE Entre
    Rehtorinpellonkatu 3

    4.2 Artwork, figures and other graphics

    For guidance on the preparation of illustrations, pictures and graphs in electronic format, please visit SAGE’s Manuscript Submission Guidelines  

    Figures supplied in colour will appear in colour online regardless of whether or not these illustrations are reproduced in colour in the printed version. For specifically requested colour reproduction in print, you will receive information regarding the costs from SAGE after receipt of your accepted article.

    4.3 Supplementary material

    International Small Business Journal does not currently accept supplemental files.

    4.4 Reference style

    International Small Business Journal adheres to the SAGE Harvard reference style. View the SAGE Harvard guidelines to ensure your manuscript conforms to this reference style.

    If you use EndNote to manage references, you can download the SAGE Harvard EndNote output file

    4.5 English language editing services

    Authors seeking assistance with English language editing, translation, or figure and manuscript formatting to fit the journal’s specifications should consider using SAGE Language Services. Visit SAGE Language Services on our Journal Author Gateway for further information.

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    5. Submitting your manuscript

    International Small Business Journal is hosted on SAGE Track, a web based online submission and peer review system powered by ScholarOne™ Manuscripts. Visit to login and submit your article online.

    IMPORTANT: Please check whether you already have an account in the system before trying to create a new one. If you have reviewed or authored for the journal in the past year it is likely that you will have had an account created.  For further guidance on submitting your manuscript online please visit ScholarOne Online Help.

    5.1 ORCID

    As part of our commitment to ensuring an ethical, transparent and fair peer review process SAGE is a supporting member of ORCID, the Open Researcher and Contributor ID. ORCID provides a persistent digital identifier that distinguishes researchers from every other researcher and, through integration in key research workflows such as manuscript and grant submission, supports automated linkages between researchers and their professional activities ensuring that their work is recognised.

    We encourage all authors to add their ORCIDs to their SAGE Track accounts and include their ORCIDs as part of the submission process. If you don’t already have one you can create one here

    5.2 Information required for completing your submission

    You will be asked to provide contact details and academic affiliations for all co-authors via the submission system and identify who is to be the corresponding author. These details must match what appears on your manuscript. At this stage please ensure you have included all the required statements and declarations and uploaded any additional supplementary files (including reporting guidelines where relevant).

    5.3 Permissions

    Please also ensure that you have obtained any necessary permission from copyright holders for reproducing any illustrations, tables, figures or lengthy quotations previously published elsewhere. For further information including guidance on fair dealing for criticism and review, please see the Copyright and Permissions page on the SAGE Author Gateway.

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    6. On acceptance and publication

    6.1 SAGE Production

    Your SAGE Production Editor will keep you informed as to your article’s progress throughout the production process. Proofs will be sent by PDF to the corresponding author and should be returned promptly.  Authors are reminded to check their proofs carefully to confirm that all author information, including names, affiliations, sequence and contact details are correct, and that Funding and Conflict of Interest statements, if any, are accurate. Please note that if there are any changes to the author list at this stage all authors will be required to complete and sign a form authorising the change.

    6.2 Online First publication

    Online First allows final articles (completed and approved articles awaiting assignment to a future issue) to be published online prior to their inclusion in a journal issue, which significantly reduces the lead time between submission and publication. Visit the SAGE Journals help page for more details, including how to cite Online First articles.

    6.3 Access to your published article

    SAGE provides authors with online access to their final article.

    6.4 Promoting your article

    Publication is not the end of the process! You can help disseminate your paper and ensure it is as widely read and cited as possible. The SAGE Author Gateway has numerous resources to help you promote your work. Visit the Promote Your Article page on the Gateway for tips and advice. In addition, SAGE is partnered with Kudos, a free service that allows authors to explain, enrich, share, and measure the impact of their article. Find out how to maximise your article’s impact with Kudos.

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    7. Further information

    Any correspondence, queries or additional requests for information on the manuscript submission process should be sent to the International Small Business Journal editorial office as follows:

    Editorial Office, ISBJ, Small Business Research Centre, Kingston Business School, Kingston University, Kingston Hill, Kingston-upon-Thames, Surrey KT2 7LB, UK

    Email:; and 
    Robert Blackburn and Claire Leitch, Editors ISBJ
    Valerie Thorne, Editorial Assistant ISBJ

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