The political activities of SMEs Evidence from France and the UK during the recession of 2008/2009

Barron, A. (2009) The political activities of SMEs Evidence from France and the UK during the recession of 2008/2009. In: Annual Conference of the Institute for Small Business and Entrepreneurship, 2009-11-03 - 2009-11-06. (Unpublished)

Full text not available in this repository.Request a copy


This working paper analyses the approaches taken by small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) in France and the UK to monitor and influence measures introduced by policymakers to alleviate the effects of the ‘credit crunch’ and subsequent economic downturn. The working paper draws its theoretical inspiration from existing academic research into economic intelligence and corporate political activity (CPA). Data collected from an on-line survey conducted in May and June 2009 are used to compare and contrast (1) the extent to which French and British SMEs are monitoring political responses to the economic downturn, (2) the sources of information they are deploying to track political developments and (3) the scale and scope of their efforts to influence policy decisions to their advantage. Since this is a work-in-progress, the research results are not fully available at this time. However, an initial analysis of the data reveals four key findings. First, SMEs in UK are more likely than their French counterparts to monitor political developments in response to the financial and economic crisis. Second, in both countries, political monitoring activities appear to be restricted to domestic political settings. Third, when gathering political intelligence, SMEs in both countries are relying on external, inexpensive sources of information. Finally, in both France and the UK, SMEs prefer to join forces and influence policy measures to the crisis collectively rather than through individual action.