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Title: The role of the European SME as a means to combat unemployment and social exclusion in the context of the dual economy
Authors: Fafaliou-Kyrillopoulou, Irene.
Award date: 2001
Presented at: University of Leicester
Abstract: The specific research aims to evaluate the European SMEs strategy and see if and to what extent it provides an effective and appropriate public response to unemployment and broader social exclusion. Our analysis, reflecting upon the increasing economic concentration in various sectors of the global economy, has considered the possible impact of the "dependency" and oligopoly - implied by Robert T. Averitt's "Dual Economy Model" - on this strategy's effectiveness. Juxtaposing the free-market model, within which recent SMEs' policy responses have been formulated, and the alternative dual economy framework, this thesis seeks for the empirical evidence that assess both frameworks' relative merits in offering a better understanding of contemporary economic structures and informing more realist policy designs. The research undertaken so far indicates that the SMEs policies, informed and designed on the basis of the free-market paradigm and flexible specialization approach, have not captured sufficiently the "real" nature of industrial and labour changes taking place at a European or global level since the mid-70s. Accordingly, they have failed to recognize the pragmatic macro-, meso- and micro factors influencing SMEs' employment-inclusion capacity. On the contrary, Averitt's Dual Economy model appears to come closer to describing the global capital movements and production trends, and to interpret in a more realist and creative way the marginalization of small industry and secondary labour markets. In overall, the European Union's SMEs policy has been proven ambiguous in nature and of limited effectiveness in combating unemployment and social exclusion. Moreover, this thesis' evidence-based Dual Economy approach has shown that there is no ready-made formula for entrepreneurial solutions capable of addressing the structural barriers being behind broader society's exclusion. However, this research has made clear, that a comprehensive and solid framework approach to social problems can open new, complementary ways in conceptualizing entrepreneurial initiatives likely capable of addressing real social needs. The implications of our research outcome for alternative public policy responses to realist social needs and different multi-criteria evaluation approaches are discussed at the end.
Type: Thesis
Level: Doctoral
Qualification: PhD
Rights: Copyright © the author. All rights reserved.
Appears in Collections:Theses, Dept. of Economics
Leicester Theses

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