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A buying behaviour framework for SMEs in Turkey

Ozmen, ES 2012, A buying behaviour framework for SMEs in Turkey , PhD thesis, The University of Salford.

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SMEs have been recognised as important actors of commercial activity most specifically since the second half of the 20th century. Although understanding its customer potential has been named a top priority among many sectors, there is a limited body of knowledge regarding the buying behaviour of SME’s. Many studies and industry practices frame the context within corporate or individual buying behaviour, however few researchers mention SME’s. When mentioned they tend to tie with elitist attributes and consider them as small versions of big enterprises. Studies and industry practices are conformist and assume that SME’s buying behaviour consists of nothing but -ignoring impulsive tendencies- ‘normative' or ‘conservative’ typologies. However, the lack of application makes this dichotomy untested. Absence of evidence is not evidence of absence; therefore, other possible (unknown) typologies may affect stakeholders that behave with this incomplete knowledge set. Behavioural researchers can suffer from moving further in the wrong direction and can lose the base of the study. Marketers can suffer from not acknowledging the SME segment in full, so they cannot technically address its needs in a navigated way, and can lose money. SMEs themselves can suffer from being unaware about their buying practices, and therefore do not question their approach that may jeopardise their business. After an extensive literature review, this study led to the adoption of Wilson’s Cube, a model that rejects the distinction between individual and business customers. The cube comes with a positive correlation (which led to a combined hypothesis) among x (Purchase Significance: Exceptional – Routine), y (Need Driver: Professional – Leisure) and z (Buying Attitude: Aversion – Enjoyment) axes. Quantitative research was conducted with 270 participants for 12 products/services. The tested (and validated with 10 SMEs) hypothesis proved that SMEs also buy within the leisure-routine axes of the cube, particularly some tangible products, e.g. popular technology and vehicle, and when they do, they spend more (enjoyment axis) like individual consumers. Supporting this, even in economic crisis scenario, SMEs compromise less for the same group of products. In the end, according to contextualised framework, ’non-normative’ presence is about 70% and the current practice based on their miscategorisation is not supported. To scrutinise the prevalence of this abnormal presence, a risk impact map was derived from the percentage breakdown of responses and risk factors. By converting the calculated figures to a cumulative distribution, a risk score (16%-20%) was introduced for Turkey, as well as a risk grade, BBB, which is only a grade higher than the high-risk area. Knowing that SMEs are 50% player in Turkey’s €500B GDP, whereas its 40% refers to import, the impacted economic value can be estimated with up to ten billions of euros. Following the final framework that consists of buying behaviour typologies in Turkey, a proposal was suggested to researchers, marketers to SMEs, as well as SMEs themselves, in terms of strategic improvements within a timeline view.

Item Type: Thesis (PhD)
Contributors: Underwood, J (Supervisor)
Themes: Media, Digital Technology and the Creative Economy
Schools: Schools > Salford Business School
Funders: Non funded research
Depositing User: ES Ozmen
Date Deposited: 18 Feb 2013 10:41
Last Modified: 30 Nov 2015 23:55

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