Associate Professor of Enterprise & Head of Group
Kevin's expertise ranges across a variety of qualitative and quantitative research techniques: on external advice to small firms, the diagnosis of firm problems, policy choices in business support, firm growth and the adoption of new working practices in SMEs.
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Dr Kevin Mole is a Reader of Enterprise and Head of Group at Warwick Business School. His expertise ranges across a variety of qualitative and quantitative research techniques: on external advice to small firms, the diagnosis of firm problems, policy choices in business support, firm growth and the adoption of new working practices in SMEs. He has worked for the Advanced Institute of Management and client list includes BERR the Small Business Service and Business Link University. Kevin has held a number of grants as Principal Investigator from the Small Business Service (part of BIS) including “Augmenting labour productivity in SMEs”, resulting in a research report (URN 02/1386), “International Review of Business Support and Brokerage” resulting in a research report (URN 04/1974) and a journal article in Environment and Planning. Kevin worked with Professor Mark Hart and Stephen Roper on the last national evaluation of Business Link with a resulting report:”Economic Impact Study of Business Link Local Service” (URN 07/1169) and collaboration on three articles in reputable international journals: Environment and Planning , International Small Business Journal and Environment and Planning .
Skills, management practices and productivity in SMEs. Research Paper No 75
Published: 11 April 2019
Public policy related to the performance and growth of existing small firms has focused on improving access to finance and more recently on reducing regulatory burdens. However, there has also been an increasing recognition of the importance of management knowledge, skills and the adoption of best management practices. In this paper we match survey data on management skills and practices in a large group of SMEs with longitudinal data on productivity to examine the causal links between skills and management practices in 2014 and productivity performance in 2017. Our focus is on a group of firms led by a single entrepreneur or owner-manager.
(Seeking, Acting on and Appreciating) the Value of Business Advice. Research Paper No 44
Published: 24 May 2016
Previous evidence shows that business advice helps businesses and that more advice is generally better [1-4]. Most firms will take advice from outsiders at some point in their development but fewer firms take advice than seems warranted by the evidence . The reasons for the reluctance to take advice are varied and have been relatively intractable; moreover our understanding of the ‘subtle processes’ within advice has been hampered by the few inductive investigations  with recent exceptions [7-9]. These ‘subtle processes’ imply that advice is not a single process but is made up of a series of sub-processes.
Who Takes Advice? Research Paper No 9.
Published: 1 September 2013
This paper explores the characteristics of small firms who take advice and those that do not. It finds a number of factors associated with taking advice including the longevity of an owner-managers education, whether the business has growth objectives and, most significantly, a size threshold at 10 employees at which taking advice becomes much more likely. It suggests that significant challenges arise in making the transition to 10 employees or more and that further research is needed to understand this transition.
Entrepreneurial Leadership, Capabilities and Growth. White Paper No 2.
Published: 2 April 2013
SME growth depends upon substantive growth capabilities, which are shaped by the upstream issues of leadership and capability development. This paper presents a review of the existing evidence.