Surviving on the Margins of the Economy: Working Relationships in Small, Low-Wage Firms

22 Pages Posted: 30 May 2006

See all articles by Paul K. Edwards

Paul K. Edwards

University of Warwick - Warwick Business School

Monder Ram

De Montfort University - School of Business; University of Birmingham - Birmingham Business School

Abstract

How do small low-wage firms continue to survive on the margins of a modern economy? Continuous restructuring provides a set of spaces but what sorts of firm occupy them and how far do these firms exercise active choice? Four research projects, embracing data on 123 firms, have offered empirical analysis. The present paper draws together these projects and derives an analytical framework linking the product and labour market contexts of small firms with their family context. Survival reflects the continued supply of labour through kinship networks and the ability of firms to respond actively to product market opportunities. The value of the framework for small-firm research generally is illustrated through discussion of further lines of inquiry.

Suggested Citation

Edwards, Paul K. and Ram, Monder, Surviving on the Margins of the Economy: Working Relationships in Small, Low-Wage Firms. Journal of Management Studies, Vol. 43, No. 4, pp. 895-916, June 2006. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=904896 or http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/j.1467-6486.2006.00615.x

Paul K. Edwards (Contact Author)

University of Warwick - Warwick Business School ( email )

Coventry CV4 7AL
United Kingdom

Monder Ram

De Montfort University - School of Business ( email )

Department of Corporate Strategy
Leicester LE1 9BH
United Kingdom
+44 116 255.1551 (Phone)
+44 116 251.7548 (Fax)

University of Birmingham - Birmingham Business School ( email )

Edgbaston Park Road
Birmingham, B15 2TY
United Kingdom

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