International Small Business Journal

International Small Business Journal

2014 Impact Factor: 1.800
2014 Ranking: 56/185 in Management | 38/115 in Business
Source: 2014 Journal Citation Reports ® (Thomson Reuters, 2015)

Robert Blackburn Kingston University, UK
Susan Marlow Nottingham University Business School, UK
Consulting Editors
Dirk De Clercq Brock University, Canada
Rachel Doern Goldsmiths, University of London, UK
Francis Greene Birmingham University, UK
Robert T Hamilton University of Canterbury at Christchurch, New Zealand
Dilani Jayawarna University of Liverpool, UK
Peter Jennings University of Warwick, UK
Teemu Kautonen Aalto University School of Business, Finland
Claire Leitch Lancaster University, UK
Alexander Newman Monash University, Australia
Einar Rasmussen University of Nordland, Norway
Erno T. Tornikoski Grenoble Ecole de Managment, France
Karl Wennberg Stockholm School of Economics, Sweden
Reviews Editor
Jarna Heinonen University of Turku, Finland
Social Media Editor
Sarah Drakopoulou Dodd University of Strathclyde, Scotland

eISSN: 17412870| ISSN: 02662426|Current volume: 33|Current issue: 8 Frequency: 8 Times/Year

The International Small Business Journal (ISBJ) is a truly global, multi-disciplinary forum for the dissemination and discussion of research on the small business. The emphasis of the journal is on high quality, research based studies which contribute to theory, critical understanding and policy formulation on small firms.

Papers published in the ISBJ cover theoretical, methodological and empirical studies of small firms from a broad range of disciplines and perspectives. The emphasis is on research excellence in the field of enquiry, as the journal endeavours to provide a critical forum for world class contributions on the analysis of small firms.

This refereed journal is of relevance to academics, policy makers and analysts, in government and business, seeking to understand the sector, trade and business institutions, small business representative bodies and those in support agencies.

"I have been proud to be associated with The International Small Business Journal since it began 20 years ago. Over that time it has published high quality articles from a wide variety of disciplinary perspectives." David Storey, Warwick University, UK

Electronic access:

International Small Business Journal is available electronically on SAGE Journals Online at

The International Small Business Journal (ISBJ) is a leading peer reviewed journal that publishes the highest quality original research papers on small business and entrepreneurship.

The ISBJ attracts submissions from international academics focusing upon theoretical, empirical, policy and practitioner issues within the fields of small business and entrepreneurship. Articles published in the ISBJ are of importance to academics, policy makers, practitioners and analysts in government and organizations, seeking to understand small businesses, entrepreneurial processes and outcomes.

The geographical scope of the Journal is worldwide. This is reflected in the membership of the Editorial Board, its readership, contributors, and subscribers. Given the dynamic and broad nature of the field of small business and entrepreneurship, the Journal is multi-disciplinary and multi-paradigmatic. Hence, papers draw upon a wide range of academic disciplines and contribute to a myriad of contemporary disciplinary debates whilst supporting theory development within the domains of small firm and entrepreneurship.

The ISBJ publishes high quality articles that employ qualitative, quantitative, and mixed method studies that provide fresh insights into new and established research questions. These may be positivist, qualitative studies or interpretivist approaches. Studies need to clearly illustrate that appropriate methods have been used to explore research question(s).

Given the broad scope of the small business and entrepreneurship fields, topics for submission are not prescribed. It is the Editorial policy to publish papers that cover both innovative and established fields of intellectual endeavour. Examples of areas of interest to ISBJ readers include: owner-managers and entrepreneurs; different 'types' of entrepreneurs and the mileux in which they operate (eg. self-employed; family firms; home-based firms; regional studies; SMEs); the entrepreneurial process, including new venture creation through to business exit; and the contributions to economy and society. Authors are encouraged to engage with the relevant contemporary literature in the field, such as psychological, sociological and economic approaches, both within and outside the entrepreneurship and small business literatures.

Editorial Advisory Board
Haya Al-Dajani Norwich Business School, University of East Anglia, UK
Robert J. Bennett University of Cambridge, United Kingdom
Charlie Cai Leeds University Business School, University of Leeds, UK
Shawn Carraher Minot State University, USA
Elizabeth Chell University of Kingston, UK
Francis Chittenden University of Manchester, UK
Thomas M. Cooney Dublin Institute of Technology, Ireland
Marc Cowling Brighton Business school, UK
Dimo Dimov University of Bath, UK
Simon Down Anglia Ruskin University, UK
Tom Elfring Erasmus University of Rotterdam, The Netherlands
Alain Fayolle EMLYON Business School, France
Stephanie A Fernhaber Butler University, USA
Matthias Fink Vienna University of Economics and Business , Austria
Jonas Gabrielsson Lund University, Sweden
Vishal Gupta State University of New York at Binghamton, USA
Liang Han University of Reading, UK
Mark Hart Aston University, UK
Daniel Hjorth Copenhagen Business School, Denmark
Luca Iandoli University of Naples Frederico II, Italy
Robin Jarvis ACCA and Brunel University, UK
Hugo Kantis National University of General Sarmiento, Argentina
Ewald Kibler Aalto University, Finland
Anne Kovalainen Turku School of Economics, Finland
Frank Lasch GSCM-Montpellier Business School
Dominic S. K. Lim Western University, Canada
Elisabet Ljunggren Nordland Research Institute, Norway
Lester Lloyd-Reason Anglia Ruskin University, UK
Oliver Mallett Durham University, UK
Colin M Mason Adam Smith Business School, University of Glasgow
Maura McAdam Queen’s University Management School, UK
Alexander McKelvie Syracuse University, USA
Morgan Miles University of Canterbury, New Zealand
Itsutomo Mitsui Kaetsu University, Japan
Kevin Mole University of Warwick, UK
Michael H Morris University of New Mexico
Helle Neergaard Aarhus School of Business, Denmark
Dean Patton Bournemouth University, UK
Allison Pearson Mississippi State University, USA
Luke Pittaway Ohio University College of Business, USA
Monder Ram University of Birmingham, UK
Paul D Reynolds The George Washington University, USA
Richard Roberts University of Birmingham, UK
Peter J Rosa University of Edinburgh, UK
Louise Scholes Durham Business School, Durham University, UK
Eleanor Shaw Strathclyde University, Scotland, UK
David Smallbone Kingston University, UK
David Storey Sussex University, UK
Scott Taylor University of Birmingham
Sara Thorgren Luleå University of Technology, Entrepreneurship & Innovation, Sweden
Vartuhi Tonoyan Stevens Institute of Technology, USA
Karl Vesper Washington University, Seattle, USA
Thierry Volery University of St Gallen - HSG, Switzerland
Zhongming Wang Zhejiang University, China
Robert Wapshott University of Sheffield, UK
John Watson The University of Western Australia,Australia
Friederike Welter Institut fur Mittelstandsforschung, Germany
Paul Westhead Durham University, UK
Dumin Zhao Jiangsu University of Science & Technology, China
Founding Editor
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  • TOPIC Search
    1. Article types
    2. Editorial Policies
      2.1 Peer review policy
      2.2 Authorship
    3. Publishing Policies
      3.1 Publication Ethics
      3.1.1 Plagiarism
    4. How to submit your manuscript
    5. Journal contributor’s publishing agreement
      5.1 SAGE Choice and Open Access
    6. Declaration of conflicting interests policy
    7. Other conventions
    8. Acknowledgments
      8.1 Funding acknowledgement
    9. Permissions
    10. Manuscript style
      10.1 File types
      10.2 Journal style
      10.3 Reference style
      10.4 Manuscript preparation
      10.4.1 Titles and abstracts: Helping readers find your article online
      10.4.2 Corresponding author contact details
      10.4.3 Guidelines for submitting artwork, figures and other graphics
      10.4.4 Guidelines for submitting supplemental files
      10.4.5 English language editing services
    11. After acceptance
      11.1 Proofs
      11.2 E-Prints
      11.3 SAGE production
    12. Further information

    The International Small Business Journal (ISBJ) is a global, multi-disciplinary publication for the dissemination of high-quality, academic research articles examining small business, SMEs and entrepreneurship. The emphasis of the journal is on high quality, research based studies which contribute to theory, critical understanding and policy formulation on small firms, SMEs and entrepreneurship.

    Papers published in the ISBJ cover theoretical, methodological and empirical studies spanning a broad range of disciplines and perspectives. The emphasis is on articles that are of the highest quality in the field of enquiry, as the journal endeavours to provide a critical forum for world class contributions which make an impact amongst stakeholders..

    This refereed journal is of relevance to academics, policy makers and analysts in government and business, who seek to understand small firms, SMEs and entrepreneurship by drawing upon a theoretically informed evidence base.

    1. Article types

    The ISBJ publishes original papers that raise our knowledge base and levels of theorising on small business, SMEs and entrepreneurship. The Journal considers the following sort of submissions:

    • Full Research Articles: normally between 6,000 to 8,000 words.
    • Research Notes: these are shorter and less common submissions. They may, for example, cover work that is mainly empirical or thought pieces; a response to an earlier publication in the Journal; or major work in progress that deserves a wide readership.
    • Book reviews: these are commissioned by the book reviews editor but suggestions are welcome

    The ISBJ welcomes papers that are multidisciplinary or interdisciplinary, as well as those from traditional disciplines, such as economics, psychology and sociology, that relate to rigorous studies of small firms, SMEs or entrepreneurship. Papers published in the Journal tend to cover the following areas, although these are not meant to be comprehensive and other novel or related themes are welcome:

    • Small business and entrepreneurship theory and theory development
    • Methodological issues and contributions to critical debates
    • The entrepreneurial process, opportunity recognition through to business transfer/ closure
    • The motivations and characteristics of business owners, socio-economic class, gender and ethnicity etc which influence entrepreneurial processes and outcomes
    • Analyses of different forms of small firms and SMEs, family firms, franchises, management buy-outs and self-employment, social enterprises etc.
    • Strategic issues in entrepreneurship and small business, analyses of marketing, finance, human resources and technology management
    • Entrepreneurship education and entrepreneurial learning
    • Labour market, employment, job satisfaction and employment relations in small firms
    • The impact of entrepreneurship and small business activity on human beings, the economy and society, job-generation and types, culture and social class etc.
    • Entrepreneurship and small business in different geographical environments, national and regional analyses, transition and mature economies
    • Internationalisation processes, challenges and effects
    • E-commerce, E-entrepreneurship and other technological influences upon entrepreneurial activity and business configuration
    • Institutional influences upon entrepreneurship and small business activity, analyses of public policy and interventions connected with small business and entrepreneurship

    ISBJ welcomes proposals for special editions (SIs). SIs mainly emerge from ‘calls for papers’ on a specific theme, or from a linked event such as an international conference. The SI Editor(s) will submit a proposal to the Editors of the ISBJ for consideration. Details on the requirements for proposals, and how to submit them, are given here:

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    2. Editorial Policies

    2.1 Peer review policy

    All ISBJ manuscripts are screened initially by the Editor-in-Chief, Editor and a Consulting Editor. Only those papers that meet the scientific and editorial standards, and fit within the aims and scope of the ISBJ, will be sent for full blind peer review. Papers for full review will be sent to at least two expert referees. The ISBJ adheres to a rigorous double-blind reviewing policy, in which the identity of both the reviewers and author(s) are always concealed from both parties.

    As part of the submission process you will be asked to provide the names of X peers who could be called upon to review your manuscript. Recommended reviewers should be experts in their fields and should be able to provide an objective assessment of the manuscript. Please be aware of any conflicts of interest when recommending reviewers. Examples of conflicts of interest include (but are not limited to) the below: 

    • The reviewer should have no prior knowledge of your submission
    • The reviewer should not have recently collaborated with any of the authors
    • Reviewer nominees from the same institution as any of the authors are not permitted

    Please note that the Editors are not obliged to invite any recommended/opposed reviewers to assess your manuscript.

    2.2 Authorship

    All parties who have made a substantive contribution to the article should be listed as authors. Principal authorship, authorship order, and other publication credits should be based on the relative scientific or professional contributions of the individuals involved, regardless of their status. A student is usually listed as principal author on any multiple-authored publication that substantially derives from the student’s dissertation or thesis.

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    3. Publishing Policies

    3.1 Publication Ethics

    SAGE is committed to upholding the integrity of the academic record. We encourage authors to refer to the Committee on Publication Ethics’ International Standards for Authors and view the Publication Ethics page on the SAGE Author Gateway

    3.1.1 Plagiarism

    International Small Business Journal and SAGE take issues of copyright infringement, plagiarism or other breaches of best practice in publication very seriously. We seek to protect the rights of our authors and we always investigate claims of plagiarism or misuse of articles published in the journal. Equally, we seek to protect the reputation of the journal against malpractice. Submitted articles may be checked using duplication-checking software. Where an article is found to have plagiarised other work or included third-party copyright material without permission or with insufficient acknowledgement, or where authorship of the article is contested, we reserve the right to take action including, but not limited to: publishing an erratum or corrigendum (correction); retracting the article (removing it from the journal); taking up the matter with the head of department or dean of the author’s institution and/or relevant academic bodies or societies; banning the author from publication in the journal or all SAGE journals, or appropriate legal action.

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    4. How to submit your manuscript

    Before submitting your manuscript, please ensure you carefully read and adhere to all the guidelines and instructions to authors provided below. Manuscripts not conforming to these guidelines may be returned.

    ISBJ is hosted on SAGE track a web based online submission and peer review system powered by ScholarOne� Manuscripts. Please read the Manuscript Submission guidelines below, and then simply visit to login and submit your article online.

    IMPORTANT: Please check whether you already have an account in the system before trying to create a new one. If you have reviewed or authored for the journal in the past year it is likely that you will have had an account created. For further guidance on submitting your manuscript online please visit ScholarOne Online Help.

    All papers must be submitted via the online system. If you would like to discuss your paper prior to submission, please refer to the contact details below.

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    5. Journal contributor’s publishing agreement   

    Before publication SAGE requires the author as the rights holder to sign a Journal Contributor’s Publishing Agreement. SAGE’s Journal Contributor’s Publishing Agreement is an exclusive licence agreement which means that the author retains copyright in the work but grants SAGE the sole and exclusive right and licence to publish for the full legal term of copyright. Exceptions may exist where an assignment of copyright is required or preferred by a proprietor other than SAGE. In this case copyright in the work will be assigned from the author to the society. For more information please visit our Frequently Asked Questions on the SAGE Journal Author Gateway.

    5.1 SAGE Choice and Open Access

    If you or your funder wish your article to be freely available online to non subscribers immediately upon publication (gold open access), you can opt for it to be included in SAGE Choice, subject to payment of a publication fee. The manuscript submission and peer review procedure is unchanged. On acceptance of your article, you will be asked to let SAGE know directly if you are choosing SAGE Choice. To check journal eligibility and the publication fee, please visit SAGE Choice. For more information on open access options and compliance at SAGE, including self author archiving deposits (green open access) visit SAGE Publishing Policies on our Journal Author Gateway.

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    6. Declaration of conflicting interests                  

    Within your Journal Contributor’s Publishing Agreement you will be required to make a certification with respect to a declaration of conflicting interests. ISBJ does not require a declaration of conflicting interests but recommends you review the good practice guidelines on the SAGE Journal Author Gateway.

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    7. Other conventions

    Articles should be in English and double spaced in a MS Word format and be 6,000 to 8,000 words, together with up to four keywords, although shorter contributions are not necessarily excluded. For example, short research notes including a response to an earlier paper, empirical contributions, or critical reviews, are also welcome. Submissions should include: a covering letter with author(s) full name, affiliation and contact details; up to four keywords; a confirmation that all authors have agreed to the submission and that the article is not currently being considered for publication by any other journal; and suggested names of up to four individuals, who may be suitable to serve as referees, but the Editors are under no obligation to use all or any of these individuals as reviewers. Upon receipt, manuscripts will receive a reference number to enable authors and editors to track the paper. If papers pass initial screening, full-referees are asked to submit their reports within four weeks although currently this may vary depending on the flow of copy.

    International Small Business Journal is hosted on ScholarOne™

    Manuscripts, a web based online submission and peer review system - SAGETRACK. Please read the Manuscript Submission guidelines below, and then simply visit  to login and submit your article online.

    IMPORTANT: Please check whether you already have an account in the system before trying to create a new one. If you have reviewed or authored for the journal in the past year it is possible that you will have had an account created.

    All papers must be submitted via the online system. If you would like to discuss your paper prior to submission, please refer to the contact details below:
    Valerie Thorne Kingston University, UK

    Format of MSS

    Each manuscript should contain:

    1. title page with full title and subtitle (if any). For the purposes of blind refereeing, full name of each author with current affiliation and full address/phone/fax/email details plus short biographical note should be supplied on a separate sheet.
    2. abstract of 100-150 words
    3. up to 4 key words
    4. main text and word count. Text to be clearly organized, with a clear hierarchy of headings and subheadings and quotations exceeding 40 words displayed, indented, in the text
    5. end notes, if necessary, should be signalled by superscript numbers in the main text and listed at the end of the text before the references
    6. All Tables and Figures to be placed at the end of the document, indicate within the text where these should be placed.
    7. No author details to be included on the main document.

    Books for review and manuscripts of reviews should be sent to:

    Jarna Heinonen
    Turku School of Economics
    TSE Entre
    Rehtorinpellonkatu 3

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    8. Acknowledgements                                                         

    Any acknowledgements should appear first at the end of your article prior to your Declaration of Conflicting Interests (if applicable), any notes and your References.

    All contributors who do not meet the criteria for authorship should be listed in an ‘Acknowledgements’ section. Examples of those who might be acknowledged include a person who provided purely technical help, writing assistance, or a department chair who provided only general support. Authors should disclose whether they had any writing assistance and identify the entity that paid for this assistance.

    8.1 Funding Acknowledgement
    To comply with the guidance for Research Funders, Authors and Publishers issued by the Research Information Network (RIN), ISBJ additionally requires all Authors to acknowledge their funding in a consistent fashion under a separate heading. All research articles should have a funding acknowledgement in the form of a sentence as follows, with the funding agency written out in full, followed by the grant number in square brackets:

    This work was supported by the Medical Research Council [grant number xxx].

    Multiple grant numbers should be separated by comma and space. Where the research was supported by more than one agency, the different agencies should be separated by semi-colon, with “and” before the final funder. Thus:

    This work was supported by the Wellcome Trust [grant numbers xxxx, yyyy]; the Natural Environment Research Council [grant number zzzz]; and the Economic and Social Research Council [grant number aaaa].

    In some cases, research is not funded by a specific project grant, but rather from the block grant and other resources available to a university, college or other research institution. Where no specific funding has been provided for the research we ask that corresponding authors use the following sentence:

    This research received no specific grant from any funding agency in the public, commercial, or not-for-profit sectors.

    Please include this information under a separate heading entitled “Funding” directly after any other Acknowledgements prior to your “Declaration of Conflicting Interests” (if applicable), any Notes and your References.

    For more information on the guidance for Research Funders, Authors and Publishers, please visit:

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    9. Permissions

    Authors are responsible for obtaining permission from copyright holders for reproducing any illustrations, tables, figures or lengthy quotations previously published elsewhere. For further information including guidance on fair dealing for criticism and review, please visit our Frequently Asked Questions on the SAGE Journal Author Gateway.

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    10. Manuscript style

    10.1 File types
    Only electronic files conforming to the journal's guidelines will be accepted. Preferred format for the text and tables of your manuscript is Word DOC and should be placed at the end of the document. Please also refer to additional guideline on submitting artwork below.

    10.2 Journal Style
    International Small Business Journal conforms to the SAGE house style. Click here to review guidelines on SAGE UK House Style.

    10.3 Reference Style
    ISBJ operates a SAGE Harvard. Click here to review the guidelines on SAGE Harvard to ensure your manuscript conforms to this reference style.

    10.4. Manuscript Preparation
    The text should be double-spaced throughout and with a minimum of 3cm for left and right hand margins and 5cm at head and foot. Text should be standard 10 or 12 point.

    10.4.1 Your Title and Abstracts: Helping readers find your article online
    The title, keywords and abstract are key to ensuring readers find your article online through online search engines such as Google. Please refer to the information and guidance on how best to title your article, write your abstract and select your keywords by visiting SAGE’s Journal Author Gateway Guidelines on How to Help Readers Find Your Article Online.

    10.4.2 Corresponding Author Contact details
    Provide full contact details for the corresponding author including email, mailing address and telephone numbers. Academic affiliations are required for all co-authors.

    10.4.3 Guidelines for submitting artwork, figures and other graphics
    For guidance on the preparation of illustrations, pictures and graphs in electronic format, please visit SAGE’s Manuscript Submission Guidelines.

    If, together with your accepted article (place at the end of the document), you submit usable colour figures, these figures will appear in colour online regardless of whether or not these illustrations are reproduced in colour in the printed version. If a charge applies you will be informed by your SAGE Production Editor. For specifically requested colour reproduction in print, you will receive information regarding the costs from SAGE after receipt of your accepted article.

    10.4.4 Guidelines for submitting supplemental files
    International Small Business Journal does not currently accept supplemental files.

    10.4.5 English Language Editing services
    Non-English speaking authors who would like to refine their use of language in their manuscripts might consider using a professional editing service. Visit English Language Editing Services on our Journal Author Gateway for further information.

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    11. After acceptance           

    11.1 Proofs
    We will email a PDF of the proofs to the corresponding author.

    11.2 E-Prints

    SAGE provides authors with access to a PDF of their final article. For further information please visit

    11.3 SAGE Production
    At SAGE we place an extremely strong emphasis on the highest production standards possible. We attach high importance to our quality service levels in copy-editing, typesetting, printing, and online publication ( We also seek to uphold excellent author relations throughout the publication process.

    We value your feedback to ensure we continue to improve our author service levels. On publication all corresponding authors will receive a brief survey questionnaire on your experience of publishing in ISBJ with SAGE.

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    12. Further information

    Any correspondence, queries or additional requests for information on the Manuscript Submission process should be sent to the Editorial team by email or the Editorial Office as follows:

    Editorial Office, ISBJ, Small Business Research Centre, Kingston Business School, Kingston University, Kingston Hill, Kingston-upon-Thames, Surrey KT2 7LB, UK

    Email:;; and
    Robert Blackburn and Susan Marlow, Editors ISBJ
    Valerie Thorne, Editorial Assistant ISBJ

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