The School of Geography, Politics and Sociology


Situating small business regulation: A longitudinal study of how small firms receive, understand and respond to regulation

Simon Down (KITE, NUBS), Jane Pollard (CURDS/GPS), Paul Richter (KITE researcher, NUBS), and Monder Ram, OBE (De Montfort University) have been successful in securing £240,000 to conduct research looking at how small firms receive, understand and respond to regulation  in different sectoral and geographic contexts.  Funded by the ESRC, this 28-month project explores wide-ranging and longer term effects of how small firms navigate a suite of regulatory changes, including those that are universal in intent and demand cultural change (e.g. Anti-Ageism legislation) and those that require ‘one-off’ adjustments (e.g. complying with changes in Capital Gains Tax).Key aims are to understand the temporal, spatial and market contexts in which small firms internalise regulatory initiatives, to identify unforeseen or hidden aspects of small firms’ behaviour and to produce more nuanced assessments of particular regulatory initiatives for policy makers in regional and national government, small business support organisations, consultant/lobbying bodies, legal organisations and trade unions. This interdisciplinary research adopts a longitudinal, multi-method framework, including case studies, participant observation and interviews with 12 small firms in 3 industrial sectors in the North East and in Cambridgeshire.