Mid-Sized Businesses and the challenges of growth: Implications for the Theory of Administrative Behaviour and management education

Student thesis: Doctoral Thesis


This thesis is a theory-driven exploration of Mid-Sized Businesses (MSBs), developed at the intersection of the challenges that are constricting organisational growth and the management education tools that may enable them to be overcome. The analysis is focused on MSBs in England, during the period 2014 to 2018.

MSBs have long been a cornerstone of the UK economy, spanning a variety of different industries and contributing an amount to UK GDP that is disproportionate to both their size and number.

The study is concerned with how decision-making, along with other essential management activities, is affected by the dynamics of an organisation and what makes a high-growth MSB successful. It draws upon the Theory of Administrative Behaviour to construct a performance analysis model that can explain the differences between high-growth and low-growth organisations, providing a platform from which to forecast the likelihood of future growth.

In the first part of the study, the context and requirements for the research are outlined and a conceptual model is introduced. Latterly, an analytical framework is developed that conceptualises the dynamics of decision-making in MSBs. Finally, an assessment is made of the contribution to theory that a deeper understanding of the behavioural dynamics in MSBs will make. The implications for management education, specifically the Master of Business Administration (MBA) programme, are examined.
Date of AwardDec 2021
Original languageEnglish
Awarding Institution
  • University of Northampton
SupervisorPeter Lawrence (Supervisor) & Chijioke Uba (Supervisor)


  • Administrative behaviour
  • Medium-Sized Businesses
  • Bounded performance
  • Decision-making

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