Business Strategies Used by Micro-SMEs in a Bangkok Street Market

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Now published: Walsh, John, “Business Strategies Used by Micro-SMEs in a Bangkok Street Market,” Journal of Enterprising Communities, Vol.8, No.2 (2014), pp.147-58, doi: 10.1108/JEC-02-2013-0001.

Abstract:

Purpose – This paper aims to report on research aimed at determining the nature of business strategies employed by micro small and medium-sized street vendors in a local market area in Bangkok.

Design/methodology/approach – The research consisted of a longitudinal study of the defined research site, involving ethnographic interaction and observation mediated by the use of a research diary.

Findings – The research found that the use of business strategies was quite limited and varied in line with the street vendor’s relationships with other actors and business practitioners.

Research limitations/implications – The research was deliberately limited in terms of space and is ongoing in terms of time. Additional areas of Bangkok will also be studied for comparative purposes.

Practical implications – Street vending and markets offer valuable opportunities for informal employment and for part-time employment to provide additional income generation for the working poor. Vendors also help sustain a decent standard of living for migrant workers.

Social implications – Street vending of this sort reflects the nature of underlying changes in urban life: the building of new mass transit routes, the opening of condominiums in place of shop houses and the flourishing of the frozen food industry. Many street vendors are mobile and flexible but not all of them.

Originality/value – This paper contributes to the literature on street vending and urban micro-entrepreneurs and will be of interest not just to scholars of business but also in planning for social policy and urban management.

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