Concerns about the quality of business’s management and productivity has increased the salience of advice for policymakers. For policymakers, possibilities exist to develop advisory services and improve business practices bringing wider benefits to the economy and society. For academics, the problem of advice has become more important as it relates to firm development. Major perspectives on advice have developed in isolation from each other, in particular the psychology of advice taking and the managerial and economic perspectives. Hence it may be time for a re-think. The appraisal will be timely, as it reviews the literature on advice to entrepreneurs and to small firm managers. Therefore, the objective is to review the literature on advice to entrepreneurs and small business managers. In order to take advantage of the iterative potential that different perspectives would bring, this narrative literature review will need to understand these through the eyes of the advice seekers and the context within which they operate. Having identified and defined advice, the review discusses the different perspectives and the implications under five different headings that reflect the customer journey in the advice process from the initial “attraction” to advice, to the implications for businesses of consistent advice-taking. Implication for future research are presented.
Advice to Entrepreneurs and Small Business focuses on the CEO advice taking process and examines the case where advisers provide strategic advice to the top management of the firm. The review suggests that the process of business advice could be divided into attraction, engagement, exit and extension. The first section describes the different perspectives that have discussed business advice from economics, psychology, sociology and management. Next, the monograph turns to the attraction of advice and the reasons why entrepreneurs seek advice. Then, it examines the navigation of the business advice market. Next it considers the engagement in the adviser-entrepreneur relationship and the impact of advice. Finally, the author considers what we know, what gaps exist and highlights controversies in business advice before concluding.