The majority of HTSF firm founders are `technical entrepreneurs'.
In this context, the `empty hive' concept, recently advocated by the CBI (CBI, 1997), in which it is argued that professional managers should help develop new HTSF technologies, is a dubious concept.
Most HTSF technical entrepreneurs need general management training, both during firm formation, when coherent business planning is vital, and during subsequent growth.
Nonetheless, the complexities of HTSF management suggest that relevant general management training for HTSFs would be beneficial.
Most HTSF founders prefer to remain independent (Oakey, 1984, 1995; Deakins and Phillpot, 1994).
For successful HTSFs in need of investment, acquisition is, perversely, often the price of such success as costs associated with rapid expansion occur, and equity in the HTSF concerned must be sold in order to maintain the value of its assets (Oakey, 1984).
All four parts of the book contain a substantial amount of new research findings (a substantial number funded by national research bodies) and will be of immense value to those following the debates on HTSFs
. An important theme which emerges in a number of the chapters is the comparative and longitudinal nature of the research methodologies.
Whether this shift in the papers reflects a change in policy and practice, or in HTSF theory, or a shift in Oakey's editorial selection of papers for publication (or all four) is unclear.
Oakey is probably right to envisage that his series of collected papers will trace out the `evolving HTSF research agenda'.
This is the second book in what promises to be an annual series of edited research collections around High Technology Small Firms (HTSFs).
Oakey's introduction is, as before, very measured in what can and cannot be said about HTSFs with any degree of certainty.
For example, there is nothing on the experience of HTSFs in `organised' Pacific-Rim political-economies (Japan, Korea, Singapore, possibly Taiwan) nor on South and East Asian HTSFs under `disorganised capitalism' (China, Pakistan, India).