The aim of this thesis is to construct a vital part of a program theory for public business advisory service for small and medium sized companies (SMEs). Program theory is defined as the presuppositions concerning what the intervention or program. originally was designed to achieve and how this achievement was to come about. Program theory is also to be understood as intervention theories and as the reasoning underlying the program.
Public business advisory service is, in this context, seen as public intervention or public policy designed and implemented to enhance growth and renewal in the small business sector. In Sweden alone, national and regional governments spend several billions of SEK each year on providing SMEs with business service. However, little theoretical work has been done to explain why this service is needed and how it should be designed and implemented. A program theory is thus needed.
The construction of such a theory, presented here, is composed of four parts:
Part one of the thesis is a survey of the need for service presented in the report The Need for Business Advisory Service (Behovet av företagsservice, Hjalmarsson, D., & Johnsson, T., 1980).
Part two - the report Business Advisory Service from Bill to Action (Företagsservice från proposition till handling, Hjalmarsson, D., & Johnsson, T., 1982 ) - is a case-study of advisory service in practice with a focus on implementation.
Part three is an official report containing surveys, analyses and proposals regarding the future of the Swedish Regional Development Funds, which until 1994 were the major providers of advisory service in Sweden. The official report is presented in A Strategy for Small Business Development (Strategi för småföretagsutveckling, Hjalmarsson, D., chapter 1-9 in SOU 1993:70).
In part four, this document, Program Theory for Public Business Advisory Service (Programteori för statlig företagsservice), the empirical and theoretical findings of the whole thesis are summarized and developed into a vital part of a new program theory. Focus is on the construction of a theoretical basis for the public business advisory service and on some general questions concerning the implementation of that service.
Uppsala: Acta Universitatis Upsaliensis , 1998. , 107,  p.
1998-03-13, hörsal 1, Ekonomikum, Kyrkogårdsgatan 10, Uppsala, Uppsala, 13:15