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Small business growth: recent evidence and new directions

Small business growth: recent evidence and new directions Purpose – To review empirical contributions to the small business growth literature since the mid‐1990s. Design/methodology/approach – Narrative review of the literature using the framework adopted in previous reviews: management strategies; characteristics of the entrepreneur; environment/industry factors; and firm characteristics. Findings – The absence of any unifying theory means that the literature continues to feature a wide range of growth measures and model specifications. As a result of this, knowledge development appears fragmented rather than cumulative. New theoretical perspectives are needed if we are to develop our understanding of the growth process in small businesses. Research limitations/implications – Alternative types of research are suggested that focus on small business growth as a process rather than an episode. Future research needs to adopt multiple measures of growth and, more importantly, be based on theory longitudinal in scope but idiosyncratic in its focus. Empirical work should seek to explain the periodicity of growth and the role that learning plays in the idiosyncratic development of small businesses. Originality/value – The paper synthesizes the literature in an area that is critical in terms of the advice given to policy makers and business owners. It does so while building on the frameworks used in previous reviews and then identifying new research approaches that are needed to advance understanding of the small business growth process. http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png International Journal of Entrepreneurial Behaviour & Research Emerald Publishing

Small business growth: recent evidence and new directions

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Publisher
Emerald Publishing
Copyright
Copyright © 2007 Emerald Group Publishing Limited. All rights reserved.
ISSN
1355-2554
DOI
10.1108/13552550710780885
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

Purpose – To review empirical contributions to the small business growth literature since the mid‐1990s. Design/methodology/approach – Narrative review of the literature using the framework adopted in previous reviews: management strategies; characteristics of the entrepreneur; environment/industry factors; and firm characteristics. Findings – The absence of any unifying theory means that the literature continues to feature a wide range of growth measures and model specifications. As a result of this, knowledge development appears fragmented rather than cumulative. New theoretical perspectives are needed if we are to develop our understanding of the growth process in small businesses. Research limitations/implications – Alternative types of research are suggested that focus on small business growth as a process rather than an episode. Future research needs to adopt multiple measures of growth and, more importantly, be based on theory longitudinal in scope but idiosyncratic in its focus. Empirical work should seek to explain the periodicity of growth and the role that learning plays in the idiosyncratic development of small businesses. Originality/value – The paper synthesizes the literature in an area that is critical in terms of the advice given to policy makers and business owners. It does so while building on the frameworks used in previous reviews and then identifying new research approaches that are needed to advance understanding of the small business growth process.

Journal

International Journal of Entrepreneurial Behaviour & ResearchEmerald Publishing

Published: Aug 7, 2007

Keywords: Business development; Small enterprises

References