A study of 21 small‐to‐medium sized Hong Kong Chinese business organizations analysed the relationship between structural characteristics and growth patterns. Qualitative data were collected through intensive, one‐to‐one interviews conducted in Cantonese. Three propositions concerning growth and development were developed. The first proposition is that for sustained growth towards a size of 100 employees the structure may remain predominantly simple, but there must also be some elements of adhocracy or professional bureaucracy, and the strategic apex must want the company to grow. Second, for a manufacturing company to grow to a point beyond 100 employees, its predominant form must change from simple structure to machine bureaucracy. Third, for sustained, robust growth once a manufacturing company has reached well over 100 employees in size, it either requires elements of divisional form structure, or special human resourcefulness manifested as exceptionally good staff relationships and business contacts.
International Journal of Entrepreneurial Behaviour & Research – Emerald Publishing
Published: Dec 1, 1996
Keywords: Hong Kong; Organizational structure; Qualitative techniques; Small firms
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