The relationship between organizational structure and performance in small firms has received relatively limited attention over the last few decades. In understanding small firm performance this seems to be a serious omission. In this paper, we first present the rationale for including organizational structure in the analysis of small firm performance. Then, from the literature on organizational theory, we retrieve several dimensions that may be postulated to describe organizational structures of small firms. Based on the study of a stratified sample of 1411 Dutch small firms we show that nine structure stereotypes can be delineated. We further investigate the relevance of the empirical taxonomy by looking at the relationship with firm performance in terms of sales growth, profitability and innovativeness. Eventually, we conclude that organizational structure indeed matters and that it deserves to be taken into account in models and future analysis of small firm performance.
Small Business Economics – Springer Journals
Published: Mar 22, 2005
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