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On the consequences of firm growth

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<mark>Journal publication date</mark>30/09/2022
<mark>Journal</mark>International Small Business Journal
Issue number6
Number of pages26
Pages (from-to)684-709
Publication StatusPublished
Early online date17/09/22
<mark>Original language</mark>English


Recent contributions to the literature on small firm growth have been marked by a growing sense of frustration with the state-of-the-art and what it implicates in both theory and policy. In short, while growth episodes appear relatively common, a tiny proportion of firms sustain growth and ‘scale’. This calls into question the very basis upon which policies seeking to target high growth firms (HGFs) rest. In addition, it cautions against perspectives that view growth as the essence of entrepreneurship. In this paper, we argue that understanding the frequency of growth episodes and the rarity of sustained growth requires a better understanding of growth consequences. To this end, we describe case study evidence from ambitious entrepreneurs whose firms experienced an episode of high growth followed by longer periods of mixed performance. Our goal is to shed light on how the experience of growing affects further growth. Our data provide initial insights into the mechanisms linking past growth to growth motivations and into the ways in which past growth lays the foundations for future performance.