A Narrative Approach to Business Growth

A Narrative Approach to Business Growth

Mona Ericson

Mona Ericson conceptualizes business growth using a participatory narrative approach, adopting story-like representations of growth activity. This approach emphasizes the use of description, conceptualization, knowledge sharing and interpretation. It connects the subject and the researcher allowing the latter to better understand the actual practice of growing a business, while also extending the study to the novice and general reader alike.

Chapter 2: Toward Implies From

Mona Ericson

Subjects: business and management, entrepreneurship, organisation studies, strategic management


A move toward a narrative dynamic conceptualization requires a clarification of what instigates this move. A ‘toward’ necessarily implies a ‘from’. Previous (nonnarrative) growth research suggests here a preliminary location to depart from. It is also important to note that insights gained from earlier nonnarrative theoretical frameworks, empirical foci and concepts could prove useful for catching nuances in the practitioners’ stories. The words they use might bring together issues dealt with in both narrative and nonnarrative literature. The participatory narrative approach does not confine itself to a specific growth theory. This chapter shows that in most business growth literature the firm is at the center and that a major assumption regards a firm’s natural evolution in the sense of linear moves from one stage to another. Moreover, it emphasizes that to generate competitive advantage, the firm must use resources efficiently and build capabilities to release positive synergies between resources. By referring to entrepreneurship, this chapter also incorporates a dimension of growth that trains the spotlight on the individual in the firm. By highlighting the dynamic character of entrepreneurship, it further directs attention to relational ideas that are concerned with how people come to constitute and interactively know a world. The chapter concludes by stressing that it is important that we throw more light on human interaction and activity. THE GROWING FIRM, AND INSIDE IT An extensive body of research directs attention to the firm, underlining the importance of definitions and measurements for understanding and explaining growth (Delmar, Davidsson and Gartner,...

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