Evolving Concepts and Processes
Edited by Odd Jarl Borch, Alain Fayolle, Paula Kyrö and Elisabet Ljunggren
Chapter 9: Exploring Firm Growth as a Process of Creation
Tuija Mainela, Vesa Puhakka and Sakari Sipola* INTRODUCTION Firm growth is regarded as one of the key issues in economic development of nations, and growth is at the top of the target list in many companies (Haour, 2005). In practice, some firms manage to achieve temporary spurts of growth but are not able to keep up a sustained, profitable growth process (Christensen and Raynor, 2003). This is especially true in high-technology industries where technological change is considered to be one of the main drivers of growth (Schumpeter, 1934; Solow, 1956; Romer, 1986). During the turn of the millennium great expectations were placed on the growth potential of new technology firms (see Hoch et al., 1999; Messerschmitt and Szyperski, 2003). However, technological uncertainty and other industry characteristics caused many of them to fail and expectations were proven too optimistic. On these grounds it is not surprising that firm growth has attracted a lot of interest among researchers (see Davidsson and Wiklund, 1999; Delmar et al., 2003). Many theories about the growth of the firm have been proposed since Penrose (1959) depicted hers, but none of them has been widely approved by the academic society (Barringer et al., 2005; Davidsson et al., 2006). On the basis of prior research we know about quite a variety of different factors and mechanisms that have influence on firm growth but as a whole our knowledge is limited and fragmented (Delmar, 1997). To advance our understanding of firm growth more attention should be paid to the...
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