Chapter 8: Performance configurations over time: implications for growth- and profit-oriented strategies
Entrepreneurship research and practice places emphasis on company growth as a measure of entrepreneurial success. In many cases, there has been a tendency to give growth a very central role, with some researchers even seeing growth as the very essence of entrepreneurship (Cole, 1949; Sexton, 1997; Stevenson & Gumpert, 1991). A large number of empirical studies of the performance of young and/or small firms use growth as the dependent variable (see reviews by Ardishvili, Cardozo, Harmon, & Vadakath, 1998; Delmar, 1997; Wiklund, 1998). By contrast, the two most prominent views of strategic management – strategic positioning (Porter, 1980) and the resource-based view (Barney, 1991; Wernerfelt, 1984) – are both concerned with achieving competitive advantage and regard achieving economic rents and profitability relative to other competitors as the central measures of firm performance. Strategic entrepreneurship integrates these two perspectives and is simultaneously concerned with opportunity seeking and advantage seeking (Hitt, Ireland, Camp, & Sexton, 2002; Ireland, Hitt, & Sirmon, 2003). Consequently, both company growth and relative profitability are together relevant measures of firm performance in the domain of strategic entrepreneurship.
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