Chapter 10: Organic and acquisitive growth: re-examining, testing and extending Penrose’s growth theory
The Theory of the Growth of the Firm by Edith Penrose, first published in 1959, is a seminal contribution to the field of management. Penrose’s intention was to create a theory of firm growth which was logically consistent and empirically tractable (Buckley and Casson, 2007). Much attention, however, has been focused on her unintended contribution to the resource-based view (henceforth RBV) (e.g. Kor and Mahoney, 2004; Lockett and Thompson, 2004) rather than her firm growth theory. We feel that this is unfortunate because despite a rapidly growing body of empirical work, conceptual advancement in growth studies has been limited (Davidsson and Wiklund, 2000; Davidsson et al., 2006; Delmar, 1997; Storey, 1994). The growth literature frequently references Penrose’s work, but little explicit testing of her ideas has been undertaken. This is surprising given that Penrose’s work remains the most comprehensive theory of growth to date. One explanation is that she did not formally present her arguments, favouring verbal exposition over formalized models (Lockett, 2005; Lockett and Thompson, 2004). However, the central propositions and conclusions of her theory can be operationalized and empirically tested.
You are not authenticated to view the full text of this chapter or article.
Elgaronline requires a subscription or purchase to access the full text of books or journals. Please login through your library system or with your personal username and password on the homepage.
Non-subscribers can freely search the site, view abstracts/ extracts and download selected front matter and introductory chapters for personal use.
Your library may not have purchased all subject areas. If you are authenticated and think you should have access to this title, please contact your librarian.