Frontiers in European Entrepreneurship Research
Edited by David Smallbone, Hans Landström and Dylan Jones-Evans
Chapter 7: An Examination of the Link between Growth Attitudes and Realized Growth
Anders Isaksson and Vladimir Vanyushyn INTRODUCTION The growth of new ventures and SMEs has long been recognized as an important stream of research in the field of small business and entrepreneurship (Delmar et al., 2003; Storey, 1994; Birch, 1987; Boswell, 1973). The volume of literature on the subject offers a range of insights into the nature and causes of growth, two of which are of particular importance to this study. The first is recognition of the fact that growth is a complex multidimensional phenomenon that requires sophisticated tools to capture and analyse, since the use of classical measures such as employment, sales, or market share may obscure the complexity of the phenomenon under scrutiny (Gilbert et al., 2006). The second is the acknowledgement of the importance of the entrepreneur’s motivation and aspirations when studying growth, as entrepreneurs may defy the narrow profit maximization imperative and choose not to grow in order to preserve the atmosphere of a small organization (Wiklund et al., 2003). In this study, we investigate the link between growth attitudes and realized growth. The theoretical arguments for the link between growth attitudes and realized growth can be traced back to the fundamental psychological theory of reasoned action (TRA) (Ajzen and Fishbein, 1980; Fishbein and Ajzen, 1975; Sheppard et al., 1988) and the theory of planned behaviour (TPB) (Ajzen, 1991). TRA suggests that a person’s behavioural intention depends on the person’s attitude toward the behaviour and subjective norms (Ajzen and Fishbein, 1980; Fishbein and Ajzen, 1975). In other...
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