Chapter 2: Toward Implies From
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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