Arriving at the high growth firm
Delmar, Frederic, Davidsson, Per, & Gartner, William B. (2003) Arriving at the high growth firm. Journal of Business Venturing, 18(2), pp. 189-216.
This study explores heterogeneity in how firms have achieved high growth. Using the population of all firms in Sweden with more than 20 employees in existence in 1996 (n= 11,748), we analyzed their development for each year of the previous 10 years (1987 to 1996). From this population of all firms in Sweden, multiple criteria were used to define a sample of high growth firms (n = 1,501). Using nineteen different measures of firm growth (such as relative and absolute sales growth, relative and absolute employee growth, organic growth versus acquisition growth, and the regularity and volatility of growth rates over the ten year period) we identified seven different types of firm growth patterns. These patterns were related to firm age and size as well as industry affiliation. Implications for research and practice are offered.
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