High-growth firms : characteristics, job contribution and method observations

Davidsson, Per & Delmar, Frederic (1997) High-growth firms : characteristics, job contribution and method observations. In RENT XI Conference, 27 - 28 November 1997, Mannheim, Germany.


Largely as a result of mass unemployment problems in many European countries, the dynamics of job creation has in recent years attracted increased interest on the part of academics as well as policy-makers. In connection to this, a large number of studies carried out in various countries have concluded that SMEs play a very large and/or growing role as job creators (Birch, 1979; Baldwin and Picot, 1995; Davidsson, 1995a; Davidsson, Lindmark and Olofsson, 1993; 1994; 1995; 1997a; 1997b; Fumagelli and Mussati, 1993; Kirchhoff and Phillips, 1988; Spilling, 1995; for further reference to studies carried out in a large number of countries see also Aiginger and Tichy, 1991; ENSR, 1994; Loveman and Sengenberger, 1991; OECD, 1987; Storey and Johnson, 1987).

While most researchers agree on the importance of SMEs, there is some controversy as regards whether this is mainly a result of many small start-ups and incremental expansions, or if a small minority of high growth SMEs contribute the lion’s share of new employment. This is known as the ‘mice vs. gazelles’ or ‘flyers vs. trundlers’ debate. Storey strongly advocates the position that the small group of high growth SMEs are the ‘real’ job creators (Storey, 1994; Storey & Johnson, 1987), whereas, e.g., the Davidsson et al research in Sweden (cf. above) gives more support for the ‘mice’ hypothesis.

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ID Code: 68083
Item Type: Conference Paper
Refereed: No
Additional Information: Also presented at the OECD and to the EC Commission
Keywords: High-growth Firms, Job Contribution , Method Observations, Characteristics
Subjects: Australian and New Zealand Standard Research Classification > COMMERCE MANAGEMENT TOURISM AND SERVICES (150000) > BUSINESS AND MANAGEMENT (150300) > Entrepreneurship (150304)
Divisions: Current > Research Centres > Australian Centre for Entrepreneurship
Current > QUT Faculties and Divisions > QUT Business School
Current > Schools > School of Management
Copyright Owner: Copyright 1997 [please consult the author]
Deposited On: 05 Mar 2014 23:20
Last Modified: 05 Mar 2014 23:20

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