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How young firms achieve growth: reconciling the roles of growth motivation and innovative activities

Abstract

Growth orientation is important for understanding why some young firms grow but not others, but research remains silent on the intermediary mechanisms mediating the growth orientation–firm growth relationship. We study 282 Swedish firms and show that various innovative activities mediate the growth orientation–firm growth relationship. These mediating innovative activities include informal activities and the launch of new products, but not formal R&D. Our findings offer a more complete explanation for how growth orientation translates into realized growth, serving to reconcile empirical inconsistencies about the relationship between innovation and young firm growth.

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Fig. 1

Notes

  1. 1.

    Defined as independent firms under 10 years of age (Yli-Renko et al. 2001), where independent signifies that they are not subsidiaries of other established firms.

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Correspondence to Alexander McKelvie.

Appendices

Appendix A

ᅟ Probit model on answering to survey

Appendix B

ᅟ Items included as part of multi-item measures

Appendix C

ᅟ Additional statistics related to bootstrap mediation

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McKelvie, A., Brattström, A. & Wennberg, K. How young firms achieve growth: reconciling the roles of growth motivation and innovative activities. Small Bus Econ 49, 273–293 (2017). https://doi.org/10.1007/s11187-017-9847-9

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Keywords

  • Growth
  • Growth orientation
  • Innovation
  • Young firms
  • R&D