Review of Managerial Science

, Volume 9, Issue 2, pp 241–259 | Cite as

Organizational change: a review of theoretical conceptions that explain how and why young firms change

  • Zulaicha ParastutyEmail author
  • Erich J. Schwarz
  • Robert J. Breitenecker
  • Rainer Harms
Original Paper


Change in new ventures is a vibrant research topic. Scholars can draw on a number of theories that emerged as a result of decades of research in organizational and social sciences focused on large and established firms. A review on organizational change theories that address young firms is still missing. We aim to contribute to the academic debate by (1) providing a systematic analysis and classification of theoretical conceptions on organizational change in terms of main assumptions, nature and reason of change, and by (2) discussing their applicability in the context of young firms. This article may aid researchers to select appropriate theoretical conceptions to study change in young firms.


Entrepreneurship New venture Organizational behavior Organizational change Young firms 

JEL Classification

D21 L26 M13 



We thank two anonymous reviewers and the editors for providing us with suggestions to re-shape this article. This research was supported by the Oesterreichische Nationalbank, Anniversary Fund (Project No. 13042).


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2015

Authors and Affiliations

  • Zulaicha Parastuty
    • 1
    Email author
  • Erich J. Schwarz
    • 1
  • Robert J. Breitenecker
    • 1
  • Rainer Harms
    • 2
  1. 1.Department of Innovation Management and EntrepreneurshipAlpen-Adria-Universität KlagenfurtKlagenfurtAustria
  2. 2.Dutch Institute for Knowledge Intensive Entrepreneurship (NIKOS)University of TwenteEnschedeThe Netherlands

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