Linking small business management with entrepreneurial growth

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A study evaluates the relationships between continued entrepreneurship or firm growth, as defined by sales change patterns, and certain environmental, strategic, and managerial style factors in small businesses. The objective is the illumination of the managerial implications suggested by 2 underlying dimensions of sales change - the average annual growth rate and the degree of volatility. Partitioning each component at the median allows construction of a matrix identifying 4 different types of sales change patterns. The amount of variation in environmental, strategic, and managerial style factors across each type of sales change pattern is then examined. The data used in the empirical analysis were collected via telephone and mail questionnaires from a random sample of 370 CEOs of small businesses in a large midwestern state. The results generally support the proposition that managerial approaches vary in predictable ways as sales change patterns vary. The findings suggest different objective-based approaches for managing growth.

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