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Learning from Failure: Organizational Mortality and the Resource-based View

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  • Thornhill, Stewart
  • Amit, Raphael
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    Abstract

    This paper examines the factors underlying firm failure, and compares the failure mechanisms for young firms against those of older organizations. This paper suggests that there are systematic differences between the determinants of firm failure for firms that fail early in life and those that fail after having successfully negotiated the early liabilities of newness and adolescence. Data from 339 Canadian corporate bankruptcies confirm that younger firms fail because of inadequacies in managerial knowledge and financial management abilities. On the other hand, older firms are more likely to fail because of an inability to adapt to environmental change.

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    File URL: http://www5.statcan.gc.ca/olc-cel/olc.action?ObjId=11F0019M2003202&ObjType=46&lang=en&limit=0
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    Bibliographic Info

    Paper provided by Statistics Canada, Analytical Studies Branch in its series Analytical Studies Branch Research Paper Series with number 2003202e.

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    Date of creation: 08 Aug 2003
    Date of revision:
    Handle: RePEc:stc:stcp3e:2003202e

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    Related research

    Keywords: Business performance and ownership; Entry; exit; mergers and growth; Financial statements and performance; Labour; Small and medium-sized businesses; Workplace organization; innovation; performance;

    References

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    1. Brush, Candida G. & Chaganti, Radha, 1999. "Businesses without glamour? an analysis of resources on performance by size and age in small service and retail firms," Journal of Business Venturing, Elsevier, vol. 14(3), pages 233-257, May.
    2. Jovanovic, Boyan, 1982. "Selection and the Evolution of Industry," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 50(3), pages 649-70, May.
    3. Alfred R Nucci & Timothy Bates, 1990. "An Analysis of Small Business Size and Rate of Discontinuance," Working Papers 90-2, Center for Economic Studies, U.S. Census Bureau.
    4. Bates, Timothy, 1990. "Entrepreneur Human Capital Inputs and Small Business Longevity," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 72(4), pages 551-59, November.
    5. Levinthal, D.A. & Fichman, M., 1991. "Honeymoons and the Liability of Adolescence : A New Perspective on Duration Dependence in Social Organizational Relationships," GSIA Working Papers 1991-34, Carnegie Mellon University, Tepper School of Business.
    6. Richard A. D'Aveni, 1989. "Dependability and Organizational Bankruptcy: An Application of Agency and Prospect Theory," Management Science, INFORMS, vol. 35(9), pages 1120-1138, September.
    7. Venkataraman, S. & Van De Ven, Andrew H. & Buckeye, Jeanne & Hudson, Roger, 1990. "Starting up in a turbulent environment: A process model of failure among firms with high customer dependence," Journal of Business Venturing, Elsevier, vol. 5(5), pages 277-295, September.
    8. Cooper, Arnold C. & Gimeno-Gascon, F. Javier & Woo, Carolyn Y., 1994. "Initial human and financial capital as predictors of new venture performance," Journal of Business Venturing, Elsevier, vol. 9(5), pages 371-395, September.
    9. Stearns, Timothy M. & Carter, Nancy M. & Reynolds, Paul D. & Williams, Mary L., 1995. "New firm survival: Industry, strategy, and location," Journal of Business Venturing, Elsevier, vol. 10(1), pages 23-42, January.
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    Cited by:
    1. Uwe Jirjahn, 2010. "Nonunion Worker Representation and the Closure of Establishments: German Evidence on the Role of Moderating Factors," Research Papers in Economics 2010-01, University of Trier, Department of Economics.

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