Growing profitable or growing from profits: Putting the horse in front of the cart?
Firm growth is almost universally portrayed as a good thing, and is commonly used as a measure of success. Applying resource-based reasoning, we argue that growth is often not a sign of sound development. Specifically, we hypothesize that firms which grow without first securing high levels of profitability tend to be less successful in subsequent periods compared to firms that first secure high profitability at low growth. Empirical tests using two large, longitudinal data sets confirm that the profitable low growth firms are more likely to reach the desirable state of high growth and high profitability. In addition, they have a decreased risk of ending up performing poorly on both performance dimensions compared with firms starting from a high growth, low-profitability configuration. The results suggest that academics, managers, investors and policy-makers may benefit by adopting a more nuanced view of firm growth that explicitly incorporates its intricate relationship with profitability.
Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:
- Alex Coad, 2007.
"A Closer Look at Serial Growth Rate Correlation,"
Review of Industrial Organization,
Springer;The Industrial Organization Society, vol. 31(1), pages 69-82, August.
- Alex Coad, 2006. "A Closer Look at Serial Growth Rate Correlation," LEM Papers Series 2006/29, Laboratory of Economics and Management (LEM), Sant'Anna School of Advanced Studies, Pisa, Italy.
- Robert E. Carpenter & Bruce C. Petersen, 2002. "Is The Growth Of Small Firms Constrained By Internal Finance?," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 84(2), pages 298-309, May.
- Yasemin Y. Kor & Joseph T. Mahoney, 2004. "Edith Penrose's (1959) Contributions to the Resource-based View of Strategic Management," Journal of Management Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 41(1), pages 183-191, 01.
- Chandler, Gaylen N. & Jansen, Erik, 1992. "The founder's self-assessed competence and venture performance," Journal of Business Venturing, Elsevier, vol. 7(3), pages 223-236, May.
- Alvarez, Sharon A. & Barney, Jay B., 2004. "Organizing rent generation and appropriation: toward a theory of the entrepreneurial firm," Journal of Business Venturing, Elsevier, vol. 19(5), pages 621-635, September.
- Scott, John T & Pascoe, George, 1986. "Beyond Firm and Industry Effects on Profitability in Imperfect Market s," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 68(2), pages 284-292, May.
- Gavin C Reid, 1994. "Early Life-Cycle Behaviour of Micro-Firms in Scotland," CRIEFF Discussion Papers 9410, Centre for Research into Industry, Enterprise, Finance and the Firm.
- Katz, Michael L & Shapiro, Carl, 1985. "Network Externalities, Competition, and Compatibility," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 75(3), pages 424-440, June.
- Geroski, P. A., 1995. "What do we know about entry?," International Journal of Industrial Organization, Elsevier, vol. 13(4), pages 421-440, December.
- Margaret A. Peteraf & Jay B. Barney, 2003. "Unraveling the resource-based tangle," Managerial and Decision Economics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 24(4), pages 309-323.
- Haim Mendelson, 2000. "Organizational Architecture and Success in the Information Technology Industry," Management Science, INFORMS, vol. 46(4), pages 513-529, April.
- Ingemar Dierickx & Karel Cool, 1989. "Asset Stock Accumulation and the Sustainability of Competitive Advantage: Reply," Management Science, INFORMS, vol. 35(12), pages 1514-1514, December.
- Gupta, Vinod K, 1981. "Minimum Efficient Scale as a Determinant of Concentration: A Reappraisal," The Manchester School of Economic & Social Studies, University of Manchester, vol. 49(2), pages 153-164, June.
- Cliff, Jennifer E. & Jennings, P. Devereaux & Greenwood, Royston, 2006. "New to the game and questioning the rules: The experiences and beliefs of founders who start imitative versus innovative firms," Journal of Business Venturing, Elsevier, vol. 21(5), pages 633-663, September.
- Shaker A. Zahra & Harry J. Sapienza & Per Davidsson, 2006. "Entrepreneurship and Dynamic Capabilities: A Review, Model and Research Agenda," Journal of Management Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 43(4), pages 917-955, 06.
- Ingemar Dierickx & Karel Cool, 1989. "Asset Stock Accumulation and Sustainability of Competitive Advantage," Management Science, INFORMS, vol. 35(12), pages 1504-1511, December.
- Noel Capon & John U. Farley & Scott Hoenig, 1990. "Determinants of Financial Performance: A Meta-Analysis," Management Science, INFORMS, vol. 36(10), pages 1143-1159, October. Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)
When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:eee:jbvent:v:24:y:2009:i:4:p:388-406. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.
For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Dana Niculescu)
If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.
If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.
If the full references list an item that is present in RePEc, but the system did not link to it, you can help with this form.
If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.
Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.