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Swinging a double-edged sword: The effect of slack on entrepreneurial management and growth


  • Bradley, Steven W.
  • Wiklund, Johan
  • Shepherd, Dean A.


Resource slack represents a double-edged sword, simultaneously fueling and hindering growth. Drawing on Penrose's growth theory and Stevenson's entrepreneurial management theory, we have developed and tested a conceptual model that provides a more nuanced account of the resource slack-growth relationship. Using a large dataset spanning six years, we have found that slack has a positive direct effect on growth but a negative effect on entrepreneurial management, and that entrepreneurial management has a positive effect on growth. Our empirical and conceptual findings are important to the development of firm growth theory and explicate causal mechanisms transforming slack into firm-level outcomes.

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  • Bradley, Steven W. & Wiklund, Johan & Shepherd, Dean A., 2011. "Swinging a double-edged sword: The effect of slack on entrepreneurial management and growth," Journal of Business Venturing, Elsevier, vol. 26(5), pages 537-554, September.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:jbvent:v:26:y:2011:i:5:p:537-554

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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Cited by:

    1. Brettel, Malte & Mauer, René & Engelen, Andreas & Küpper, Daniel, 2012. "Corporate effectuation: Entrepreneurial action and its impact on R&D project performance," Journal of Business Venturing, Elsevier, vol. 27(2), pages 167-184.
    2. Dutta Dev K. & Thornhill Stewart, 2014. "Venture Cognitive Logics, Entrepreneurial Cognitive Style, and Growth Intentions: A Conceptual Model and an Exploratory Field Study," Entrepreneurship Research Journal, De Gruyter, vol. 4(2), pages 147-166, March.
    3. repec:eee:jbvent:v:32:y:2017:i:6:p:627-656 is not listed on IDEAS
    4. Wincent, Joakim & Thorgren, Sara & Anokhin, Sergey, 2014. "Entrepreneurial orientation and network board diversity in network organizations," Journal of Business Venturing, Elsevier, vol. 29(2), pages 327-344.


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