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Revisiting Stinchcombe's 'liability of newness': a systematic literature review


  • Roberto Cafferata
  • Gianpaolo Abatecola
  • Sara Poggesi


In providing a seminal explanation of the 'struggle for survival' between newborn organisations and older ones, Arthur Stinchcombe (1965) introduced the 'liability of newness' hypothesis to account for those relevant problems that firms may face in the first years of their life cycle. Despite lively research commitment, an up-to-date systematisation of the theoretical and empirical findings on this topic is missing. This paper aims at contributing to fill this gap through a systematic literature review based on rigorous criteria. Our main results suggest that, although partially integrated, Stinchcombe's theoretical underpinnings are still widely supported within the scientific community to date. These research findings can also contribute to improve knowledge on what is currently known and what prospectively constitutes a challenge for future research in this area.

Suggested Citation

  • Roberto Cafferata & Gianpaolo Abatecola & Sara Poggesi, 2009. "Revisiting Stinchcombe's 'liability of newness': a systematic literature review," International Journal of Globalisation and Small Business, Inderscience Enterprises Ltd, vol. 3(4), pages 374-392.
  • Handle: RePEc:ids:ijgsbu:v:3:y:2009:i:4:p:374-392

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    Cited by:

    1. Grillitsch, Markus & Schubert, Torben, 2020. "Does the Timing of integrating new Skills affect Start-up Growth?," Papers in Innovation Studies 2020/9, Lund University, CIRCLE - Center for Innovation Research.
    2. Pushyarag N. Puthusserry & John Child & Suzana B. Rodrigues, 2014. "Psychic Distance, its Business Impact and Modes of Coping: A Study of British and Indian Partner SMEs," Management International Review, Springer, vol. 54(1), pages 1-29, February.
    3. Francesco Ricciotti, 2020. "From value chain to value network: a systematic literature review," Management Review Quarterly, Springer, vol. 70(2), pages 191-212, May.
    4. Daniel Fackler & Claus Schnabel & Joachim Wagner, 2013. "Establishment exits in Germany: the role of size and age," Small Business Economics, Springer, vol. 41(3), pages 683-700, October.
    5. Patel, Pankaj C. & Kim, Kyoung Yong & Devaraj, Srikant & Li, Mingxiang, 2018. "Family Ties that B(l)ind: Do Family-Owned Franchisees Have Lower Financial Performance than Nonfamily-Owned Franchisees?," Journal of Retailing, Elsevier, vol. 94(2), pages 231-245.
    6. Silvia Sedita & Roberto Grandinetti, 2014. "Relationships at work in a networked business incubator: the case of H-Farm," "Marco Fanno" Working Papers 0190, Dipartimento di Scienze Economiche "Marco Fanno".
    7. Roberto Cafferata, 2016. "Darwinist connections between the systemness of social organizations and their evolution," Journal of Management & Governance, Springer;Accademia Italiana di Economia Aziendale (AIDEA), vol. 20(1), pages 19-44, March.
    8. Gianpaolo Abatecola & Gabriele Mandarelli & Sara Poggesi, 2013. "The personality factor: how top management teams make decisions. A literature review," Journal of Management & Governance, Springer;Accademia Italiana di Economia Aziendale (AIDEA), vol. 17(4), pages 1073-1100, November.


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