IDEAS home Printed from https://ideas.repec.org/a/spr/intemj/v16y2020i1d10.1007_s11365-018-0498-3.html
   My bibliography  Save this article

The relationship between discretionary slack and growth in small firms

Author

Listed:
  • Michael Sheppard

    () (Acadia University)

Abstract

Discretionary slack, along with entrepreneurial orientation (EO), are vital to the growth and long-term survival of small firms. This research combines a Penrosian view of growth with structural contingency theory to develop and test a conceptual model of the relationship between slack and growth. Using a survey of Canadian firms with fewer than 50 employees, the study finds that discretionary slack has positive effect on growth which is fully mediated by EO. In addition, the analysis confirms a positive reciprocal effect of a feedback loop between growth and slack. The study controls for, and considers the effects of, firm age, size and industry knowledge intensity. This research contributes valuable insights for further development of firm growth theory, specifically in relation to small firms. The study is also important for policy development given that: a) small firms have the potential to contribute more than larger firms to job creation but may not due to early exit; b) firms exhibiting even modest growth more than double their chances of survival; and, c) those firms that survive grow fast. This study contributes to the literature on firm growth and informs small business leaders. It also provides policy makers with practical insights to facilitate their role in supporting the growth and survival of small firms that make such an important contribution to the economy.

Suggested Citation

  • Michael Sheppard, 2020. "The relationship between discretionary slack and growth in small firms," International Entrepreneurship and Management Journal, Springer, vol. 16(1), pages 195-219, March.
  • Handle: RePEc:spr:intemj:v:16:y:2020:i:1:d:10.1007_s11365-018-0498-3
    DOI: 10.1007/s11365-018-0498-3
    as

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL: http://link.springer.com/10.1007/s11365-018-0498-3
    File Function: Abstract
    Download Restriction: Access to the full text of the articles in this series is restricted.
    ---><---

    As the access to this document is restricted, you may want to search for a different version of it.

    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Wennberg, Karl & Holmquist, Carin, 2008. "Problemistic search and international entrepreneurship," European Management Journal, Elsevier, vol. 26(6), pages 441-454, December.
    2. Danny Miller & Peter H. Friesen, 1982. "Innovation in conservative and entrepreneurial firms: Two models of strategic momentum," Strategic Management Journal, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 3(1), pages 1-25, January.
    3. Hausman, Jerry, 2015. "Specification tests in econometrics," Applied Econometrics, Russian Presidential Academy of National Economy and Public Administration (RANEPA), vol. 38(2), pages 112-134.
    4. Criscuolo, Chiara & Gal, Peter N. & Menon, Carlo, 2014. "The dynamics of employment growth: new evidence from 18 countries," LSE Research Online Documents on Economics 60286, London School of Economics and Political Science, LSE Library.
    5. John Antonakis & Samuel Bendahan & Philippe Jacquart & Rafael Lalive, 2010. "On making causal claims : A review and recommendations," Post-Print hal-02313119, HAL.
    6. Patrick Kreiser & Louis Marino & Donald Kuratko & K. Weaver, 2013. "Disaggregating entrepreneurial orientation: the non-linear impact of innovativeness, proactiveness and risk-taking on SME performance," Small Business Economics, Springer, vol. 40(2), pages 273-291, February.
    7. Daniel, Francis & Lohrke, Franz T. & Fornaciari, Charles J. & Turner, R. Jr., 2004. "Slack resources and firm performance: a meta-analysis," Journal of Business Research, Elsevier, vol. 57(6), pages 565-574, June.
    8. Palich, Leslie E. & Ray Bagby, D., 1995. "Using cognitive theory to explain entrepreneurial risk-taking: Challenging conventional wisdom," Journal of Business Venturing, Elsevier, vol. 10(6), pages 425-438, November.
    9. Tan, Justin, 2003. "Curvilinear Relationship Between Organizational Slack and Firm Performance:: Evidence from Chinese State Enterprises," European Management Journal, Elsevier, vol. 21(6), pages 740-749, December.
    10. Besnik A. Krasniqi & Muhamet Mustafa, 2016. "Small firm growth in a post-conflict environment: the role of human capital, institutional quality, and managerial capacities," International Entrepreneurship and Management Journal, Springer, vol. 12(4), pages 1165-1207, December.
    11. Armstrong, J. Scott & Overton, Terry S., 1977. "Estimating Nonresponse Bias in Mail Surveys," MPRA Paper 81694, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    12. Gautam Ahuja & Curba Morris Lampert, 2001. "Entrepreneurship in the large corporation: a longitudinal study of how established firms create breakthrough inventions," Strategic Management Journal, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 22(6‐7), pages 521-543, June.
    13. Yuri Mishina & Timothy G. Pollock & Joseph F. Porac, 2004. "Are more resources always better for growth? Resource stickiness in market and product expansion," Strategic Management Journal, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 25(12), pages 1179-1197, December.
    14. Birger Wernerfelt, 1984. "A resource‐based view of the firm," Strategic Management Journal, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 5(2), pages 171-180, April.
    15. Albert Satorra & Peter Bentler, 2001. "A scaled difference chi-square test statistic for moment structure analysis," Psychometrika, Springer;The Psychometric Society, vol. 66(4), pages 507-514, December.
    16. Wiklund, Johan & Shepherd, Dean, 2005. "Entrepreneurial orientation and small business performance: a configurational approach," Journal of Business Venturing, Elsevier, vol. 20(1), pages 71-91, January.
    17. Sidney G. Winter, 2003. "Understanding dynamic capabilities," Strategic Management Journal, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 24(10), pages 991-995, October.
    18. Fariss-Terry Mousa & Jaideep Chowdhury, 2014. "Organizational slack effects on innovation: the moderating roles of CEO tenure and compensation," Journal of Business Economics and Management, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 15(2), pages 369-383, April.
    19. Justin Tan & Mike W. Peng, 2003. "Organizational slack and firm performance during economic transitions: two studies from an emerging economy," Strategic Management Journal, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 24(13), pages 1249-1263, December.
    20. Dasí, Àngels & Iborra, María & Safón, Vicente, 2015. "Beyond path dependence: Explorative orientation, slack resources, and managerial intentionality to internationalize in SMEs," International Business Review, Elsevier, vol. 24(1), pages 77-88.
    21. Danny Miller, 1983. "The Correlates of Entrepreneurship in Three Types of Firms," Management Science, INFORMS, vol. 29(7), pages 770-791, July.
    22. Richard Arend, 2014. "Entrepreneurship and dynamic capabilities: how firm age and size affect the ‘capability enhancement–SME performance’ relationship," Small Business Economics, Springer, vol. 42(1), pages 33-57, January.
    23. Jan Bentzen & Erik Madsen & Valdemar Smith, 2012. "Do firms’ growth rates depend on firm size?," Small Business Economics, Springer, vol. 39(4), pages 937-947, November.
    24. Zahra, Shaker A., 1991. "Predictors and financial outcomes of corporate entrepreneurship: An exploratory study," Journal of Business Venturing, Elsevier, vol. 6(4), pages 259-285, July.
    25. David J. Teece & Gary Pisano & Amy Shuen, 1997. "Dynamic capabilities and strategic management," Strategic Management Journal, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 18(7), pages 509-533, August.
    26. Jeffrey G. Covin & Dennis P. Slevin, 1989. "Strategic management of small firms in hostile and benign environments," Strategic Management Journal, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 10(1), pages 75-87, January.
    27. John Haltiwanger & Ron S. Jarmin & Javier Miranda, 2013. "Who Creates Jobs? Small versus Large versus Young," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 95(2), pages 347-361, May.
    28. Zahra, Shaker A. & Covin, Jeffrey G., 1995. "Contextual influences on the corporate entrepreneurship-performance relationship: A longitudinal analysis," Journal of Business Venturing, Elsevier, vol. 10(1), pages 43-58, January.
    29. Johan Wiklund & Holger Patzelt & Dean Shepherd, 2009. "Building an integrative model of small business growth," Small Business Economics, Springer, vol. 32(4), pages 351-374, April.
    30. 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, June.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    Most related items

    These are the items that most often cite the same works as this one and are cited by the same works as this one.
    1. Jan Lampe & Priscilla Sarai Kraft & Andreas Bausch, 2020. "Mapping the Field of Research on Entrepreneurial Organizations (1937–2016): A Bibliometric Analysis and Research Agenda," Entrepreneurship Theory and Practice, , vol. 44(4), pages 784-816, July.
    2. Samuel Adomako, 2018. "The Moderating Effects Of Adaptive And Intellectual Resource Capabilities On The Relationship Between Entrepreneurial Orientation And Financial Performance," International Journal of Innovation Management (ijim), World Scientific Publishing Co. Pte. Ltd., vol. 22(03), pages 1-35, April.
    3. Andreas Rauch & Johan Wiklund & G.T. Lumpkin & Michael Frese, 2009. "Entrepreneurial Orientation and Business Performance: An Assessment of past Research and Suggestions for the Future," Entrepreneurship Theory and Practice, , vol. 33(3), pages 761-787, May.
    4. Lim Euncheon & Kim Dohyeon, 2020. "Entrepreneurial Orientation and Performance in South Korea: The Mediating Roles of Dynamic Capabilities and Corporate Entrepreneurship," Entrepreneurship Research Journal, De Gruyter, vol. 10(3), pages 1-18, July.
    5. Catherine L. Wang, 2008. "Entrepreneurial Orientation, Learning Orientation, and Firm Performance," Entrepreneurship Theory and Practice, , vol. 32(4), pages 635-657, July.
    6. Abubakar S. Garba & Ibrahim Kabir & Mahmoud A. Mahmoud, 2019. "Entrepreneurial Orientation And Growth Potential Of Microenterprises In Northwest, Nigeria," Journal of Developmental Entrepreneurship (JDE), World Scientific Publishing Co. Pte. Ltd., vol. 24(02), pages 1-20, June.
    7. Dubey, Rameshwar & Gunasekaran, Angappa & Childe, Stephen J. & Bryde, David J. & Giannakis, Mihalis & Foropon, Cyril & Roubaud, David & Hazen, Benjamin T., 2020. "Big data analytics and artificial intelligence pathway to operational performance under the effects of entrepreneurial orientation and environmental dynamism: A study of manufacturing organisations," International Journal of Production Economics, Elsevier, vol. 226(C).
    8. Bradley A. George & Louis Marino, 2011. "The Epistemology of Entrepreneurial Orientation: Conceptual Formation, Modeling, and Operationalization," Entrepreneurship Theory and Practice, , vol. 35(5), pages 989-1024, September.
    9. Gerrit de Wit & Haibo Zhou, 2009. "Determinants and dimensions of firm growth," Scales Research Reports H200903, EIM Business and Policy Research.
    10. Jörg Freiling & Christoph Lütke Schelhowe, 2014. "The Impact of Entrepreneurial Orientation on the Performance and Speed of Internationalization," Journal of Entrepreneurship, Management and Innovation, Fundacja Upowszechniająca Wiedzę i Naukę "Cognitione", vol. 10(4), pages 169-199.
    11. Jeffrey G. Covin & Kimberly M. Green & Dennis P. Slevin, 2006. "Strategic Process Effects on the Entrepreneurial Orientation–Sales Growth Rate Relationship," Entrepreneurship Theory and Practice, , vol. 30(1), pages 57-81, January.
    12. Nida Nazar & Sara Ravan Ramzani & Temoor Anjum & Imran Ahmed Shahzad, 2018. "Impact of Entrepreneurial Orientation of Bank Performance in Pakistan," Business Management and Strategy, Macrothink Institute, vol. 9(1), pages 290-309, December.
    13. Patrick M. Kreiser, 2011. "Entrepreneurial Orientation and Organizational Learning: The Impact of Network Range and Network Closure," Entrepreneurship Theory and Practice, , vol. 35(5), pages 1025-1050, September.
    14. Katharina Fellnhofer, 2019. "The Complementary Effects Of Firms’ And Team Leaders’ Entrepreneurial Orientation On Innovation Success And Performance," International Journal of Innovation Management (ijim), World Scientific Publishing Co. Pte. Ltd., vol. 23(05), pages 1-32, June.
    15. Denis A. Grégoire & Martin X. Noël & Richard Déry & Jean–Pierre Béchard, 2006. "Is There Conceptual Convergence in Entrepreneurship Research? A Co–Citation Analysis of Frontiers of Entrepreneurship Research, 1981–2004," Entrepreneurship Theory and Practice, , vol. 30(3), pages 333-373, May.
    16. Ferreira, Jorge & Coelho, Arnaldo & Moutinho, Luiz, 2020. "Dynamic capabilities, creativity and innovation capability and their impact on competitive advantage and firm performance: The moderating role of entrepreneurial orientation," Technovation, Elsevier, vol. 92.
    17. Tobias Kollmann & Christoph Stöckmann, 2014. "Filling the Entrepreneurial Orientation–Performance Gap: The Mediating Effects of Exploratory and Exploitative Innovations," Entrepreneurship Theory and Practice, , vol. 38(5), pages 1001-1026, September.
    18. Carla D. Jones & Phillip M. Jolly & Connor J. Lubojacky & Geoffrey P. Martin & Luis R. Gomez-Mejia, 2019. "Behavioral agency and corporate entrepreneurship: CEO equity incentives & competitive behavior," International Entrepreneurship and Management Journal, Springer, vol. 15(3), pages 1017-1039, September.
    19. M.ª Magdalena Jiménez-Barrionuevo & Luis M. Molina & Víctor J. García-Morales, 2019. "Combined Influence of Absorptive Capacity and Corporate Entrepreneurship on Performance," Sustainability, MDPI, Open Access Journal, vol. 11(11), pages 1-26, May.
    20. Patrick M. Kreiser & Louis D. Marino & K. Mark Weaver, 2002. "Assessing the Psychometric Properties of the Entrepreneurial Orientation Scale: A Multi-Country Analysis," Entrepreneurship Theory and Practice, , vol. 26(4), pages 71-93, July.

    Corrections

    All material on this site has been provided by the respective publishers and authors. You can help correct errors and omissions. When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:spr:intemj:v:16:y:2020:i:1:d:10.1007_s11365-018-0498-3. 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: (Sonal Shukla) or (Springer Nature Abstracting and Indexing). General contact details of provider: http://www.springer.com .

    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 CitEc recognized a reference but did not link an item in RePEc 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 RePEc Author Service 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.

    IDEAS is a RePEc service hosted by the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis . RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.