Aspiring for, and Achieving Growth: The Moderating Role of Resources and Opportunities

Johan Wiklund, Dean Shepherd

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

503 Scopus citations


In this article, we use the theory of planned behaviour to develop a model of small business managers' growth aspirations and the level of growth achieved. We empirically test this model on a large longitudinal data set of small firms using hierarchical regression. Consistent with previous findings and others' assumptions, we find that small business managers' aspirations to expand their business activities are positively related to actual growth. However, the relationship between aspirations and growth appears more complex than stated. It depends on the level of education and experience of the small business manager as well as the dynamism of the environment in which the business(es) operates. Education, experience and environmental dynamism magnify the effect that one's growth aspirations have on the realization of growth.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1919-1941
Number of pages23
JournalJournal of Management Studies
Issue number8
StatePublished - Dec 2003
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Business and International Management
  • Strategy and Management
  • Management of Technology and Innovation


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