Conceptual and Empirical Challenges in the Study of Firm Growth

Per Davidsson, Johan Wiklund

Research output: Chapter in Book/Entry/PoemChapter

127 Scopus citations


When the first author reviewed the literature on small firm growth in the mid-1980s for his dissertation, he noted that surprisingly few studies had focused on that specific problem. Today, this is no longer true. In recent years ever more comprehensive lists of studies have been compiled and reviewed. Storey compiled results from more than twenty-five studies. Delmar scrutinized the operationalizations of growth in fifty-five studies. The second author of this chapter recently reviewed and classified close to seventy studies for his dissertation, while Ardishvili et al. included in their classification a full 105 published and unpublished studies focusing on new venture growth. However, rather than presenting a set of solid generalizations on the causes and effects of growth, these reviewers all tend to come up with relatively critical accounts concerning both theoretical and methodological shortcomings.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationThe Blackwell Handbook of Entrepreneurship
PublisherWiley Blackwell
Number of pages19
ISBN (Electronic)9781405164214
ISBN (Print)9780631215738
StatePublished - Feb 26 2008
Externally publishedYes


  • Firm growth theory
  • Knowledge user
  • Longitudinal research
  • Operationalizing

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Economics, Econometrics and Finance(all)
  • General Business, Management and Accounting


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