High-growth firms have recently received considerable attention in the firm growth literature. These firms might have grown despite the existence of growth barriers, and…
High-growth firms have recently received considerable attention in the firm growth literature. These firms might have grown despite the existence of growth barriers, and evidence also suggests that, having already grown exponentially, they may not be in the best position to grow further. Policies targeting high-growth firms may therefore be misdirected. We argue that entrepreneurship researchers should concentrate more on firms that are not hiring, despite having high profits. We call these firms “sleeping gazelles,” and demonstrate that they represented almost 10% of all limited liability firms in Sweden from 1997 to 2010. Nearly half of these firms continued to earn high or moderate profits in subsequent three-year periods, while still displaying no growth. Regression analyses indicate that these firms were significantly smaller, older, more likely to be active in industries with high profit uncertainty, and more likely to be located in less densely populated municipalities than were corresponding growing firms.
The purpose of this paper is to investigate the importance of the entrepreneur’s quest for independence and control over the firm for governance and financing strategies…
The purpose of this paper is to investigate the importance of the entrepreneur’s quest for independence and control over the firm for governance and financing strategies with a special focus on family firms and how they differ from nonfamily firms.
The analysis is based on 1,000 telephone interviews with Swedish micro and small firms. The survey data are matched with firm-level data from the Bureau van Dijks database ORBIS.
The analysis shows that independence is a prime motive for enterprises, statistically significantly more so for family owners. Family owners are more prone to use either their own savings or loans from family and are more reluctant to resort to external equity capital. Our results indicate a potential “capital constraint paradox”; there might be an abundance of external capital while firm growth is simultaneously constrained by a lack of internal funds.
The main limitation is that the study is based on cross-section data. Future studies could thus be based on longitudinal data.
The authors argue that policy makers must recognize independence and control aversion as strong norms that guide entrepreneurial action and that micro- and small-firm growth would profit more from lower personal and corporate income taxes compared to policy schemes intended to increase the supply of external capital.
The paper offers new insights regarding the value of independence and how it affects strategic decisions within the firm.