Aaltodoc publication archive (Aalto University institutional repository)
School of Business | Department of Management Studies | Entrepreneurship | 2016
Thesis number: 14687
How does high growth look like in theory and practice? Netnographic study
|Title:||How does high growth look like in theory and practice? Netnographic study|
|Year:||2016 Language: eng|
|Department:||Department of Management Studies|
|Index terms:||yritykset; companies; kasvu; growth; teoria; theory|
» hse_ethesis_14687.pdf size:520 KB (531484)
|Key terms:||growth, firm, startup, blog, venture capital, netnography|
This study seeks to provide an overview to the theory of high firm growth and how it is perceived by the practitioners of the venture capital industry, whose sole job it is to seek out and nurture future high growing companies. The area of growth and high growth literature is vast and mature in quality, but there is little in unifying theory that would bridge together different schools of the field. In this study I've seek to put together a review of the basis of the literature and extend it towards the current high growth discussion by developing a framework that can be used to analyze different variables of the process. Past literature has shown that the discoveries regarding firm growth is as highly heterogeneous as the research discussion itself, but through the review a similar framework of growth variables can be seen emerging. Various authors have codified it differently, but the unifying factors were the entrepreneur, the firm and the strategy work that steered the firm.
Earlier research also identified parts of the entrepreneurial process that weren't easy to quantify and defied categorization. Such concepts are present from all the way from Penrose's seminal 1959 work on firm theory and the very same abstract dimension of entrepreneurship continues to baffle researchers and complicate studies all the way to the studies published still almost 60 years later. True to their nature, most scholars either disregarded this part of the phenomena or give it very little attention, and rightfully so, as it is a fuzzy concept to begin with. Even the professionals of the field struggle in describing the exact the nature or value of it. Building from the literature review, a theoretical framework was built to explore the four determinants of high growth; entrepreneur, the firm, strategy and managerial process. Most of what the past literature had identified proved to still hold true in the 2016 Silicon Valley context, but nuanced bias towards even greater growth orientation, competitive advantage seeking and outside capital exploitation was found in all of the observed blogs.
Despite of the vast amount of literature regarding firm and growth theory, it is my opinion that especially empirical and ethnography based studies are called for to shed more light to the way in which the field and phenomena is evolving throughout time as we're moving towards a more fragmented and complex world where firms are no longer dived in to import and export or into manufacture and services. We're entering a world where some of largest and most valuable companies in an industry don't look anything like the largest and most valuable company in that same industry only five to ten years ago. If the companies are evolving with this pace, shouldn't the literature at least try to keep up in reactive fashion? This study sought to prove that for a proactive approach, a more widespread application of netnography might offer a solution.
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