Beyond linearity and resource-based perspectives of SME growth

Authors

  • Jacob Salder Alliance Manchester Business School, The University of Manchester, Booth Street West, Manchester, UK
  • Mark Gilman Birmingham City Business School, The Curzon Building, 4 Cardigan Street, Birmingham, West Midlands, UK
  • Simon Raby Mount Royal University, 4825 Mount Royal Gate SW, Calgary, Alberta, Canada
  • Aineias Gkikas Birmingham City Business School, The Curzon Building, 4 Cardigan Street, Birmingham, West Midlands, UK

Abstract

Recent debates have seen increased interest in the growth of SMEs. Most research however follows a limited remit, focusing on specific subsets and employing narrow, resource-based perspectives. A consequence is our knowledge is limited on how SME growth occurs more broadly and the critical determinants in this process. This paper addresses this gap, examining SME growth as a multidimensional process rather than an output.
The paper operationalises a Four Dimensions Conceptual Model through a Systematic Literature Review of 36 studies on the growth process. It identifies a broader set of determinants supporting a multidimensional approach, the pluralistic nature of SME growth embedded in distinctive contexts. Evidence suggests a greater reliance on firm-based Characteristics and Environmental factors in supporting growth, providing critical inputs into forming and reinforcing networks through which firm-based resources are activated. We emphasise the need to test these propositions through more SME research using qualitative and longitudinal methods.

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Published

2020-02-24

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