Small Business Entry Strategies: An Integration of Technological Discontinuity and Industry Growth Potential


  • Laurence G. Weinzimmer Bradley University
  • Robert K. Robinson The University of Mississippi
  • Ross L. Fink Bradley University


Technological innovations often create growth and profit opportunities for new firms. Entrepreneurs may find it beneficial to take advantage of these opportunities. A critical decision facing any new venture is selecting a strategy to effectively enter a market or industry. To assist the decision maker in this endeavor, a normative model is offered to help entrepreneurs position themselves to take advantage of technological innovation. Specifically, the model develops four different strategic choices. These strategic choices are contingent on the magnitude of techno­ logical change and the growth potential of the industry.


Ackelsberg, R., & Arlow, P. (1985). Small businesses do plan and it pays off. Long Range Planning , 18(5), 61-67.

Ansoff, H.J. (1988). The new corporate strategy. New York: John Wiley and Sons.

Astley, W.G. (1985). The two ecologies: Population and community perspective on organiza­ tional evolution. Administrative Science Quarterly, 30, 224-241.

Astley, W.G. & Van de Ven, A.H. (1983). Central perspectives and debates in organization theory. Administrative Science Quarterly, 28, 245-273.

Barley, S.R. (1986). Technology as an pccasion for structuring: Evidence from observations of C.T. scanners and social orderof radiology departments. Administrative Science Quarterly, 31, 78-108.

Bates, T. & Nucci,A.(1989). Analysis of small business size and rate of discontinuance. Journal of Small Business Management, 27, 1-7.

Bracker, J., & Pearson, J. (1986). Planning and financial performance in small business ftrms. Strategic Management Journal , 7(6), 503-522.

Bracker, J., B. Keats, & Pearson, J. (1988). Planning and financial performance among small ftrms in a growth industry. Strategic M anagement Journal, 9(6), 591-603.

Chandler, A.D.,Jr. (1977). The visible hand: The managerial revoluiion in american business. Cambridge, MA: Belkap Press.

Child, J. (1972). Organizational structure, environment and performance: The role of strategic choice. Sociology, 6, 1-22.

Dess, G.G. & Beard, G.W. (1984). Dimensions oforganizational task environments. Adminis­ trative Science Quarterly, 29, 52-73.

Drucker, P.F. (1986). Innovation and entrepreneurshi p. New York: Harper and Row.

Duchesneau, D.A. & Gartner, W.B. (1990). A profile of new venture success and failure in an emerging industry. Journal of Business Venturing , 5(5), 297-312.

Dutton, J. & Thomas, A. (1986). Relating technological change and leaning by doing. In Roseblaum, R.D. (ed.), Research in technology innovation. management and policy. 2, 187-224. Greenwich, CT: JAi Press.

Foster, R.N. (1986). Innovation: The a/lacker' s advantage. New York: Summit Books. Hannan, M. & Freeman, J. (1977). The population ecology organizations. American Journal of Sociology, 82, 929-964.

Hofer, C. & Sandberg, W. (1987). Improving new venture performance: Some guidelines for success. American Journal of Small Business, 12(1), 11-25.

Keats, B. & Bracker,J. (1988). Toward a theory of small ftrm performance: A conceptual model. American Journal of Small Business, 12(4), 41-58.

Kopf, J. & Beam, H. (1992). The small business screen: A way to evaluate small business opportunities. Journal of Small Business Strategy, 3, 31-38.

Laitinen, E.K. (1992). Prediction of failure of a newly founded firm. Journal of Business Venturing , 7(4), 323-340.

MacMillan, I. & McMaffrey, M.L. (1984). Strategy for financial services: Cashing in on competitive inertia. Journal of Business Strategy, 4, 58-73.

Mensch, G. (1979). Stalemate in technology: Innovations overcome the depression. Cambridge, MA: Ballinger.

Porter, M. (1980). Competitive strategy. New York: Free Press.

Porter, M. (1985). Competitive advantage: Creating and sustaining superior performance. New York: Free Press.

Robinson, R.,Jr., & Pearce,J .,II. (1983). The impact of formalized strategic planning on financial performance in small organizations. Strategic M anagement Journal, 4(3), 197-207.

Romanelli, E. (1989). Environments and strategies of organization stan-up: Effects on early survival. Administrative Science Quarterly, 369.

Rosenberg, N. (1972). Technology and american economic growth. Armonk, NY : M.D. Sharpe. Saha!, D. (1981). Pa11erns in technological innovation. Reading MA: Addison-Wesley.

Shrader, C., Mulford, C., & Blackbum, V. (I989). Strategic and operational planning, uncer- tainty, and performance in small firms. Journal of Small Business Management , 27(4),45- 60.

Shuman, J.,& Seager, J. (1986). The theory and practice of strate1ic management in small rapid growth firms. American Journal of Small Business, 11(1), 7-18.

Shuman,J .,Shaw,J., & Sussman, G. (1985). Strategic planning in small rapid growth companies. Long Range Planning, 18(6), 48-53.

Siarbuck, W.H. (1976). Organizations and their environments. In M.D. Dunneue (ed.), Hand­ book of industrial and organizational psychology, Chicago: Rand McNally, 1069-1123. Stoner, C.R. (1987). Distinctive competence and competitive advantage. Journal of Small Business M anagement, 25(2), 35-39.

Tushman, M. (1977). Special boundary spanning roles in the innovation process. Administrate Science Quarterly, 22, 587-605.

Tushman, M.L. & Anderson, P.A. (1986). Technological discontinuities and organizational environments. Administrative Science Quarterly, 31, 439-465.

Tushman, M. & Romanelli, E. (1985). Organizational evolution: A metamorphosis model of convergence and reorientation. In Cummings, L.L. & Staw, B.M. (eds.), Research in organizational behavior, 7, 171-222. Greenwich, CT: JAi Press.

Vesper, K.H. (1990). New venture strategies (rev. ed.). Englewood Cliffs, NJ: Prentice Hall.







How to Cite

Small Business Entry Strategies: An Integration of Technological Discontinuity and Industry Growth Potential. (1994). Journal of Small Business Strategy (archive Only), 5(1), 1-10.