Employee Retention in Growth-Oriented Entrepreneurial Firms: An Exploratory Study

  • Bruce H. Kemelgor University of Louisville
  • William R. Meek University of Louisville


This study uses a sample of 47 high-growth small firms to examine the understudied topic of employee retention. We found that firms reporting very low annual voluntary turnover (0-2%) rates engaged in creating a positive work environment, provided employees more freedom and flexibility, offered ample employee involvement and opportunities for growth; were clear about the processes associated with compensation and benefits, and frequently communicated with and provided assistance to their employees. Firms reporting turnover higher than 10% for the past year described their retention practices in much diminished frequency and richness along these same dimensions. Given that these firms were all part of a pool of 77 high growth small companies (over $1 million annual revenue, less than 12 years old and compound annual growth greater than 15%), retention of intellectual capital would be a prime issue. Industry differences among the companies are explored and theoretical and practical implications are discussed.


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How to Cite
KEMELGOR, Bruce H.; MEEK, William R.. Employee Retention in Growth-Oriented Entrepreneurial Firms: An Exploratory Study. Journal of Small Business Strategy, [S.l.], v. 19, n. 1, p. 55-68, jan. 2008. ISSN 2380-1751. Available at: <https://libjournals.mtsu.edu/index.php/jsbs/article/view/98>. Date accessed: 22 apr. 2019.