07 november 2003
EIM has analysed the relationship between entrepreneurial capabilities and the growth of firms. The central question of our investigation was: What is the relationship between firm-specific capabilities and the growth of medium-sized Dutch firms in ICT services and life science?
Lado and Wilson identify four categories of capabilities aimed at the managerial, input-based, transformational and output-based processes of the firm. In each category different variables can be distinguished. We distinguish thirteen variables, such as strategy formulation, ambition, human recruitment, innovativeness, restructuring, quality and network usage.
We tested the importance of these variables in ten cases. The ten companies are active in ICT services or life sciences. Six companies showed a strong growth, the other four grew relatively slow or even declined.
The four fields of capabilities are all well presented in the fast growth of firms in ICT services and life sciences. The total influence indicates that the managerial capabilities of the firms are valued highest in the light of the organisational growth during the past three years. The most important variable in this category is strategy formulation. Secondly come the firm's output-based capabilities, of which reputation building is the most important variable. The relatively lowest influence is found for input-based capabilities.
The analysis of the six fast-growing firms brings forward three interesting fields of outcomes: (1) Growth is realised according to a clear strategic vision of the entrepreneurs; (2) the firms' top management were able to combine both technical and commercial skills and (3) the firms were able to find a balance between organisational innovativeness and managerial control.
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07 november 2003
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