Research on qualitative company growth: companies grow in leaps

Most entrepreneurs are aware of the fact that companies do not grow in a linear and continuous fashion. A research team has now investigated not only the catalysts of these entrepreneurial leaps but also what exactly happens in these leaps. The findings have recently been published in the renowned journal “Entrepreneurship Theory and Practice”.

In the past, research on company growth primarily addressed the various dimensions of growth: If a company grows in size, does it also grow in quality? Which typical growth patterns are there, and which consequences do companies expect from growth processes?

Dietmar Sternad (Carinthian University of Applied Sciences) and Gernot Mödritscher (University of Klagenfurt) have now concentrated on the various entrepreneurial leaps. Gernot Mödritscher, researcher and lecturer at the Department of Management Control and Strategic Management, sums up their insights: “Our research shows that companies experience entrepreneurial leaps, but that there is no typical growth scheme”. Their investigation analyses the substance of these individual leaps, as well as the forces that contribute to the onset of a company’s new growth phases.

The analysis was conducted following the assumption that companies do not (primarily) grow in quantity, but in terms of quality.  It focuses on SMEs which have successfully completed a qualitative growth process, and which have evolved into industry leaders in the areas of quality and sustainability. The research team was particularly interested in the industries of wood processing /sustainable building, tourism, and intelligent information- and production technologies in Carinthia and beyond.

The publication originates from the interdisciplinary research project IMPULS-Q, financed by the Carinthian Business Development Fund (Kärntner Wirtschaftsförderungsfonds). The insights on qualitative company growth gained in this project are to be made available to both companies and supporting institutions.

Dietmar Sternad & Gernot Mödritscher (2021). Entrepreneurial Leaps: Growth Processes in Transition Phases Between Dynamic States. Entrepreneurship Theory and Practice,

In the des Financial Times Research Ranking, “Entrepreneurship Theory and Practice” ranks 8th among the Top 50 Journals.