“Business Growth”—Do Practitioners and Scholars Really Talk About the Same Thing?
Article first published online: 20 MAR 2010
© 2010 Baylor University
Entrepreneurship Theory and Practice
Special Issue: Entrepreneurial and Business Growth
Volume 34, Issue 2, pages 289–316, March 2010
How to Cite
Achtenhagen, L., Naldi, L. and Melin, L. (2010), “Business Growth”—Do Practitioners and Scholars Really Talk About the Same Thing?. Entrepreneurship Theory and Practice, 34: 289–316. doi: 10.1111/j.1540-6520.2010.00376.x
- Issue published online: 20 MAR 2010
- Article first published online: 20 MAR 2010
The current growth literature has stalled over which measures to use in empirical studies, causing a fragmented theory base. This paper claims that there is a third issue that further curbs efforts in developing a better understanding of business growth. Based on a thorough literature review, a quantitative, and a qualitative study, we find that academic scholars and entrepreneurs do not talk about the same thing when they say “business growth.” For practitioners, growth is a more complex phenomenon—with a strong emphasis on internal development—which differs from the simplified conceptualization of growth used in empirical studies.