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Fighting an Uphill Battle: Expansion Barriers, Intra-Industry Social Stratification, and Minority Firm Growth


Lois M. Shelton, tel.: (818) 677-3313; e-mail:


Here, a model of minority firm expansion based on the resource-based view, the expansion barriers framework, and social stratification processes illustrates the economic and social barriers faced by minority companies. Firm growth is impacted by industry economic structure through expansion barriers, and by industry social structure through opportunity structures. It is argued that industry social structure, which includes discriminatory industry practices, can be used to stratify firms into higher and lower performing groups by ethnicity and will have a greater impact on minority firm growth in industries with more concentrated social structures and higher wealth creation potential.