FACTORS ASSOCIATED WITH GROWTH CHANGES IN "GAZELLES"
The goal of this paper is to identify the factors that precede and may cause sudden changes in the pace of growth of high-growth SMEs or gazelles. A retrospective longitudinal case study of seven high growth SMEs that had undergone a total of 14 sudden shifts in growth reveals that a number of events caused the changes of pace. Some were triggered by the entrepreneur's decisions while others resulted from events beyond his/her control. Management's motivation for growth was an important element and this motivation changed over time, being influenced by both success and problems associated with actual growth. The success of growth strategies also appears to depend on the firm's proximity to its client base and its ability to obtain the information required for sound decision-making. Lastly, the availability of tangible and intangible resources was found essential in allowing the company to seize growth opportunities and proximity to the business milieu may help accessing these resources.
high growth, rapid growth, gazelles, small business, small and medium-sized enterprises, SMEs, entrepreneur, small business owner-manager, discontinuity, growth rate, growth slowdowns, growth spurts, sudden shifts, longitudinal study
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