Research Design

  • To develop a dynamic model for small business growth, we surveyed different streams of literature including entrepreneur and opportunity dynamics; exploration and exploitation; resources accumulation and depletion; and entrepreneur’s cognitive theories. We identified different dynamics that can possibly drive the growth of the small business. Different dynamics were integrated in a model that explains the phenomenon of  small business growth.

  • To investigate the integrated model we conducted three case studies in Egypt, which is an emerging market economy in a very dynamic institutional context. All firms operate in the fast-moving consumer goods sector, which generates the same context for different firms. We reconstructed the past growth process of the firm by about 10 in-depth interviews from different perspectives as well as archival data. The data collection is still ongoing. We are developing the case narratives and will subsequently systematically analyze the data by open as well as selective coding procedures. We already started to develop an SD model, based on the analysis of one of the cases, to understand the dynamics in the growth process. As soon as the analysis of all the cases is finished, we will further revise the SD model. Next, we will use existing concepts from the literature to further refine our model and increase its theoretical generalizability, while iteratively consulting our empirical data (cf. Walrave et al., 2011).