THE IMPACT OF NEW VENTURE GROWTH RESEARCH ON ENTREPRENEURSHIP EDUCATION.
Steven H. Hanks
Gaylen N. Chandler
Department of Management & Human Resources
Utah State University
Logan, UT 84322-3555
New business formation plays a vital role in economic development (Birch, 1979; Kirchoff & Phillips, 1987; Reynolds, 1987). However, for emerging businesses to create value and generate enduring job opportunities, they must survive, grow and become profitable. It is therefore important that aspiring entrepreneurs learn not only the concepts, skills and techniques associated with managing organization growth.
our purpose in the present study is to examine the impact of research regarding new venture growth on entrepreneurship education. Our approach involves exploring this question from three perspectives. First, we provide a review of the status of new venture growth research, and its potential for providing useful information for aspiring entrepreneurs in the classroom. Second, we examine the extent to which new venture growth is addressed in entrepreneurship courses. In particular, we are interested in specific courses centering on the challenges associated with managing the growing venture. Third, we explore the nature and content of courses offered regarding the management of new venture growth. Finally, based upon our three part analyses-s, we draw some conclusions and offer some potential suggestions for strengthening the linkage between new venture growth research and teaching.
We believe new venture growth research has potential for addressing several important questions. Among these questions are the following:
1.What is growth, and how does it manifest itself in emerging
2. Why do firms grow/not grow? What are the determinants of growth? Under what conditions is growth desirable? undesirable?
3. Are there common patterns of growth? Do organizations truly grow through stages? If so, how many, and what are their characteristics?
4. Are there common strategies for pursuing growth?
5 What is the relationship between growth and organization outcomes such as profitability, adaptability, and quality of work life.
6. Can growth be managed? If so, are there normative behaviors which facilitate the management of organization growth?
In our review, we quickly assess the status of current literature relative to these questions, and its potential for providing justification for entrepreneurial decision making. While there are pockets where research is quite extensive (i.e. stage models of venture growth, and determinants of new venture growth and performance), by and large, the literature remains fragmented and anecdotal. Thus, significant theory development and testing remains to be accomplished.
A review of new venture growth coverage in entrepreneurship textbooks reveals that while most texts provide some coverage, and some common themes are addressed, coverage of growth literature remains quite fragmented. Some texts provide substantially better coverage than others.
Of schools providing multiple entrepreneurship courses, several include a specific course on the management of new venture growth. Some discussion of common topics addressed is included in the paper.
The results of this study provide insight into the extent to which work in new venture growth is making it into the classroom.Beyond this, the paper provides some insight into the status Of theory development in the field. our findings suggest that while entrepreneurship research is having some impact upon entrepreneurship education, that impact is severely limited by limitations in current research. Research regarding new venture growth tends to be highly fragmented in terms of questions addressed, and outlets for publication. Thus, while there are some useful theories and models, they are often available only to those who make the effort to search these out in places other than the traditional entrepreneurship journals. We believe there is a need for integrative reviews of the literature, and more systematic study of growth to strengthen the theoretical base. These are critical building blocks for improving our understanding of new venture growth, and thus our ability to improve the preparation of entrepreneurs in our classrooms.
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