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Table 4 shows the proportions of older (i.e. older than the median age in years) and younger firms about their median sizes when classified by growth mode. For France, the data suggest that acquisition is a more successful growth mode than organic growth for older firms (Yates corrected ?2 = 8.78; p<0.005). However, in the same test on younger firms, the null hypothesis of no difference in proportions could not be rejected at the 0.05 level (Yates corrected ?2 = 3.43; p<0.1). This supports hypothesis 4. However, the median test is rather weak, and there is at least visual evidence that acquisition is a more successful (though rare) growth mode than organic growth from the French and Irish data for both young and old firms. It appears, however, that the frequency of use of acquisition as a growth mode increases slightly with age.

TABLE 4
Actual and (expected) numbers of young growing firms about their median size, classified by age group and mode of growth France


older firms                                                                           younger firms

  acquisition organic row total   acquisition organic row total
>median  16 54 70 >median  12 62 74
(89) (9.5) (60.5)   (83.5) (8) (66)  
<median 3 67 70 <median 4 70 74
(89) (9.5) (60.5)   (83.5) (8) (66)  
column total 19 121 140 column total 16 132 148

  Ireland


                             older firms                                                                           younger firms

  acquisition organic row total   acquisition organic row total
>median  3 9 12 >median 2 10 12
(81.5)       (68)      
<median 0 12 12 <median 0 13 13
(81.5)       (68)      
column total 3 21 24 column total 2 23 25

  Scotland



                              older firms                                                                           younger firms

  acquisition organic row total   acquisition organic row total
>median 1 10 11 >median 0 11 11
(105)       (61.5)      
<median 0 11 11 <median 0 11 11
(105)       (61.5)      
column total 1 21 22 column total 0 22 22

 

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