Putting process on track: empirical research on start-ups' growth drivers

Pugliese, Robert; Bortoluzzi, Guido and Zupic, Ivan. 2016. Putting process on track: empirical research on start-ups' growth drivers. Management Decision, 54(7), pp. 1633-1648. ISSN 0025-1747 [Article]

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Abstract or Description

Purpose: The purpose of this paper is to review the literature on the growth drivers of start-up firms from the process perspective. Increasing scholarly attention to the growth of start-up firms has led to a more sophisticated understanding of their drivers. However, the richness of the results is partly offset by both potential and real contradictions in the literature.

Design/methodology/approach: In this paper, 233 studies on the growth of start-up firms are reviewed using a process-oriented lens.

Findings: The analysis reveals an imbalance in the use of variance-based empirical approaches to study the process-based phenomenon and some misalignments in the use of non-process-based empirical approaches to improve a process-based theory.

Originality/value: This paper offers an original perspective from which to reconsider the relevant literature and provides useful recommendations for researchers to forge a path ahead in this field.

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Identification Number (DOI):



start-ups, firm growth, high-growth firms, process view

Departments, Centres and Research Units:

Institute of Management Studies


15 August 2016Published

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Date Deposited:

10 Sep 2019 08:23

Last Modified:

10 Jun 2021 03:00

Peer Reviewed:

Yes, this version has been peer-reviewed.



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