Rapidly-growing firms and their main characteristics: A longitudinal study from the USA


Published: 14Mar2012

Authors: Keen, Christian; Etemad, Hamid


This paper explores the topic of high-growth phenomenon and its agents. High-growth enterprises are primarily small and medium-sized firms that attain very high-growth rates for at least five years. The paper presents a review of the pertinent literature to guide its formulation of hypotheses concerning the theoretical relations between high-growth and location, size and temporal characteristics of the high-growth enterprises. Using non-parametric tests, we analyse a 21-year longitudinal database of privately held rapidly growing enterprises from the USA. This analysis indicates that these firms are relatively smaller enterprises and their high growth rates are not restricted to a particular location, industrial region, size or time period. The findings of this analysis point to a population of high-growth enterprises with diverse locations, sizes and times with important implications for scholarly research and public policy analysis and formulation. © 2011 Inderscience Enterprises Ltd.

International Journal of Entrepreneurial Venturing, October 2011