Exploring the scope, breadth and depth of innovation in small firms, the authors of this book employ a rich array of survey data to analyze the operating characteristics of dynamic small-firm populations. They investigate the strategies and activities that small firms pursue at different stages in their lifecycles and in different competitive environments, as well as which business skills are associated with survival, innovation, growth and high performance.
John Baldwin and Guy Gellatly find that the strategic decisions young firms make play a critical role in determining their odds for survival and growth. New small firms survive by developing a core set of business skills – skills related inter alia to management, human resources, marketing and financing. Advanced innovation capabilities related to R&D and technology set high-performance firms apart from other businesses. Industry-level differences in product lifecycle, production activity, competitive intensity and the science base all influence the nature of small-firm innovation.
Unique features of this volume include:
• comprehensive strategic profiles representative of small-firm populations
• information from business surveys and administrative data sources for a better understanding of how strategies and activities relate to firm performance
• an exploration of how small-firm strategies and activities vary across a diverse range of operating environments – from manufacturing to services to science-based environments.
Researchers and students interested in small firms and entrepreneurship will benefit from the wealth of new data that investigates relationships between business strategies, innovation and performance. Those interested in industrial organization, innovation and firm turnover will appreciate the new data on how small-firm strategies vary in different competitive environments and at different stages of the entry and exit process.