Abstract

A number of empirical studies have explored and identified factors associated with business performance. However, few studies have investigated how factors reported at business birth influence subsequent new business performance. In this study the following broad research question will be addressed: Which factors reported at the time of new business registration are related to subsequent early business performance? Indicators of early business performance are surveyed in terms of sales turnover, invested financial capital and employment. A conceptual framework consisting of three theoretical perspectives have been developed in order to select key variables assumed to be associated with early business performance. Firstly, based on the theory of planned behaviour (Ajzen, 1991) an intention-based model is developed. According to this model the entrepreneurs’ intention to grow the businesses is the key explanatory variable of actual business growth. Secondly, using the human capital framework, a model focusing on the entrepreneurs’ key human capital attributes is utilized. Thirdly, based on Bourgeios’ (1980) conceptualization of domain definition strategy, a model referring to new businesses’ selection of domain of operation is developed. In addition, an integrated model is developed combining the three models. Based on previous conceptual and empirical research several hypotheses are developed.

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