Abstract

Previous research has identified a distinctive group of companies that have survived many years providing their owners with acceptable returns and lifestyles, despite insignificant dimensional growth. The field of entrepreneurship regards these firms as having little to offer because it is generally considered that a growth orientation is a fundamental feature of the entrepreneurial firm.

We discuss dimensions of growth followed by a reconsideration of the importance of growth to the field of entrepreneurship. The proposition is that a strategy for long term sustainability does not necessarily relate to growth because ventures can and do pursue diverse goals. Using a teleological approach we seek to provide an appreciation of the role and importance of personal goals to a firm’s success and show that the aspirations of many successful firms do not necessarily encompass dimensional growth.

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