Abstract

In this study, we attempt to enhance understanding of the key factors that enable some entrepreneurial companies to grow fast like ‘gazelles’.

We extend nascent work on this topic in two key ways. First, we invoke an inclusive conceptualization of innovation by studying a firm’s “innovation breadth”, i.e., different domains in which a venture can be innovative (such as product, process, market and organizational) and “innovation depth”, i.e., different degrees of innovation novelty (such as new-to-firm versus new-to-market and incremental versus radical). Second, we suggest that differences in the scope and depth of innovation exhibited by entrepreneurial and/or small firms can partially be explained by key differences in the skill diversity of the individuals heading such firms. Specifically, we call attention to differences in the extent to which business owner-managers are likely to possess skills indicative of being “jacks of all trades”.

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