Under business growth is understood in business administration , the sustained increase in farm size of a company in quantitative or qualitative terms. At the core of the decisions relevant to the growth process is the consideration of investments in resources to increase the company value . These resources can be physical (e.g. fixed assets ) as well as non-physical (e.g. employee development, knowledge development and transfer). Herein lies the dominant motive of entrepreneurial action for the common theories of corporate management - especially the theories of value-oriented corporate management.
A distinction must be made between internal ( organic growth ) and external (inorganic growth) company growth. The internal is done on its own through expansion investments and the associated increase in capacity , the external through company acquisitions or mergers . The company management has to design a growth strategy for both , whereby it should rely on internal company growth when the market potential is high , and on external company growth when the market is saturated, as organic growth can often hardly be achieved in displacement markets.
Furthermore, a distinction can be made between qualitative and quantitative growth. We speak of qualitative growth when the company has improved in terms of its “performance”, ie it is based on criteria that cannot be easily quantified, but can only be assessed subjectively. Qualitative growth, however, is mutually complementary with quantitative growth: The company must, for example, optimize the skills of its employees in order to enable quantitative growth. At the same time, the skills of the employees increase as the output volume increases (effect of the experience curve ). Quantitative growth corresponds to the increase in invested assets at the end and at the beginning of a observed period, measured either as an absolute (growth) or relative (growth rate) difference. The quantitative growth can also be differentiated according to quantity and value.
Criteria for sustainable growth include: a. Consistency, solid financing, qualified resources and resource conservation.
Company growth has to be distinguished from the increase in market capitalization driven by the financial markets .
Operationalization and measurement
Further operationalization criteria for growth and the associated measured variables that are frequently found in the literature are
- Use of production factors during the periods (e.g. number of employees, consumption of raw materials, depreciation),
- Capital investment ( equity , debt capital , operating capital ),
- Capacity (maximum production output)
- Capacity ( production volume , sales volume , turnover, value added )
- Company success ( profit , market capitalization , capital value , earnings value ).
Based on the definition of company size as “the amount of invested assets”, the growth of a company is mostly defined today as the increase in invested assets as a result of net investments in existing or new resources or combinations of resources. Company growth occurs when a company invests more in new resources ( assets , employees , business models , etc.) than resources have been written off. Not all of the resources required for growth can be quantified in terms of prices ( human capital , patents , reputation ).
The growth of the capital stock in relation to a certain period can be determined using two different variables: On the one hand, company growth can be determined as the absolute difference between the invested assets at the beginning and the end of a period under consideration ( absolute company growth ). On the other hand, company growth can be viewed in relation to company size at the beginning and at the end of a period ( relative company growth ). The capital value calculation developed by Alfred Rappaport , a further development of the classic investment calculation, and the valuation approaches developed by Merton Miller and Franco Modigliani serve this purpose .
In the context of value-oriented corporate management, the goal is more and more often no longer capital stock growth, but market capitalization , i.e. H. the increase in the market value of a company.
Theories of business growth
The growth phenomenon shows itself to be an extremely interdisciplinary research field: Among other things, the complex of topics from economics , sociology , business psychology as well as organizational and decision theory is analyzed.
The wide range of growth-theoretical approaches in economics and the rather heterogeneous management approaches derived from them are causing a lack of clarity in the definition of the term corporate growth. An overview of the various approaches is given below.
In economics, growth theories are an important element of a modern theory of business. Its foundation is the neoclassical model with the assumption of complete competition. It sees company growth as a movement towards optimal company size at the minimum of long-term average costs. The theories that emerged from this complement the production function defined by neoclassics . The corresponding course of the production function is based on the assumption of extensive substitutability of all production factors. For industrial production, however, substitution is more of an exception; Rather, limitational relationships predominate here. There are also costs for growth-relevant potential factors (e.g. wages for specialists who are currently not needed or costs for research) that are not included in the product.
The action-oriented business theories see corporate growth above all as a design task for management. However, company growth or the achievement of an optimal company size is not the goal of dispositive action, but a consequence. Four perspectives on processes of corporate growth are formative: The microeconomic perspective, which emphasizes the problem of optimizing transaction costs , represented by Ronald Coase (1937) and Oliver E. Williamson (1975), the resource-based theory of Edith Penrose (1959), the evolutionary economic perspective of Richard R. Nelson and Sidney G. Winter (1982) and the corporate strategy approach of Alfred D. Chandler, Jr. (1962), Harry Igor Ansoff (1965) and others. From the perspective of the theory of organizational learning, Larry E. Greiner (1972) raises the question of how rapid economic corporate growth can be managed organizationally. In addition to this, evolutionary theories are also discussed, which companies consider analogous to organic systems. However, these are criticized as being too descriptive and superficial. To date, there is no conclusive and consistent overall theory with regard to the development, motivation and process of company growth.
In the following, some of the theories more frequently discussed in the literature are outlined with their key statements on company growth and its drivers.
- Books (1910): Law of Mass Production : An improvement of production processes pays off from certain minimum company sizes. With constant variable unit costs, the total unit costs decrease hyperbolically.
- Clark (1917): Demand-Induced Acceleration. Companies grow as a result of demand-driven investment decisions.
- Gibrat (1931): Law of the normal distribution of company sizes . The company sizes are initially normally distributed , the growth rates are independent of size and past growth. Over time, this results in a log-normal distribution of company sizes.
- Coase (1937), Williamson (1975): Microeconomic Perspective. Consideration of companies as a production function that achieves the optimal company size through the actions of management (or the entrepreneur) based on an optimized allocation of resources. By founding and growing a company, it is possible to generate more services internally and to avoid the transaction costs that are missing in the simple neoclassical model, i.e. costs that are associated with the purchase of intermediate services via the market. However, growth in size will be limited by increases in internal administrative and organizational costs.
- Lohmann (1949), Ruchti (1953): Lohmann-Ruchti effect. Consumption-related depreciation is the most important source of reinvestment for new investments (company growth).
- Haire (1959): Biological growth model. There are firm relationships between the size, shape and function of companies as well as living beings. As the company grows, so does the control margin (number of subordinates) of superiors at every level; the so-called "organic" capacities grow faster than the productive ones.
- Leibenstein (1960): Growth through experience. Growth means approaching the optimal company size in the course of the experience process.
- Chandler (1962): Corporate Strategy and Structure. Successful (growing) companies align their organization to product and market. The further development of the organization, in particular through the introduction of divisions, which are headed by department heads, opens up the possibility of successful diversification and market expansion.
Since the 1960s, the importance of determining an optimal company size and structure, i.e. planning growth, has decreased compared to resource-oriented and decision-oriented, and later also evolutionary approaches. Edith Penrose was the pioneer of these approaches.
- Penrose (1959): Resource-Based View. The company is a bundle of resources. These bundles of resources can be material, but also immaterial. The latter describes the knowledge about the use of a good, i.e. spiritual goods. It is the management's task to use these bundles of resources in the best possible way through planning and organization. The decisions about resources determine growth. Management knowledge increases with growth and vice versa.
- Alchian (1964): Company survival theory. Companies have to generate profits in order to survive and grow, but the ultimate goal, especially when there is uncertainty, is not profit maximization, but survival. In the absence of complete information, companies often imitate successful innovations.
- Ansoff (1965): Portfolio . The company's success depends on an optimally diversified company portfolio, based on the variables available resources and the attractiveness of the market.
- Heinen (1966), Brändle (1970), Kalveram (1977): Target dynamics as an adaptation process. Business objectives are the result of a permanent process of adaptation to changes in internal and external data (“target growth”). To do this, the cost function must be broken down into individual contexts that need to be considered more precisely.
- Greiner (1972): phase model. The economic growth of young organizations takes place in defined phases, at the end of each of which there is a crisis that has to be resolved through an organizational leap. Organizational growth is slower than economic growth.
- Jovanovic (1982): Efficiency model based on learning theory. The growth depends on the entrepreneurial (not necessarily the branch) experience of the founder. Only efficient companies grow and survive. But the entrepreneur doesn't know how efficient he is when starting up for the first time. Particularly when a start-up is repeated (“renascant entrepreneurs”) - regardless of whether it is successful or unsuccessful - the new company grows faster than the old one. Small and younger businesses have a higher growth rate. The growth rate decreases with the size of the farm. Small companies are more likely to leave the market, but they are also more likely to grow faster than larger companies.
- Nelson & Winter (1982): Evolutionary View. Growth is the result of the interaction between routines and knowledge of a company. The limits of growth are not determined by the scarcity of resources, but by routines and the resulting aversion to change.
- Chandler (1990): Investment Strategy. Efficient investments in production facilities, marketing and sales as well as the expansion of the organizational structure in divisions that are well known to market enable the profitable implementation of growth.
- Winter (2003, 2005): Growth through meta-skills : The ability to adapt and grow is a meta- ability (ability) through which the internal and external abilities and capacities are repeatedly integrated and reconfigured (see also dynamic capabilities of Company ). However, this increases the transaction costs.
- According to studies carried out by the management consultancy AT Kearney in more than 3500 young listed companies from 2002–2011, an optimal growth rate of sales, at which both profitability and company value increase, is 15 to 20 percent. Faster growth damages the return due to disproportionately growing recruitment costs, etc., lower growth reduces the growth rate of the company value. However, this “optimal” rate is only achieved by 4 percent of the companies examined, and only 3 percent are growing even faster.
Need for business growth
Due to the (hyper) cutthroat competition associated with advancing globalization and worldwide market liberalization , the idea that companies could stop their growth after reaching a certain size appears to be unrealistic. It is assumed that, except for local and niche producers, the “growth imperative” normally applies to companies: they have to grow, not only quantitatively but also qualitatively. Profitable growth in the dimensions of effectiveness and efficiency is the most important goal of management , because it is both an indicator of the current performance of a company and the starting point for its future success.
- Demand for increased value : The potential for reducing costs is exhausted once the company has reached a certain level of maturity due to decreasing efficiency in resource allocation , which means that increasing cash flows can only be achieved through sales growth.
- Economies of Scale : Economies of scale and the advantages resulting from these can only be capitalized if the company is of sufficient size. This is especially the case when companies produce large batches .
- Increasing pressure on profit margins : In increasingly saturated markets, the margins that can be achieved are falling due to increasing competition . Companies that operate in saturated markets and are already well advanced in terms of their efficiency achieve increased profits primarily through sales growth through cutthroat competition.
- Prevention of hostile takeovers , which are made more expensive by increasing company value.
- Increasing attractiveness for the purpose of talent acquisition : The increasingly innovation- oriented economies are subject to the pressure to change towards knowledge societies . At the same time, the demographics of the population are developing increasingly unfavorably due to birth poverty, which means that companies are competing for the best skilled workers . These workers demand varied and challenging projects, career opportunities and regular salary increases. Companies have to grow in order to permanently meet these requirements.
- Defense against substitution and imitation : The danger of substitution and imitation exists in all industries and markets, which is why companies have to fight them permanently, primarily through product innovation . In order to be able to use the necessary resources for this, companies have to bring their products to the maturity phase , because the margins are highest in this phase. Only then can reserves be built up for product innovations. To do this, the company must invest in new resources, which leads to company growth.
- Revitalization of companies in stagnating markets : Companies that operate in markets that are no longer growing must secure their long-term survival through growth in new markets through innovation or diversification .
Rapid growth in the e-economy is necessary if customer benefits are based on network effects or if a new standard is to be implemented.
External drivers of growth
Alfred Rappaport names the following, largely externally caused growth drivers:
- Sales growth
- Increase in the margin
- Tax reduction
- Wage reduction, labor-saving technologies
- Fixed cost reduction, capital-saving technologies
- average cost of capital
- Improvement of the competitive situation.
This list makes it clear that successful growth is not just a management achievement. Nevertheless, the discussion of the last few decades has focused on the internal success factors.
Company growth as a management task
Business growth is an open and uncertain transformation process in terms of its outcome. The result is influenced by company-related, environment-specific (e.g. competitive situation) as well as personal factors, but largely a design task of management.
Company growth is primarily brought about by net investments and other measures for company and business development . Accordingly, planning growth is a fundamental task for management. Furthermore, the internal as well as the external context of the company must be analyzed as a decision-making basis for the allocation of resources to the use of growth opportunities.
In the following, the basic factors of the internal company context (WHO wants to generate growth?) And external company context (WHAT opportunities arise from the market conditions?) As well as the resources necessary for growth (WHAT flows into the growth process?), Which are associated with the resource allocation related management tasks (HOW is management active within the growth process?) and their output of a growth project (WHAT are resources and support used FOR?).
A company creates growth through competitive advantages that enable it to manufacture and sell products that generate market share . These competitive advantages are the result of resources and skills, which in turn arise from a corporate identity. This identity is characterized by four factors:
1. Structure / formal systems: The structure and process organization of a company must be geared towards growth. At the core is the integration of the architecture necessary for growth, consisting of decision-making rights, disposition systems, core processes and incentive systems.
2. Corporate goal : Formulating a corporate goal that provides employees with inspiration and focus in equal measure to direct their efforts in the interests of corporate growth.
3. Corporate culture : Promotion of informal structures within the company in order to bring about quick decisions as well as creation of fault tolerance in order to encourage entrepreneurial risk.
4. Corporate values : Supporting innovation and entrepreneurial thinking through initiatives and the role model function of management.
Companies can explore growth opportunities in two ways: First, through their own efforts to identify market potential , and second, through the pressure to adapt from a dynamic market environment. The opportunities are determined by the following three industry factors.
1. New markets and market conditions: Recognition of alternating market conditions (new production processes, legal requirements, weaknesses of competitors, market liberalization, etc.) and initiation of appropriate internal adaptation processes. If such opportunities are recognized and used quickly without strategic planning, one speaks of opportunistic growth .
2. New customers and customer requests: Recognizing new customer groups and fulfilling new customer requests.
3. Reacting to the actions of the competitors: Recognizing and learning from strategic and operational actions of the competitors.
The following four resources in particular are required to generate business growth.
2. External partners: recruitment of investors, suppliers, partners, expansion of the distribution network, after-sales partners.
3. Internal staff: deployment planning of production and sales capacities.
4. Management resources: planning of human resources available for growth projects, management of department heads, implementation of incentive systems and management guidelines.
The associated tasks related to the growth process follow the triad of procurement, coordination and control of growth resources. Due to the enormous resource requirements, internal and external resources are subject to scarcity in growth phases, which is why the coordination and control phases in particular have an important function.
1. Procurement : Efficient procurement of the necessary resources.
3. Control : Use of resources under consideration of efficiency with regard to targets.
- FOR WHAT?
The previously derived growth opportunities and the corresponding allocation of resources are then converted into growth projects. The following components represent the basic pillars of a growth project.
1. Reach: Preparation of the placement of products / services by establishing contacts and maintaining contacts with core target groups.
2. Scalability: Ensuring the necessary scaling of production and distribution through economies of scale and process (re) engineering.
3. Marketing / sales concept: Activities related to sales measures as well as branding, advertising and placement in retail.
4. Service: Development and expansion of product-complementary services for the purpose of customer loyalty and a continuous revenue stream.
Business Growth Strategies
In the following, four basic types of strategies (relationship of value creation systems, expansion on a product and regional basis, multiplication and cooperation) are described.
- Company growth through the relationship between the value creation systems
In addition to the possibilities of market penetration, market expansion and diversification, growth strategies can be operated by transferring value creation systems from the currently existing to new business fields or by developing new value creation systems for existing business fields.
In the classification of growth strategies based on the relationship between the value creation systems of the business areas, a distinction is made between three ideal types:
1. Concentric growth: The new business fields are very similar to the traditional business field in terms of both external relationships and internal performance processes of the value creation systems.
2. Relational growth: The new business areas have different external relationships and different internal performance processes, but the requirements for management are very similar to those for the core business.
3. Conglomerate growth: The new business areas differ very clearly from the core business in terms of both external relationships and internal service processes.
Other typologies differentiate between horizontal (in neighboring business areas at the same production level) and vertical growth (in upstream and downstream areas of the value chain).
- Company growth by expanding the product and regional base
The options for expanding market opportunities are to be delimited on the basis of their two basic elements: by expanding the company's product base and expanding the company's regional base. The respective possibilities can be explored using Ansoff's product-market matrix. In this, growth is broken down into market penetration (existing markets and products), product development (new products in existing markets), market expansion (existing products in new markets) and diversification (new products in new markets).
- Business growth through multiplier strategies
The multiplier strategies focus on the design of the company's form of distribution in the form of indirect distribution. Multiplication is understood as the duplication of definable units (an existing service program and associated target groups) with the aim of achieving market-oriented growth while maintaining the existing sales market program structure through more intensive use of market potential. Using this strategy, the limits on the speed of expansion can be overcome by creating business growth by eliminating the intermediary role. This function is stored by extending the service potential to third-party providers through franchising , licensing or sub-contracting.
- Business growth through cooperative strategies
If sole proprietorships rely on cooperative strategies, they focus on their respective core competencies and group themselves together with other companies to form an entrepreneurial network in order to assimilate and sell individual bundles of services to a higher-level offer. Networking can exist on two levels: First, on a horizontal level, in the form of a network of related sub-sectors within the framework of an industry group. Second, in a vertical network across different sectoral areas.
- Implementation of business growth strategies
Derived from the question of which strategy a company would like to use to generate growth, the people responsible in the company must plan the implementation of the strategy programs. The implementation of the corresponding growth strategies takes place through the acquisition of resources, resource combinations or their recombination.
The company has three basic options for this:
1. Internal growth: Recombination of existing but previously unconnected resources within the company to create a new strategic performance potential.
2. External growth: Acquisition of existing bundles of resources (companies, business units) outside the company and possible integration of the acquisition into the company and merging with existing bundles of resources.
3. Cooperative growth: mixed form of internal and external growth with the involvement of external partners. Merging of your own existing or new resources with the resources of an external partner. The three basic forms of cooperative growth are joint ventures, strategic alliances and corporate networks.
Phases of company growth based on the Greiner curve
Larry E. Greiner developed an evolutionary five-phase model for tracking the growth phases of companies and organizations in 1972 while he was Professor of Organizational Development at the University of Southern California , which he later added with a sixth phase. According to the so-called Greiner curve, organizations go through six growth stages in their corporate development.
1. Growth through creativity : Characteristic for this phase of start-up companies is the entrepreneurial way of making decisions, which involves informal forms of communication, a high level of intrinsic motivation on the part of employees and a high level of employee engagement in the form of recognition of the "higher goals" of the company. The phase is usually ended by a leadership crisis and, once the difficulties have been overcome, initiates the next phase of growth. The crisis is caused by the informal nature of corporate management: more efficient production routes must be established in order to be able to produce the increasing quantities, new capital must be acquired in order to be able to invest in the necessary resources, and more formalized structures and processes must be established to be established.
2. Growth through leadership : Companies that have successfully overcome their first leadership crisis pave their way to growth in this second phase through targeted leadership of the company. The work of the new management is characterized by a functional separation of individual activities (marketing, production, etc.), greater emphasis is placed on controlling, which reduces the co-determination of employees ( command & control ). Employees and managers on the lower hierarchical levels now lack decision-making authority. The growth of the company is therefore reaching its limits due to the lack of autonomy of the employees on the lower hierarchical levels.
3. Growth through delegation : The third phase is heralded by the successful implementation of a decentralized organizational structure. The characteristics of this phase are: training and transfer of competence for decisions to lower hierarchical levels, alignment of the incentive systems to individual performance enhancement, management by objectives, establishment of profit centers, acquisition and integration of suitable external company units. Middle management does not comply with the need for internal coordination and the associated waiver of decision-making power. The growth is therefore reaching its limits due to the lack of coordination between individual managers.
4. Growth through coordination : The company reaches the fourth phase through greater coordination. This takes place through the organizational regrouping in product / customer groups. Centralized control mechanisms from the company's headquarters ensure a higher degree of coordination in the branches. Commonly usable resources are made available to the profit centers as internal company services. Partner systems and company investments (for example through stock options ) bind employees to the company at all hierarchical levels. Due to the one-sided reporting and instructions from the head office, regional branches are reaching their limits when it comes to efficiently and effectively meeting local customer requirements.
5. Growth through collaboration : The fifth phase of growth is heralded by a dismantling of control mechanisms and greater emphasis on individual freedom of choice for employees. Social control and self-motivation replace the rigid set of rules. Managers who were previously responsible for establishing control mechanisms must now lead empathically and be trained for this. The organization of the company is made more agile by a matrix organization , attaches great importance to teamwork and integrates experts into interdisciplinary teams. In this last phase of growth, companies have to overcome an organizational and financial growth barrier again.
6. Growth through alliances : In this last phase, company growth is achieved through alliances. Companies have reached their maximum in their organizational maturity and cannot achieve organic growth in an efficient way. Employees are overwhelmed by the high stress that arises from intensive teamwork and constant innovation, and other business models cannot be integrated in a value-enhancing way. For this reason, efficient, independent companies are already forming alliances in order to virtually secure market shares and raise the threshold for new market entries.
Greiner himself, however, questions the suitability of his model for business practice, at least in part. It becomes clear that companies can recognize their current level of maturity, but it is often unclear whether they are already on the threshold of a growth limit and must act accordingly. In addition, it can be seen that with the advancing degree of maturity, new problems always arise, but the appropriate options for action decrease, making future actions of growing companies for competitors and disruptors highly predictable.
Limits to business growth, risks and criticism
Business administration as a science receives its groundbreaking impulses from practice. This also applies to business growth theory. For the majority of managers, corporate growth is a dominant corporate goal. It is implicitly, but sometimes also explicitly, assumed that higher corporate growth leads to higher corporate success. The growth is associated with economies of scale, increasing attractiveness for human resources and capital investors and increased market power. The small number of empirical studies and the underlying hypotheses are mostly based on resource theory - however, there is no unequivocal evidence.
In contrast to the assumed positive effects of corporate growth on corporate success, alternative empirical studies show that corporate crises are in most cases based on unsuccessful growth initiatives. Although profitable company growth is the guiding principle for most companies, only a few of these companies manage to grow profitably in the long term. The core problem of poorly managed corporate growth arises from three mutually dependent variables: First, spatial differences (e.g. when jumping to export markets). Second, human capital differences (e.g. due to qualifications that no longer meet the requirements). Third, leadership differences (e.g. due to leadership methods that are no longer appropriate for an organization that is necessarily decentralized because it is growing in various business areas). If the organization fails to overcome these differences, the result is that the quality of the operational business activity, based on inadequately scaled structures, systems and processes, is inadequate. The company is threatened with a scarcity of resources, accompanied by unprofitable growth.
It can also be seen that many slowly growing companies that refrain from borrowing capital also generate profits in phases of declining sales and thereby strengthen their equity. This includes German medium-sized companies as well as many Japanese companies. So sustainability and rapid growth do not necessarily correlate with one another. In particular, growth with the help of outside capital jeopardizes the autonomy of the company or control of the owners (so-called growth vs. control conflict). Start-up founders and family businesses in particular can be exposed to loss of control and the dilution of their capital shares from venture capitalists, banks and other investors.
But also the cumulative negative external effects of rapid company growth, e.g. B. in the form of excessive destruction of resources have come into the focus of criticism in recent decades.
- See: Limits to Growth
- H. Alpbach: Meadows, Donella; Randers, Jorgen; Meadows, Dennis: Limits to Growth. The 30-year update. In: Journal for Business Administration. 77 (4), 2003, pp. 469-470 (on: Meadows, Donella; Randers, Jorgen; Meadows, Dennis: Limits to Growth. Universe Books, New York 1972)
- HI Ansoff: Corporate Strategy: an Analytic Approach to Business Policy for Growth and Expansion. MacGraw-Hill, New York 1965.
- J. Berg: Three growth models. Estin & Co., 2011.
- T. Bergt: Fast growing organizations: on the diversity of a conceptual unit. disserta-Verlag, Hamburg 2014. Retrieved from books.google.de
- HC Binswanger: The spiral of growth: money, energy and imagination in the dynamics of the market process. 2., through Edition. Metropolis-Verlag, Marburg 2006.
- R. Brändle: Company growth . Gabler Verlag, Wiesbaden 1970. doi : 10.1007 / 978-3-663-12959-2
- SV Buldyrev, J. Growiec, F. Pammolli, M. Riccaboni, HE Stanley: The growth of business firms: Facts and theory. In: Journal of the European Economic Association. 5 (2-3), 2007, pp. 574-584.
- J. Canals: Managing corporate growth. Oxford University Press, Oxford UK / New York 2000.
- AD Chandler: Strategy and Structure: Chapters in the History of the Industrial Enterprise. MIT Press, Cambridge, Mass 1990.
- PA Geroski: The Growth of Firms in Theory and in Practice. In: New Directions in Economic Strategy Research. Oxford University Press, Oxford 1999.
- E. Gutenberg: Basics of business administration. Springer, Berlin / Heidelberg 1969. doi : 10.1007 / 978-3-662-36948-7
- E. Gutenberg, H. Koch, H. Albach (eds.): Newer developments in company theory: Erich Gutenberg on his 85th birthday. Gabler Verlag, Wiesbaden 1982.
- P. Haric, Chr. Pollak, J. Grüblbauer, M. Rintersbacher (eds.): Hidden Champion: Handbook for growth-oriented corporate management. Books on Demand, Norderstedt 2013, ISBN 978-3-9503637-7-7 .
- DF Hawkins: Growth Rate Analysis. (= Harvard Business School Background Note 195-179). 1995.
- E. Heinen: The company's target system. Gabler Verlag, Wiesbaden 1966. doi : 10.1007 / 978-3-322-98768-6
- B. Herold: International Growth Strategies. Deutscher Universitätsverlag, Wiesbaden 1992. doi : 10.1007 / 978-3-322-85759-0
- S. Hofert: The slow-grow principle: grow slowly rather than perish quickly. For start-ups and the self-employed. 2nd Edition. Gabal-Verlag, Offenbach 2012.
- T. Hutzschenreuter: growth strategies. Deutscher Universitätsverlag, Wiesbaden 2001. doi : 10.1007 / 978-3-322-97845-5
- T. Hutzschenreuter: On the influence of growth discontinuity on company performance . In: Journal for Business Administration. 78 (7-8), 2008, pp. 735-751.
- IESE Insight: How to Think About Corporate Growth. (no year) (pdf)
- H. Jäger: Model for the formulation of the growth policy of an industrial enterprise. Paul Haupt, 1974. Retrieved from books.google.de
- T. Kalveram: The entrepreneur's growth goal . Gabler Verlag, Wiesbaden 1977. doi : 10.1007 / 978-3-322-83955-8
- G. Karalus: Growth strategies in the media industry: an examination of the resource-based development of new business areas in German print media. Gabler Verlag, Wiesbaden 2008.
- V. Kurfess: Profitable growth strategies for companies. German University Publishing House, Wiesbaden 1999.
- H. Kürpick: Company growth as a business problem. Duncker & Humblot, Berlin., 1981.
- T. Ludwig: Optimal expansion paths for the company. Gabler Verlag, Wiesbaden 1978.
- H. Mao: Review on Enterprise Growth Theories. In: International Journal of Business and Management. 4 (8), 2009, p. 20.
- H. Meffert, M. Bruhn, K. Hadwich: Service Marketing . Springer Fachmedien, Wiesbaden 2015. doi : 10.1007 / 978-3-658-05046-7
- RR Nelson, SG Winter: An evolutionary theory of economic change. Digitally reprinted. The Belknap Press of Harvard University Press, Cambridge, Mass. 2004.
- ET Penrose: The theory of the growth of the firm. 4th, revised. Edition. Oxford University Press, Oxford / New York 2009.
- F. Pleschak, H. Berteit, B. Ossenkopf, F. Stummer: Establishing and growing R&D-intensive companies. Physica-Verlag HD, Heidelberg 2002. doi : 10.1007 / 978-3-642-57456-6
- O. Pott, A. Pott: Entrepreneurship. Springer Verlag, Berlin, Heidelberg 2012. doi : 10.1007 / 978-3-642-29685-7
- G. Probst, S. Raisch: Organizational crisis: The logic of failure. In: Academy of Management Perspectives. 19 (1), 2005, pp. 90-105. doi : 10.5465 / AME.2005.15841958
- S. Raisch, G. Probst, P. Gomez: Paths to growth: How to achieve sustainable business success. Gabler Verlag, Wiesbaden 2007.
- A. Rappaport: Shareholder value: Increase in value as a benchmark for corporate management. Schäffer-Poeschel, Stuttgart 1995.
- M. Reiter: Assessment of company growth: a theoretical and empirical investigation. Diplomica Verlag, Hamburg 2011.
- M. Schebben: Managing growth - cultural and organizational change at Kia. In: W. Widuckel, K. De Molina, MJ Ringlstetter, D. Frey (Eds.): Arbeitskultur 2020. Springer Fachmedien, Wiesbaden 2015, pp. 137–158. doi : 10.1007 / 978-3-658-06092-3_9
- A. Scheibler: Target systems and target strategies of corporate management. Gabler Verlag, Wiesbaden 1974. doi : 10.1007 / 978-3-322-83996-1
- R. Scheuss: Handbook of strategies: 220 concepts of the world's best thought leaders. 2., updated and exp. Edition. Campus-Verlag, Frankfurt am Main 2012.
- S. Schlepphorst, N. Schlömer-Laufen: Fast growing companies in Germany: Characteristics and determinants of their growth. (= IfM materials. 246). 2016. Retrieved from researchgate.net
- B. Schwenker, K. Spremann: Managing growth. In: Entrepreneurial Thinking Between Strategy and Finance: The Four Seasons of Business. 2008, pp. 215-249.
- BRA Sierke, F. Albe (Ed.): Cross-industry success factors. Gabler Verlag, Wiesbaden 1995. doi : 10.1007 / 978-3-322-90235-1
- T. Theurl: Theory of the enterprise. Lecture notes. University of Münster, 2007.
- J.-P. Thommen: Management-oriented business administration. 8., revised. and exp. Edition. Versus Verlag, Zurich 2008.
- OE Williamson: Markets and hierarchies. Analysis and antitrust implications: a study in the economics of internal organization. Free Press, New York 1975.
- Siegfried G. Schoppe, Modern Theory of Enterprise , 1995, p. 22
- For corporate management based on shareholder value , see first Alfred Rappaport: Creating Shareholder Value. The new standard for business performance. Free Press, New York 1986.
- Based on Jordi Canals, Managing corporate growth , 2000, p. 20; as well as to Theresia Theurl, Theory of the Enterprise , 2007, p. 107 ff.
- Karl books : Law of mass production. In: Journal for the entire political science. 1910, pp. 429–444, and: Ders .: The emergence of the national economy. Volume II, 1920, pp. 89-106.
- John Maurice Clark: Business Acceleration and the Law of Demand. In: The Journal of Political Economy. 25 (1917), 1917, pp. 217ff.
- Robert Gibrat: Les inégalités Économiques. 1931.
- Ronald Harry Coase: The Nature of the Firm. In: Economica. 4 (16), 1937, pp. 386-405; Oliver Eaton Williamson (1975): Markets and hierarchies. Analysis and antitrust implications: a study in the economics of internal organization.
- Ulrich Mill, Hans-Jürgen Weißbach: Networking economy , in T. Malsch, U. Mill (ed.): ArBYTE. Modernization of Industrial Sociology, Sigma, Berlin 1992, pp. 315–342.
- Martin Lohmann: Depreciation, what they are and what they are not. In: The Auditor. 1949, p. 353ff .; Hans Ruchti (1953): The depreciation. 1949, p. 91ff.
- Mason Haire: Biological Models and Empirical Histories of the Growth of Organizations. In: M. Haire (Ed.): Modern Organization Theory. 1959, pp. 272-306.
- Harvey Leibenstein: Economic Theory and Organizational Analysis. 1960.
- Alfred D. Chandler: Strategy and structure: chapters in the history of the industrial enterprise. 1962.
- Edith Tilton Penrose: The theory of the growth of the firm. 1959.
- Armen Alchian: Exchange and Production, Theory in Use. 1964.
- Harry Igor Ansoff: Corporate Strategy: an Analytic Approach to Business Policy for Growth and Expansion. 1965.
- Edmund Heinen: The target system of the company. 1966; Richard Brändle: Company growth . 1970; Thomas Kalveram: The entrepreneur's growth goal . 1977.
- Larry E. Greiner, Evolution and revolution as organizations grow In: Harvard Business Review, 76, 1997 (3), pp. 55-60 (first 1972).
- Boyan Jovanovic: Selection and the Evolution of Industry. In: Econometrica. 50, 3, 1982, pp. 649-670.
- Richard Robinson Nelson, Sidney Graham Winter: An evolutionary theory of economic change. 1982.
- Alfred D. Chandler: Scale and Scope: The Dynamics of Industrial Capitalism. 1990.
- AT Kearney: Optimal Growth: What is it? What's the point? How can you get there? , Düsseldorf undated
- Ernst Eckelt / Stefan Rommerskirchen, The natural economic order of the economic division of labor , 1982, p. 211
- Alfred Rappaport, Shareholder value: Increasing value as a benchmark for corporate management , 1995, p. 44 ff.
- Ralph Scheuss, Handbook of Strategies: 220 Concepts of the world's best thought leaders , 2012, p. 14 ff.
- Larry E. Greiner, Evolution and revolution as organizations grow: A company's past has clues for management that are critical to future success , in: Harvard Business Review. July / August 1972, p. 40 ff.
- This difference no longer seems to play a major role for young technology companies. For the theory of Born Globals see Alexandra Schmidt-Buchholz: The rapid internationalization of high-tech start-ups. Lohmar 2001.