“An exploration of how Black Swan Trigger Events Impact High Growth Small Firms?” – case studies from the North East of England

Stanley, Roy (2017) “An exploration of how Black Swan Trigger Events Impact High Growth Small Firms?” – case studies from the North East of England. Doctoral thesis, Northumbria University.

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The North East of England is a slow growth region which will benefit from the development of more High Growth Small Firms (HGSFs). This research integrates Black Swan Events (Taleb, 2007) and Trigger Point (Brown and Mawson, 2011) theories into Black Swan Trigger Events (BSTEs). BSTEs are unpredictable occurrences that trigger rapid growth in small firms. By exploring the research question “An exploration of how Black Swan Trigger Events (BSTEs) impact High Growth Small Firms (HGSFs)?” Using case studies based in the North East of England this thesis addresses gaps in HGSF research and increases academic understanding of the process of high growth firms.

Adopting a phenomenological approach, evidence from five HGSF case studies is analysed using an adapted soft systems methodology of rich pictures and causal mapping. As each firm experienced BSTEs, it underwent a process of developing the capabilities to deal with the unpredictable occurrences and the opportunities these BSTEs presented. Recruiting appropriate people, exploring and developing markets, identifying strategic opportunities, putting apposite systems in place, innovating and networking and mentoring were all strongly evidenced. The thesis considers this evidence of actions taken and decisions made in the context of the process of knowledge development or capabilities to manage rapid growth post a BSTE. The actions and decisions post the BSTEs, identified from this evidence, were categorised into six distinguishable absorptive capacity domains (ACDs): 1. People; Recruitment and Development, 2. Market; Customers and Sales, 3. Strategy and Entrepreneurial Orientation, 4. Operations and Formal Systems, 5. Innovation; Product and Process, 6. Networking and Mentoring.

The thesis provides academic and practical insights into the process of growth experienced by HGSFs as well as recommended policy support for HGSFs. It develops the actions that static firms can take to improve their prospects of becoming an HGSF and a develops a propensity framework for identifying nascent HGSFs.

Item Type: Thesis (Doctoral)
Subjects: N100 Business studies
Department: University Services > Graduate School > Doctor of Philosophy
Faculties > Business and Law > Newcastle Business School
Depositing User: Paul Burns
Date Deposited: 10 Jun 2019 16:10
Last Modified: 31 Jul 2021 21:47
URI: http://nrl.northumbria.ac.uk/id/eprint/39626

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