The full text of this article


Differentiation strategies in mature small firms – the impact of uncertain environments
by Martie-Louise Verreynne, Denny Meyer
International Journal of Entrepreneurship and Small Business (IJESB), Vol. 12, No. 3, 2011


Abstract: Mature small firms often struggle to grow profits as more competitors enter the market. These firms are also less likely to exhibit those entrepreneurial behaviours which underpin sustained performance. The use of differentiation strategies is one such approach which mature firms may be able to sustain – providing them with means to deal with uncertain environments. This article examines this supposition in a sample of firms employing fewer than 100 workers. Four hypotheses relating the business strategies of small firms to performance and age, organisational structure and environmental uncertainty are tested in an empirical study of 320 small firms. Structural equation analyses of the data indicate that innovative differentiation is significantly associated with performance, especially for firms operating in dynamic environments. However, it is found that mature firms are less likely to use differentiation strategies to nurture performance in such environments. These findings and their implications are elaborated in this article.

Online publication date: Fri, 11-Mar-2011


is only available to individual subscribers or to users at subscribing institutions.

Existing subscribers:
Go to Inderscience Online Journals to access the Full Text of this article.

Pay per view:
If you are not a subscriber and you just want to read the full contents of this article, buy online access here.

Complimentary Subscribers, Editors or Members of the Editorial Board of the International Journal of Entrepreneurship and Small Business (IJESB):
Login with your Inderscience username and password:


    Username:        Password:         

Forgotten your password?

Want to subscribe?
A subscription gives you complete access to all articles in the current issue, as well as to all articles in the previous three years (where applicable). See our Orders page to subscribe.

If you still need assistance, please email