Title: Growth management of service- and technology-based firms in sparsely populated areas

Authors: Matti Muhos; Kai Hänninen; Kati Vehmas; Martti Saarela

Addresses: Kerttu Saalasti Institute, University of Oulu, Pajatie 5, 85500 Nivala, Finland ' Kerttu Saalasti Institute, University of Oulu, Pajatie 5, 85500 Nivala, Finland ' Kerttu Saalasti Institute, University of Oulu, Pajatie 5, 85500 Nivala, Finland ' Kerttu Saalasti Institute, University of Oulu, Pajatie 5, 85500 Nivala, Finland

Abstract: The aim of this study was to clarify growth management of service- and technology-based firms in sparsely populated areas (SPAs). This retrospective multiple case study reached this aim by investigating owner-managers' experiences from the early growth process and by reflecting on these experiences through the meta-analytical management priority framework. The contextual management priorities were visited from the perspectives of service- and technology-based companies in SPAs. The owner-managers of service- and tech-based firms paid primary attention to three shared priorities: human resources, the development of services/products and organisational design, but in a different order and with context-specific characteristics. In service-based firms, owner-managers' primary attention was on human resource management; meanwhile, the attention of owner-managers was primarily on the development and delivery of products/technology.

Keywords: growth; growth management; management priorities; service-based business; technology-based business; sparsely populated area; SPA.

DOI: 10.1504/IJMED.2021.10041268

International Journal of Management and Enterprise Development, 2021 Vol.20 No.2, pp.136 - 161

Received: 15 Jul 2020
Accepted: 30 Jan 2021

Published online: 20 Sep 2021 *

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