Title: Revisiting Stinchcombe's 'liability of newness': a systematic literature review

Authors: Roberto Cafferata, Gianpaolo Abatecola, Sara Poggesi

Addresses: Department of Business Studies, Faculty of Economics, University of Rome 'Tor Vergata', Via Columbia 2, 00133 Rome, Italy. ' Department of Business Studies, Faculty of Economics, University of Rome 'Tor Vergata', Via Columbia 2, 00133 Rome, Italy. ' Department of Business Studies, Faculty of Economics, University of Rome 'Tor Vergata', Via Columbia 2, 00133 Rome, Italy

Abstract: In providing a seminal explanation of the |struggle for survival| between newborn organisations and older ones, Arthur Stinchcombe (1965) introduced the |liability of newness| hypothesis to account for those relevant problems that firms may face in the first years of their life cycle. Despite lively research commitment, an up-to-date systematisation of the theoretical and empirical findings on this topic is missing. This paper aims at contributing to fill this gap through a systematic literature review based on rigorous criteria. Our main results suggest that, although partially integrated, Stinchcombe|s theoretical underpinnings are still widely supported within the scientific community to date. These research findings can also contribute to improve knowledge on what is currently known and what prospectively constitutes a challenge for future research in this area.

Keywords: adolescence; liability of newness; firm life cycle; population ecology; literature review; Stinchcombe; newborn organisations; company development; new firms; firm survival; competition.

DOI: 10.1504/IJGSB.2009.032258

International Journal of Globalisation and Small Business, 2009 Vol.3 No.4, pp.374 - 392

Published online: 18 Mar 2010 *

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