Title: Early stages of service business - review and synthesis

Authors: Matti Muhos; Anna-Mari Simunaniemi; Martti Saarela; Delbert Foit Jr.; Lada Rasochova

Addresses: Oulu Southern Institute, Micro-Entrepreneurship Research Group, University of Oulu, Pajatie 5, FI-85500 Nivala, Finland ' Oulu Southern Institute, Micro-Entrepreneurship Research Group, University of Oulu, Pajatie 5, FI-85500 Nivala, Finland ' Oulu Southern Institute, Micro-Entrepreneurship Research Group, University of Oulu, Pajatie 5, FI-85500 Nivala, Finland ' Rady School of Management, University of California, San Diego, CA, USA ' Rady School of Management, University of California, San Diego, CA, USA

Abstract: Many stage models have been introduced to clarify management priorities during the early stages of business growth. However, many of these models are conceptual and universal, providing only limited benefits to specific industries and business contexts. The early stages of technology-based ventures have attracted interest, while little attention has been paid to the early stages of service-based firms. This study examines the early stages of growth in service-based firms. The following research questions are posed: What are the basic characteristics of recent empirical studies on the early stages of service-based firms? What are the themes and sequential patterns in the early stages of service-based firms as revealed in the recent empirical literature? This study provides a meta-analytical review designed to answer the research questions. A group of recent empirical-stage models of the early stages of service-based business were selected for meta-analysis and synthesis. The meta-analysis integrates the findings of these models and introduces a self-evaluation framework for the early stages of service-based companies.

Keywords: business development; enterprise development; growth management; growth process; meta-analysis; review; service-based firm; stages of growth.

DOI: 10.1504/IJMED.2017.085036

International Journal of Management and Enterprise Development, 2017 Vol.16 No.3, pp.151 - 173

Available online: 17 Apr 2017 *

Full-text access for editors Access for subscribers Purchase this article Comment on this article