Configurations of new ventures and SMEs: a literature review of empirical research

Lukas Michor, Rainer Harms, Erich Schwarz, Robert Breitenecker

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contributionAcademic

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This article aims at analyzing configuration studies and their respective variable selection in the context of entrepreneurship and SMEs. New ventures as well as SMEs are both confronted with a high amount of dynamism and complexity. The configuration approach is well suited to capture that and allows researchers to model and analyze the performance and change of these ventures. This perspective focuses on identifying classifications of firms that resemble each other along mutual interactive dimensions (Short et al., 2008). In the first part, the theoretical background of this paper is presented. Following that, the existing configuration literature is reviewed. 34 articles meet the tight selection criteria, which determine an article’s inclusion. In a next step, the characteristics of the whole sample are discussed and the variable selection of the papers is analyzed in detail. Similarities as well as varieties between the different articles are highlighted and if available the reasoning behind the variable selection is also presented. In order to provide a systematic overview, the variables are categorized in four domains (person, structure and resources, strategy, environment), which encompass contextually related variables. It shows that strategy and environment are the two domains, which were examined most often. More than 90% of the analyzed articles incorporated variables within these domains. However, not even half of the studies focused on the person. Furthermore, factors that are intensively discussed in entrepreneurship literature but were not included in any study are described in this paper.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationProceedings of the 18th Annual High Technology Small Firms Conference and Doctoral Workshop 2010
EditorsGloria Rossini
Place of PublicationEnschede
PublisherUniversity of Twente
Number of pages20
ISBN (Print)9789036530316
Publication statusPublished - 27 May 2010
Event18th Annual High Technology Small Firms Conference, HTSF 2010 - University of Twente, Enschede, Netherlands
Duration: 27 May 201028 May 2010
Conference number: 18


Conference18th Annual High Technology Small Firms Conference, HTSF 2010
Abbreviated titleHTSF


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