Managerial behaviour in small firms: Does it matter what managers do?<sup>1</sup>

Henrik Florén and Joakim Tell

in The Work of Managers

Published in print February 2012 | ISBN: 9780199639724
Published online May 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780191738661 | DOI:
Managerial behaviour in small firms: Does it matter what managers do?1

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This chapter examines why some small firms grow and others do not. The focus is on the relationship between managerial behaviour and small firm growth in fast- and slow-growing firms. Using Sune Carlson’s and Henry Mintzberg’s methodology, twelve top managers are observed – six from fast-growing firms and six from slow-growing firms. The results indicate there are no significant differences in the two manager groups as far as their roles, ‘proactiveness’, networking behaviour, or managerial formality is concerned. It is suggested that there is a generic aspect that is common to the management at both fast- and slow-growing firms. Much of a small firm manager’s work, regardless of the pace of company growth, involves this generic, non-managerial behaviour (acting as a specialist or a substitute operator). Small firm managers should not overstate the importance of acting only ‘managerially’.

Keywords: managerial behaviour; small firm growth; fast-growing firms; slow-growing firms; proactiveness; networking behaviour; managerial formality

Chapter.  7912 words. 

Subjects: Organizational Theory and Behaviour

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