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Managing Growing Pains for the Sustainable Growth of Organizations: Evidence from the Growth Pathways and Strategic Choices of Korean Firms

by Yeongjun Yeo 1 and Chansoo Park 2,*
1
Technology Management, Economics, and Policy Program, College of Engineering, Seoul National University, Gwanak-gu, Seoul 151-742, Korea
2
Science and Technology Policy Institute (STEPI), 370 Sicheong-daero, Sejong-si 30147, Korea
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Sustainability 2018, 10(10), 3824; https://doi.org/10.3390/su10103824
Received: 3 August 2018 / Revised: 16 October 2018 / Accepted: 18 October 2018 / Published: 22 October 2018
(This article belongs to the Section Economic, Business and Management Aspects of Sustainability)
Life-cycle literature suggests that business organizations evolve in consistent and predictable manners, implying that organizational structures and strategies evolve as firms move through growth stages. The sustainable growth of firms involves successful transitions between growth stages through managing different types of organizational growing pains and maintaining sustainable competitive positions, suggesting shifts in the strategic orientation of the firms as the firms grow. Based on this approach, this study proposes a holistic framework to account for linkages between determinants of a firm’s growing pains and key areas of organizational development, based on a synthesis of qualitative and quantitative findings. From statistical analyses, Korean firms are found to have proceeded through distinct stages of growing pains as they reached organizational sizes as follows: 20, 100, 300, and 500 million USD in sales revenue. Furthermore, qualitative findings suggest that business strategies evolve to deal with different types of growing pains in life-cycle stages from the systemization of management system to the revitalization process. Our results expect to provide extensive knowledge on the role of strategic management to deal with firm’s growing pains, considering both internal and external factors governing organizations. Furthermore, this study expects to provide an insightful and practical framework for managing organizational growing pains and transitions required to build sustainably successful organizations. View Full-Text
Keywords: firm’s growth; growing pains; growth stage; business strategy; sustainable growth firm’s growth; growing pains; growth stage; business strategy; sustainable growth
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Yeo, Y.; Park, C. Managing Growing Pains for the Sustainable Growth of Organizations: Evidence from the Growth Pathways and Strategic Choices of Korean Firms. Sustainability 2018, 10, 3824.

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